I guess I should have said the way I was taught to ride - idk??? The way my aunts told me to hang on so I wouldn't fall off??? LOL : )
I was a fearless 6yr old that LOVED horses and I still do. When you are 6 and you ride bareback you use what little legs you have to help hold on. That is how I learned to ride - squeezing with both legs.
When I was 7ish I read a book about a girl who rode horses standing on their backs. So of course I had my aunts Appy out in the woods galloping and jumping over small logs while I stood on its back holding a rein in each hand - my aunt almost had a heart attack when she figured that out. Dumb - I know. I wouldn't do it now but what can I say - I was 7 and I was a dumb kid - at the time I thought I was a real cowgirl lol - kids huh? Rest assure, my stunt days are long behind me : )
I've made several replies about leg pressure like - we can learn it together and that it just isn't a requirement. I haven't sworn it off. We all have to start somewhere you know? I have other things that are more important to me like surefootedness, good instincts and good natured. If my horse has theses qualities I have no doubt that we will bond and have a great relationship - even if we are both a little rough around the edges : )
over the years I have been given complements about having a good seat, good posture, good handling skills in general. Maybe like skiafoxmorgan suggested I knew more than I realized. I'm very comfortable on a horse.
I'm sure you can find many things to criticize me for. I subscribe to natural horsemanship and as I develop my skills I will continue in that direction. I have found that the horse world is full of people with their own opinions - it's like religion and politics - I don't tend to discuss it. Instead I thought I would reach out to a forum hoping to cast a broad net and get some helpful advice amongst the judgment - and I have.
So, 'to each their own'. Hope that clears it up for you.
Again, I was not trying to criticize, only understand.
I too try and use more "natural" methods when training my own horses. Of course, what is natural and what is not is always up for debate with horse people, lol. I grew up never learning how to properly ride, so I actually have a very similar background to you.
I think it's great you are putting things first such as a having a good natured horse over one that maybe knows all the ropes (that'd be great too, but IMHO temperament comes first and foremost.)
I was simply confused - I probably confused myself somewhere in between reading this thread - but I was under the impression you were using ONLY your hands to guide the horse, and in that I only wanted to make sure you understood that a horse that IS well trained should not be trained for that, just as an instructor should not be teaching the rider to use hands only, but rather seat/leg aids.
Hope that clears up where I was coming from! =)