Natural Horsemanship

Jonathan Field, training Foals, training horse Weanlings, Yearlings horse training, natural horsemanship, western horse, english horse

By Jonathan Field - For years young horses have really fascinated me. There is nothing more thrilling than playing with a sensitive, keen mind and an open spirit. Whether it’s a foal, weanling, or yearling, it’s all fun to me.

The speed of horse training differs from horse to horse and from trainer to trainer. As a trainer I am convinced that the slower you train, the faster horses learn. Not only do they learn faster, they learn with confidence.

By Will Clinging - Much of what I teach is far more mentally and emotionally challenging than it is physically difficult. There comes a point when we are just plain tired of working and learning, and it can be detrimental to continue training until this mental and physical fatigue has subsided.

If difficulties in the training process aren’t dealt with in the right way, they can cause incorrectness and frustration to become the normal attitude of both horse and handler. It is often then that the horse gets labeled as a problem. In reality, the only problem was that the real issue was not diagnosed properly. It is common to work on the obvious — how the horse is expressing himself — when faced with something he may or may not understand.

By Will Clinging - As the difficulty level and expectations increase, those fundamental skills may need to be improved. Forward motion, accepting contact from the bit, steering with a direct rein, steering with an indirect or neck rein, adjusting pace, and some basic lateral work such as turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches, are fundamental skills that will be improved and modified as training progresses.

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This is the first of a two-part article about a special horse of mine named Bellagio (barn name Geo), a nine-year-old Warmblood gelding I’ve had for about three years. He is super sensitive and doesn’t have a lot of natural confidence. When he came to me he was very explosive, would react at the slightest thing, and was becoming very dangerous to ride.

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There are some legitimate reasons why horses do not like horse trailers. To a horse, even the most open, spacious trailer is still a small, confined space. Being a flight animal, nature has wired horses to be claustrophobic in order to protect them from predators. Because trailers are off the ground on wheels, climbing inside is a bit unnerving to a horse as the trailer moves around. Once inside the trailer, horses are further confined with the closing of the divider, and the shutting of the door. Finally, after being locked inside, the trailer starts to move. It bumps along the road, eventually stops, and then the doors are opened, and by this time the horse is thinking “Get me out of here!”

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