The Basic Principles of Natural Horsemanship And Equine Therapy at Beartooth Mt. Ascent
Horses Are Fine Just The Way They Are – The Natural Horsemanship Method isn’t really horse training per se because horses are fine just the way they are. What we do is more human training because it’s the human in the human-horse relationship that needs to learn how to relate naturally to the horse. The natural horsemanship method teaches you how to work with a horse in the most loving, effective and efficient way possible for lasting results and success.
Four Keys: The basic principles of Natural Horsemanship can be summed up in four words: Relationship, Understanding, Communication, and Trust.
Since Beartooth MT Ascent is not a “Dude” Ranch, we do not recommend that the troubled man ride our horses while he makes his initial adjustment to the first phase of our program (this is often taken as long as a month). Trust, work ethic, self-motivation, and a sense of responsibility are key factors in behavior improvement and in determining the young man’s progress as he becomes more closely associated with the horse. Riding a horse has many responsibilities attached to it; successful natural horsemanship requires many hours of study and a desire to learn about horses. When the student demonstrates that he understands these principles he is then ready to learn the Natural Horsemanship WAY!
“The Relationship between you and your horse is the foundation of the natural horsemanship method – and that relationship must become your primary consideration in everything you do with your horse.”
Understanding that horses are prey animals and that pretty much everything they do or don’t do is based on their survival instincts.
Learning to see the world from the horse’s point of view – this includes figuring out “what’s in it for them” when asking something of your horse.
Understanding your horse’s basic personality type so that you can work with him in the most effective way possible, given his particular psychology. Much of natural horsemanship relies on understanding and learning to work with your horse’s personality including both his positive and negative traits. The natural horsemanship method teaches students how to “read” their horses and incorporate the best strategies for managing behaviors and achieving success.
Relationships are based on understanding and communication. To have a good relationship with your horse, you need to understand him and be able to communicate with him. Through the natural horsemanship method, you will learn to communicate with horses the way they communicate with each other. Our Equine Specialist has spent years keenly observing horse communication systems, how relationships were established and how trust and leadership were developed. This enables them to teach people how to communicate with and relate to horses using horses’ own natural communication methods.
Horses are herd animals and are therefore instinctively comfortable following a leader. The natural horsemanship method teaches you the secrets of becoming your horse’s trusted “alpha” so that the horse feels safe with you and will willingly do what you ask. Trust is established in a number of ways including:
Putting the relationship first, learning to communicate in the horse’s own language
Keeping the horse safe and calm in the face of what he finds fearful
Establishing a good relationship on the ground before you attempt to get on his back.
When the Struggling young man has learned these life lessons from the horse he will NEVER forget them!
Please note that the programs and therapy listed on our website are aspects of our daily life on a working cattle ranch, and are integrated within our main BTMA program. Students participate in the daily ranch activities that are an organic part of real ranch life and work. Students do not get to pick and chose what activities they want to do each day. This teaches a young man to go beyond himself, become part of something bigger than himself, and learn to do what is required and needed, not what he finds pleasing to himself. Also note that not every activity listed is offered every day, and many are available only when the season or weather permits. During the harsh winter months, we do not ride our horses very often as it is hard and the horse and the rider and can be dangerous when the ground is frozen and icy.