So I read a lot of info on horses, pretty much anything I can get my hands on.
A few years ago I saw a lot of bad comments on Parelli and Parelli followers, now the fad seems to be to discredit natural horsemanship but then explain what they do which ends up being Natural horsemanship in a nutshell and that kind of makes me laugh.
My personal journey, yes, a friend of mine introduced me to Parelli as my first known form of natural horsemanship and I would be disrespecting the fact that it did give me a good BASE for me to start with if I trash talked them so I do not. But had I only stayed as a one method follower, I would never be as far as I am today in my horsemanship.
I personally think that there are so many things to learn and you aren’t going to learn it by following one “form” or “method” or whatever you want to call it.
Natural horsemanship to me is first allowing yourself to be OPEN to more information and be okay with the fact that what we did before may not have been the best way. Dropping the pride to allow change. Secondly, I think it takes many different sources until you find the right path or mix for yourself with horses because when it comes down to it, it’s OUR love, language and leadership balance we need to find, it’s OUR timing we need to improve, it’s OUR emotions we need to control and it’s OUR ways of how we can communicate as naturally as possible with our horses.
So when I see or hear people badmouthing natural horsemanship but then go on to say they find thier own ways to best communicate with thier horse and focus on the relationship…I want to laugh and say isn’t that natural horsemanship? If a wild Mustang or Nokota are introduced to a domestic herd, don’t they also need to learn how to communicate with the domestic herd? YES! Because the natural language is different then the domesticated language of horses. It has similarities but when you observe a wild herd you see how socially retarded our domestic horses would be if they were thrown into a wild herd. So esentially what we are doing is the same thing, we are just starting from scratch.
So I think to stay true to what Natural horsemanship really means & started out as and what it should mean today, we should remember that some methods work for some and not for others but that doesn’t mean it’s the idea of natural horsemanship that should take the hit. It’s your journey with your horse. Doing it as naturally as possible is your responsibility and finding what works best for you AND your horse only makes sense. So does it really make sense to say you are against it because you don’t agree with some of the methods but then practice it in your own way? It doesn’t to me. It’s your journey, find your own path, take the best of peices you learn about and modify if you need. After all the best martial arts forms are the ones that are mixed now, taking the best from all different methods you learn. I feel like it’s the same with horsemanship, one form doesn’t teach all, but being a sponge for all information then filter out what works for you and most importantly your horse and that’s probably the best thing we can do for ourselves and most importantly our horse. If that’s not natural then I don’t know what is.