Natural Horsemanship

Natural horsemanship, which is sometimes also known as “horse whispering”, is an umbrella term for a variety of horse training techniques. What they all have in common is that building a deep partnership with the horse is paramount by using communication techniques drawn from studying the natural behaviour of feral or semi-feral horses, and rejecting abusive training methods.

The concept of working sympathetically with the horse and emphasizing an understanding of the nature of the horse, reassurance and gentle training techniques is not new. Classical Dressage trainers throughout the centuries have preceded the natural horsemanship movement in stressing that willing cooperation from the horse cannot be obtained through punishment and fear.

I agree with many natural horsemanship trainers in that the term “natural horsemanship” is actually bit of a misnomer as we take the horse out of his natural environment (roaming free and unhindered in a herd) and ask him to become part of our world, which is not natural for him.

For me personally natural horsemanship means that in his training, in the things I ask of the horse, I take into consideration his psychology, the way he understands the world, his mental and physical wellbeing and encouraging a true two-way communication.

In our primary training aim to develop trust, a real partnership in whatever discipline we’ve chosen (leisure or competitive), the horse needs to be free of pain, understand what is being asked of him and needs to be rewarded for the try, i.e. encouraged to communicate with us. That for me is natural horsemanship … Equestrian Harmony!