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Training Philosophy

John uses Natural Horsemanship Methods?

Natural Horsemanship is a philosophy of working with horses based on the horse’s natural survival instincts it is born with and methods of communication, with the understanding that horses do not learn through fear or pain, but rather from the release of pressure and praising when it does what you ask.  It is a common misconception that Natural Horsemanship equals “wimpy” horsemanship, because the ‘relationship’ is prized. This is not the case;  we must use firm but fair pressure when necessary to ensure the safety of the rider or handler, as well as the horse.  We simply do not use fear or pain to motivate the animal, nor do we attempt to force the animal into submission.  Most problems are caused by humansNOT understanding the survival instincts during handling, training and riding!  The owner and the horse must be as calm or calmer at the end of each session than they were at the beginning!

John is remarkably effective with all owners and horse he works with because he has great empathy and patience.  He uses Natural Horsemanship methods; working with horses based on the horse’s 10 natural survival instincts they are born with and methods of communication. My training philosophy has a lot to do with getting to know ourselves and our horses.  Sometimes our horse just gives up trying because we have stopped listening to them.  This is when we need understand our horses and figure out how to communicate with them.

When you come to you to work with you and your horse you are both new to me so I need time to get to know both of you.  You will find that I will ask you many questions, demo exercises and ask you to do them  to be able to form a picture of what is going on with you and your horse.  One of the most often asked questions I get is, how long will it take to get my horse behaving and riding properly?  Well there is not a time table on how long it will take any individual horse.  I work on the horse’s time schedule not on yours or mine.  I have trained or rehabilitated horses within a month. Then there have been those that have taken longer to get there.  The worst thing you can do is to push the horse faster than he is ready because it will learn much if we are not preparing it Emotionally, Mentally or Physically.

Over the years I have found that trying to drill a lesson into a horse for hours at a time does not work.  If the horse does not get it within a 15-20 minute period, go on to something else.  If you come back to it the next day, you will find that he was listening and did get it after all.  Shorter periods of training get better results than longer ones.  I don’t know about you, but running a ten mile race, when you have not trained for it, is not all that much fun.  Educate with understanding and communicate properly slowly with compassion for the best long lasting results with horse specific step by step progressive foundation training plans.

Round penning that we do with our horses will never make him calm and quiet unless it is done properly and please know that there is a time and a place for the round pen but not for calming a horse.  If you want your horse to learn and be a calm and quiet partner with you, then you need to establish trust, confidence, and gain leadership.  We do this by using a triad of exercises first on the ground that controlling the horse’s five body parts, the head, neck, front shoulders, rib cage and hindquarters.  So when you are around him whether you are on the ground or in the saddle you and your horse will be calm and quiet. If you are not you will have methods you can use to get you and your horse re focused.   I have seen many people who yell while they are attempting to handle or ride their horses  and they wonder why their horse is acting up.  Remember that our horse feeds off of us, so if we are upset, yelling or angry basically out of control, our horse will react rather than respond to our intent.  The quiet, calm horse is relaxed and learns faster.

We must Never leave any holes in our horse’s foundation training otherwise they are sure to develop undesirable traits in the future.  While teaching slow and steady works the best with the horse; rushing is never the way to go.  Remember that horses learn from the release of pressure not from the pressure itself and praise goes a long way.   Just like with people, so we need to be flexible with how you are teaching at the time for example allowing the horse to make a mistake and then correcting it is the way to go.  Horses want to please they believe they are doing what we are asking so it is up to us to educate them as to what we want! .

‘Ask with lightness, encourage without forcing, correct with softness’.  To learn more and experience my training methods first hand please contact me at your convenience!

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