A Quick Guide to Natural Horsemanship

Natural Horsemanship

Training a horse is beneficial both for the owner and the animal. For one thing, a trained horse is a safer horse, which means the owner is also safer. Trained horses are also more physically developed, better mentally and emotionally developed, and able to receive better healthcare than their untrained counterparts. Finally, training allows the owner to foster a relationship of trust and communication with his or her horse. One of the most common training methods is the natural approach. Before seeking the natural horsemanship approach Roachdale, consider the process and benefits.

The Psychology of Natural Horsemanship Training

Natural horsemanship training follows five basic psychological principles:

  • Approach and Retreat —Approach and retreat creates confidence by allowing a horse to process fear. The trainer nears the horse with an item it’s afraid of, then backs up, repeating consistently until he or she is close to the horse without fear.
  • Desensitization —The desensitization of a horse means it won’t react negatively to unexpected or challenging stimuli. This secondary confidence-building method is common for situations where a horse is easily startled.
  • Foundation Training —The foundation is the building block of successful training and provides the most basic work. Many trainers liken it to a horse kindergarten.
  • Pressure and Release —This involves applying physical, visual, or auditory pressure in situations where a horse is not doing what is wanted of him. A trainer releases pressure when the horse makes small steps in the right direction, and then resumes until another small step is made.
  • Rewards and Consequences —Rewards for a horse doing a good job are necessary, but it is also necessary to use consequences, such as pushing a horse that steps on a trainer away or removing rewards for regression. Ideally, there will be more rewards than consequences.

The natural horsemanship method can create a healthier and happier horse and lead to a better relationship between owner and animal. Contact a professional to learn more about the methods and schedule a training session.