Horse training methods are as varied as the horses and handlers that train them. They range from strong arm—even brutal tactics—to the opposite end of the scale, gentle, humane and respectful. Clearly, the differences in horse training methods are vast and notable.
Tradition is the enemy of progressive horse training methods. “Grandpa treated his horses this way and we do it the same,” is the lame excuse that pervades the old school of rough horse treatment. Pain and intimidation have been the backbone of horse training methods for centuries, especially in the American west where horses are highly effective on the vast ranches of the west. Techniques such as snubbing a horse to a post and “sacking them out,” to running horses in mindless circles until exhausted are sadly still alive and well in parts of the US.
Frank Bell’s Gentle Solutions Revolution
The bright star in the equation emerged in the later part of the last century. His name was Tom Dorrance and he introduced the entire world to a kinder, gentler approach to communicating with horses. Tom’s message evolved to become the term “natural horsemanship” and is now quite literally sweeping the global equine community by storm.
I had the great fortune of meeting Tom Dorrance and attending several of his clinics. Today, dozens of trainers spread their version of Tom Dorrance’s teachings. I am proud to call myself the gentlest of the gentle trainers and have taken this timely approach several steps beyond even what Tom Dorrance considered the gentle approach to horse training methods.
My 7-Step Safety System begins with making a lasting first impression by simply giving to the animal. I call it bonding. Taking the time to love on the horse pays big rewards only minutes later as the horse eagerly chooses to give back and enjoy performing and engaging with the human. It is truly magical.
Join me in enlightening the world to a kinder, gentler way of relating to horses and all living creatures.