Sometimes I have the impression that people seem to think Natural Horsemanship is here to solve problems. You have a horse that is hard to ride ? That won’t trailerload?
‘Do’ Natural Horsemanship and ‘fix’ it.
But the key in good Horsemanship is that it does not solve problems, it prevents problems by learning about yourself first and learning about the horse second.
Because when a problem shows up you are already to late. It should not go wrong in the first place. Meaning: the horse should not buck, he should not say ‘no’ to the trailer, the horse should not pull away and get loose and the human should not get hurt….
A unsafe event usually leaves you and the horse with a bad experience and impression that will be triggered again.
When a problem arises it means that a important part in the earlier preparation was not explained well enough or completely missing.
You asked a question that the horse had no answer for yet.
A example here on Mikey’s farm:
The first trailride on a young horse is relaxed and easy because the ingredients
(safe, calm and cooperative horse)
are there and the right environment is created (other wise and experienced horses to go with for example).
If the horse is not ready, we do not go out.
If a horse needs to be loaded and he cannot stand still, be tied, is not confident and did not learn how to yield from pressure at all times, we do NOT go to the trailer and watch how the horse is getting tense, upset and pulls back on the human.
We prepare the horse and THEN we go to the trailer.
Good Horsemanship looks simple, easy and maybe uneventful but that is exactly the way it should be.
Remember that Savvy is hard to gain and easy to lose!
(Of course in reality it is sometimes very different. Like me, we all make a lot of mistakes but as long as we keep learning from them and keep this goal in the back of our mind we are getting closer to the Art of Horsemanship)