I have been told that what I do is like natural horsemanship with a twist: perhaps you could even view it as the future of natural horsemanship! If we take a definition of natural horsemanship to be training without force, and with an understanding of the horse's nature and behaviour, then yes, of course what I do is natural horsemanship. But I would argue that any GOOD horseman, from any background, that is compassionate and understanding of the horse, should fall in to this category. But I am wary of being captioned a 'natural horseman'.
You see I prefer that what I do is not viewed as a method: to me as a Psychologist and as a horsewoman there is no need for any of us to close ourselves in a box by being restricted to a particular method or approach. Instead I aim to teach the tools of understanding, so that what people do is simply GOOD horsemanship. Some of this will be very similar to natural horsemanship, and some of it will be very similar to conventional horsemanship, but to me there are no boundaries between the two, just a good use of HORSE SENSE that looks at both the SCIENCE and the ART of horse training and develops feel and understanding in horse people.
For me the most important consideration is perhaps better described as 'ethical horsemanship'- putting the horse first, with a true understanding of training theory, of emotions and stress, of horse nature, and of people. This requires that we be the best that we can be, always educating ourselves and developing ourselves, and never getting stuck in the box.
In my coaching
sessions, clinics and talks I will look at any ‘method’ or approach
and explain how it works and how best to use it. I am more than happy to
work with people who practise Natural Horsemanship, and I am more than
happy to work with people who practise conventional horsemanship!
Let’s dissolve the barrier between the two; it just doesn’t have to