Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Foundation Part 2 - Commitment

The short list of principles comes from the work a number of horsemen including Tom and Bill Dorrance, Ray Hunt, Ron Willis, Dr. Robert Miller, Jack Brainard and many others.  Most of them have published books and some have DVD’s that go into detail about these principles, so I won`t try to cover that material. 

The principles are like the ingredients listed in a cook book.   Actually they are the ingredients from many recipes from a lot of cook books.  To learn how to use them you need COMMITTMENT.   You need to commit to taking the time and putting in the effort to learn from the expert horsemen who have taken the time to make their knowledge available. 

The body of knowledge now available about the nature of the horse and the use of this information applied to communicating with and teaching horses is huge.   In addition to the works of the horsemen noted above, there are dozens of clinicians who have put forward programs using techniques based on natural principles.  I have studied the work of the following clinicians:

This is by no means a complete list and I will continue to look at new ideas from other people; it is a process of continuous study.

·         John Lyons (

·         Pat Parelli (

·         Richard Winters (

·         Eitan Beth-Halachmy (

·         Clinton Anderson (

·         Stacy Westfall (

·         Chris Cox (

·         Craig Cameron (

·         Tommy Garland (

·         Monty Roberts (

·         Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling (

·         Jonathan Field (

·         Glenn Stewart (

·         Ken McNabb (

·         Josh Lyons (

·         Van Hargis (

·         Mike Kevil  (

The DVD has made the study of training techniques a much more engaging process but it still requires the commitment of time and the willingness to hone the skill of observation to a very high level.  Attending clinics is a valuable experience but you can`t replay what you have seen.

Horses and humans have been partners for thousands of years.  It is only in the last few decades that knowledge of the nature of horses has been so readily available to so many people.  For those of us who love and honour horses the commitment to taking advantage of this knowledge is a great new opportunity and a responsibity.  To take advantage of the available knowledge an open and accepting mind is essential.  No one has all the answers and no method technique or equipment will work for every horse and meet every goal.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


This is the first element of this blog.  There will be at least two other components to follow.  The information contained is not original it has been compiled from a number of other sources.  Whereever possible I will give credit to the original authors.  I also want  everyone to know that I was inspired to start this blog by Anna Mae Gold and her blog on Empowerment.  I will do eveything I can to support the concepts she is putting forward.


In order to pursue a concept or a theory in an field  you need  a values foundation to build on.  For me there are three pillars in this foundation ;  Belief , Committment and Dedication.

As it applies to what is termed `natural horsemanship` I believe in fundamental principles , inclulding:

  • pressure motivates, release teaches
  • be as gentle as possible and as firms as necessay
  • reward the slightest try¸
  • make the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult
  • defend your space
  • horses are prey animals, we are are predators
  • leadership is estalished by controlling the movement of the feet.
  • the horses primary defence is flight
  • a horses memory is second only to that of an elephant.
  • a horse learns faster than any other domestic animal
  • horses communicate primarily through body language.
  • horses have the fastest reflexes of any domestic animal
  • horses naturally push/pull against pressure