Home Sports and Recreation Natural horsemanship: ‘just good, common sense horsemanship’ or something else?

Natural horsemanship: ‘just good, common sense horsemanship’ or something else?


The originators of natural horsemanship are widely considered to be Tom and Bill Dorrance, raised in the early 1900s on an Oregon cattle ranch. They promoted a kinder, less violent form of horse training than was typical at the time, and influenced later trainers including Monty Roberts.

Many natural horsemanship trainers focus on groundwork to establish a connection with their horse and teaching them to respect space. They tend to challenge the “this is how we’ve always done it” way of thinking.

What is ‘natural horsemanship’?

Tricky to define and deemed a controversial subject by some – particularly when it comes to Parelli – we asked well-known names in the world of ‘natural horsemanship’, as well as riders competing in mainstream disciplines, what the term means to them.

Monty Roberts, an American whose methods were first put before a UK audience by The Queen more than 30 years ago, is perhaps the first name that springs to mind with natural horsemanship. Monty himself, however, dismisses the term.

“There is nothing on this earth that could be considered ‘natural horsemanship’. It’s fine that it becomes a brand name for an individual, however it’s impossible to consider anything that…

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