Natural Horsemanship

By Will Clinging - The speed of horse training differs from horse to horse and from trainer to trainer. As a trainer I am convinced that the slower you train, the faster horses learn. Not only do they learn faster, they learn with confidence.

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Confusion is an emotion that we do not always allow our horses to feel. When you work with your horse, think about the horse as being always right. Most horses want to please us, so when they respond to a cue, they respond the way they think we want them to.

By Will Clinging - Problem horses are not generally born problem horses; they have been taught to be problem horses! There are certainly a few exceptions but as a rule, they behave they way they do because of the handling they get, or lack of handling as the case may be.

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There is always a reason when things go wrong, and we have to accept at least half of the responsibility. Remember it is we who are asking for certain acceptable behaviour; if we have not defined what is actually acceptable then the horse is right to be wrong.

By Will Clinging - By being aware of our mental outlook, emotional state and physical well being, we can become more aware of our horses. There is a lot more that goes into training a horse than just physical exercises and maneuvers.

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The horse world has changed a lot over the last several years. I am not sure that it is for the better. The introduction of “natural horsemanship” has changed the way people interact with their horses. It has changed the philosophical approach of many people to account for seemingly natural horse behaviour. It has encouraged a relationship based on leadership where we are to be the dominant horse. It has changed how we physically correct our horses with methods that are gentler than those of the past. All of these are good things, right, so where is the problem?

By Will Clinging - Horses “live what they learn and learn what they live,” said the late Ray Hunt. It means that a horse will accept what he is taught and if it is consistent he will develop life habits. It also means that much of what a horse learns does not come from a trainer but from basic, everyday handling.

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