Natural Horsemanship Training entails training a horse using natural horsemanship techniques instead of brute force and is sometimes called Horse Whispering because of its quiet, passive techniques of communication utilized to achieve it. While it is by no means natural horsemanship is a very effective means to an end. You will use horsemanship techniques to communicate with your horse and will also develop an association between you and your horse. Many horse owners feel that this closeness can add to their horse’s security and make him a more stable animal. Here are some basic tips on natural horsemanship training:
One of the main concepts of natural horsemanship training is to create an easy, positive connection between the rider and horse. By keeping a straight line between you and your horse at all times, you are communicating your authority and your presence to your horse. The simple act of jogging along a hard wooded trail, while being followed by a horse that is obviously afraid of you, is a perfect opportunity to develop this positive relationship. If your horse is afraid of you, he will turn and run, and if you jog along the trail, he will become used to you and look forward to seeing you.
Some people feel that if they ride only with calm horses that they will not be tempted to fight. This is not true, and it certainly does happen in horsemanship clinics with frightened horses. To prevent this from happening, make it clear to your horse that he must always follow at least one of your lead steps and that he is free to move in any direction without receiving correction. It is also important to encourage all riders to speak softly in a low, respectful tone.
Another important tip for horsemanship is to maintain an even keel as you ride. An uneven keel can cause problems when riding, as the horse may try to push harder and feel a greater need to push. If you ride slowly and have an even keel, your horse will feel much more comfortable and relaxed, and he may be more likely to follow you without losing his balance. As you work on your jogging skills, do not try to increase the distance of your strides. Instead, try to jog in a style that keeps your stride length the same – just slightly longer than your horse’s stride length. This will create a natural feeling of motion and will keep your horse working at a steady pace even as he responds to your commands.
Finally, teach your horse to “rein hand” when you are jogging. This is very similar to the slow lope technique, but instead of walking forward, you take your rein hand (right hand underneath the left arm) and put your weight forward onto your hind legs, bringing them both into contact with the horse’s back. Your heel should be raised slightly from the ground, and your eyes should be on the horse’s back, rather than your own. Reining is done on an incline and requires that you walk forward normally while keeping your body weight slightly forward and slightly lowered over the top of your front feet. Your head and heels should just barely touch the ground as you do this. Once you can jive these three basic techniques together, you can start to develop your own style of horsemanship. Check out this post that has expounded on the topic: https://elaineheneyhorses.com/.
You can continue to practice all of these techniques and become a more skilled horseman the more you practice. However, remember that if you plan to ride competitively, it is always best to have some formal instruction. That being said, however, there are many other ways for you to learn about proper horsemanship and perform many of the basic horseman maneuvers. Learning from videos and DVDs as well as participating in shows with other riders can give you the necessary skills to be a great rider, even if you have never been formally trained before. Take a look at this link for more information: https://www.encyclopedia.com/sports-and-everyday-life/sports/sports/horse-racing.