Sunday, September 11, 2011

Choosing a Clinician To Follow

I do not believe that it should be necessary to choose which natural horsemanship clinician or method of training one should follow. I have learned from examining the techniques of a range of the better known clinicians. I find Ponyboy's broad and deep theme of relationship with the horse to be the most important philosophical underpinning of training that I have encountered. John Lyon's ideas on developing a lesson plan to deal with each training session have been of great benefit to my horses. Monty Roberts' teaching concerning the use of body language to communicate with a horse provides the student with the first bridge to true horsemanship. Clinton Anderson keeps an open mind and seems to be always on the look out for a better way to do things. Don Reis obviously understands that to become a great teacher one must be a perpetual student. Buck Brannaman fits my idea of what a teacher should be, blending both a heart and a mind. For one looking to produce first rate working horses Curt Pate has a great program.

All of the big name clinicians have systems that can produce happy, well trained horses. However, I think that a person should take that as a given and expect more. The most important reason to practice natural horsemanship is to become a better person. That is the true test. I consider any system of natural horsemanship training that does not make one more gentle, more patient, more humble, more confident, more compassionate, and more kind to be a failure. It does not matter if a system produces horses so well trained that they can fill out income tax returns , if it also creates trainers that are not the better for the experience of following the system, it fails.

It does us absolutely no good to replace the established horse world with a world that that shares all of its flaws but has the veneer of natural horsemanship pasted over it.

(If you are looking to do something good for yourself today, contact the Corolla Wild Horse Fund and adopt this beautiful little stud colt and make him part of the offsite
breeding program.)


smilin' grey mare said...

Just curious as to why you left out the Parellis

Steve Edwards said...

This can be a very divisive topic. The best young trainer that I have ever met is a Parelli devotee and I hesitate to criticize a program that she has mastered so well and that has meant so much to her.

Perhaps it is best to apply one of Quannah Parker's phrases and simply state that while that road might be a good road, it is not my road.