People are becoming jaded by all the horsemanship ‘hype’. It seems that every man and his dog has jumped on the ‘natural horsemanship’ bandwagon to the point where if they use a rope halter, they are a ‘natural horseman’. The outcome is catastrophic with horses breaking down because they are running around on their front ends. People never really going anywhere because they are happy to stay in their comfort zone and twirl their ropes. They are never actually becoming safe with their horses because they are going to the ‘local horseman’ who has taken a bit of knowledge from this person and a bit of knowledge from that person and just uses what suits them.
Unfortunately, when someone only half learns something, then what they then pass on becomes misconstrued and pointless and can even be dangerous for the rider and/or cruel to the horse. But because is it labelled as natural, it is OK, right?
There are many tools and training methods that people use willy nilly be it a ‘natural’ tool or technique or not and the best tool/technique in the world can become a lethal weapon if it is used without the understanding of how it should be used and applied. Unfortunately humans (especially in this day and age) want the here and now and can’t be bothered spending the time learning how. I have seen the result of this many times over and have had to fix lots of horses that have had supposed ‘training’.
This lack of knowledge and understanding that gets thrown out there and seems to be eagerly and willingly clung to, is one of the main reasons I became a professional instructor. At the end of the day, how do you sift out the ‘wanna be’s’ to the people who really know what they are doing? The amateurs to the professionals.
Ask lots of questions and if they can’t answer you or if you just get the ‘because it works, or that is how it is done’ answer, then the warning bells should start ringing. Don’t let this be your only guide however as there are lots of people out there who can talk the talk but not necessarily be able to walk the walk so have a good look at the principals they claim to follow and find out if they do actually follow them. Have a look at how they handle their horses and talk to their customers. Don’t just go by what they say, go by the depth of their past results.
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