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postheadericon Natural horsemanship is a philosophy of training and working with horses by communicating in the same language of the horse

Natural Horsemanship is a philosophy of training and working with horses by communicating in the same language of the horse. Horses use body language to communicate with each other, and thus the foundation of natural horsemanship technique is based on body language.

History of Natural Horsemanship
Many say that natural horsemanship has been practiced in one form or another from the beginning of man’s relationship with horses. Classic dressage training focuses on principles of natural horsemanship. There are several “modern” practitioners of natural horsemanship, each with their own techniques. The recent movement toward training with natural horsemanship developed in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions. Trainers included Tom and Bill Dorrance, and Buck Brannamen. Another prolific practitioner is Pat Parelli. He has founded schools and clinics all over the world to disseminate his methods.

Get Started
Each of the trainers mentioned above practices their own techniques, many of which overlap. To get started practicing natural horsemanship, first find a community of like-minded horse owners, riders and trainers. Natural horsemanship techniques are many and varied; however, though the techniques have been practiced for literally ages, the idea is still new to some people. With the rise of the internet, it is easier than ever to connect with others walking the same journey with their horse. The American Association of Natural Horsemen is a great resource for beginners and professionals alike to connect with others.

Discover the Method that Works best for You and Your Horse
Natural horsemanship techniques all point toward a better relationship between horse and human. To decide what works the best for you and your horse, try different techniques. Read books by different trainers, and read online forums for tips and tools. Learn from those with more experience, and ask lots of questions. Then, try what you have learned. If something does not work, try something different, or relate your experience to your fellow horsemen and see what they have to say.

Find a Mentor
The journey of natural horse training can be bumpy, exhilarating, frustrating and rewarding—all in one afternoon! To have the best experience possible, find a mentor to help you along the way. Your mentor could live in your hometown, or they could live half a world away. Again, by using online communities and forums, you can connect with people all over the world from which to learn. A great mentor is someone who will let you ask a lot of questions, and who has the time to devote some personal attention to your cause.

Keep it Up
Consider the practice of natural horsemanship as a lifestyle and not a one-and-done solution. The journey on which you embark with your horse is one that will last your lifetime, and provide continual learning opportunities. Enjoy the journey, as it is just as rewarding as the results.

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