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.


Anna Mae Gold said...

I have been studying some of the horseman and women you mention here and have heard of others.

The interesting thing is that I feel like I want to let go now of all I've learned... I know it makes little sense but I feel called to just forget everything and come to my horses naked. Well, figuratively speaking of course because it's minus 15 and snowing here in Ontario!

I'm not sure if I actually can come empty handed, empty minded but I'm gonna try! I'm ready to learn from the original and ultimate horse experts: the horses.

Happy New Year Lyle!

musher said...

What an interesting idea. Let me know what you experience with this.

I am trying to open my mind and my senses to everything the horse offers and everything that is in the environment we share. My hands and mind are only empty in that I am willing to accept anything I am given. There are no rules and no restrictions.

musher said...

Anna it sounds like you want to be the child in Part 3.