Natural Horsemanship – often known as horse whispering – is the term used for a modern variety of horse training techniques characterised in English author Nicholas Evans’ 1995 novel the Horse Whisperer, and later the Robert Redford film of the same name.
Techniques vary but in essence involve developing a rapport with horses using methods derived from observation of the natural behaviour of free-roaming horses, and above all rejecting some of the more traditional, and often considered harsher, training methods.
Kingston Maurward College is an advocate of natural horsemanship practices and throughout the year offers part-time courses that adopt these techniques. Two courses starting soon are Introduction to Natural Horsemanship – Working with the Untouched Horse on 7th May, and Introduction to Natural Horsemanship – Roundpen Work and Body Language on 14th May.
These one-day courses aim to introduce people to the gentle techniques of natural horsemanship; In Working with the Untouched Horse the course focuses on horses that have had little or no handling at all and for native ponies from the moor or forest this course would be invaluable, teaching the importance of advance and retreat techniques to establish trust.
The course will cover building the all-important relationship between you and the horse in the round pen, followed by the introduction of a saddle and longlining. It is important to establish that the young horse has a full understanding of walk, trot, halt, rein-back and turning. The course then looks at the critical importance of the position you adopt on your horse, along with all the safety precautions you should take to keep both you and your horse safe. We will also discuss common problems that you can encounter when starting a young horse and how to overcome them, as well as a few tricks of the trade.
In the Roundpen Work and Body Language course you will discover that working the horse loose is a wonderful way of creating a real bond with your horse; round work is imperative, not only in establishing a basis for how your horse behaves on the ground but it also underpins their behaviour under saddle.
Round pen work can also teach you a lot about yourself and how you communicate with others. Learning to interact with such a wonderful animal with just the use of your voice and body language can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
These informative courses are ideally suited to candidates who have a genuine interest and passion in the care and welfare of horses.
Further Natural Horsemanship courses are also available at Kingston Maurward College throughout the year, along with BHS courses, full-time courses, and the HND in Horse Management.
The Natural Horsemanship Roundpen Work and Body Language course is on 14th May and Working with the Untouched Horse on 7th May; each course costs £45 and takes place at Kingston Maurward Equestrian Centre 10am – 1pm. To find out more or to book please call 01305 215215.