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In this day and age the term “natural horsemanship” has become the latest mass marketing effort to reach the equine community. As much as the general public has increased their awareness in realizing there is a “gentler” way of working with their horses compared to the old ways of “breaking” horses, many of the ideas you find in the easily accessible books, videos and DVDs don’t offer a whole lot that is “natural” about the methods presented to start and train horses. Too many times new clients come to me for help because the “general teachings” presented by trainers and clinicians geared towards “mass teachings” can create a lot of undesired results when undereducated students (horse and rider) aren’t able to fully grasp the how and whys of concepts nor the timing and finesse of techniques properly and wind up in less than ideal situations.
People can simulate horse behavior and communication, but none of it will ever be as “natural” as one horse communicating with another. So the term “alternative” was suggested by a client of mine who realized I was using the same “concepts, timing and pressure” as horses would if they were communicating with one another, but with an alternative way of communicating the same information.
My goal is to teach owners how to create a mental, emotional and physical availability in their horse by offering clear communication which is the foundation of a trusting and respectful partnership. The information provided on this site and in my teachings will help you raise your level of awareness, increase your ability to assess, offer ideas on aids and their correct usage (how, when and why) to improve your timing and finesse when working with your horse.
Most riders and horses "go through the motions" and tolerate each other with a sense of "surviving the ride." Instead why not encourage your horse to learn how to offer a "try" rather than a "why should I?" mental attitude. The physical actions your horse displays are a reflection of his mental and emotional state. By treating each horse as an individual and assessing his level of experience, trust, respect, effort and past we can then work WITH him in order to gain his trust and respect to achieve a quality partnership.