2010 Cherry Hill ©
used your book Making
Not Breaking for a number of years, before natural training was invented.
Now that Ive attended some natural horsemanship clinics, it seems your book
is more natural than some of what Ive seen. Why isnt your training
Interesting question. Heres some information
to help explain the answer.
I wrote Making
Not Breaking in 1990 and it was published in 1992. This is from the cover:
The First Year Under Saddle
practical approach for English and Western trainers that works with not against
a horses natural instincts.
Presenting the Real World Training System
for Young Horses.
That last line was
something the publisher added as they wanted to give my training system a name
for their marketing purposes.
The buzzword Natural
in relation to horse training and horsemanship started showing up about the mid
90s but the principles and techniques, the good, the bad and the ugly, have
all really been around for as long as man and horses have interacted.
live in a media marketing society and the phrase Natural Horsemanship is mostly
a marketing tool, a handle, a hat to wear.
choice, I am not into labeling something as this or that because most things in
life are not black or white, they are somewhere in between. And most people are
evolving beings, they change, so may or may not be the trainer they were or will
Being a writer, I know the power of words. I also
know the rampant misuse of words.
If something is
called natural it must be natural, right? Wrong, we sure know that with food labeling.
what is natural anyway? In terms of horses, natural would refer to a horse that
is born in the wild and is free to graze, roam, socialize, procreate and basically
act like a horse.
So, when we do any of these things
to a horse, it is unnatural:
- Confine in a pasture,
pen or stall
- Feed hay or grain
all natural horsemanship trainers do the things above and many more unnatural
These are natural horse behaviors:
if we saw a trainer kicking or biting a horse, he or she would likely be labeled
as something far from a natural trainer.
Do you see
So, realistically, my aim is not natural,
but mindful, reasonable horse training and care. I suggest horse owners learn
How to Think Like a Horse and then work with a horses natural behaviors
to help the horse become a willing partner and fit into mans world without
Since you have read my book Making Not Breaking
you already know where I am coming from. For others, my training advice is what
it is. When you read a book, read the whole book take things in context,
not out of context.
Now as far as the clinics youve
seen or participated in, there are many trainers who call themselves natural horsemanship
trainers. Some are extremely talented and helpful they know horses and
know people and are good teachers. Others are into marketing and self promotion,
have shaky methods or keep things just out of reach of attendees.
hope this helps answer your question and thanks for the provocative topic !