Recent Posts

Books: Natural Horse-Man-Ship: Six Keys to a Natural Horse-Human Relationship by Pat Parelli / quote

From my very first researches about natural horsemanship, I found many mentions of Pat Parelli and his methods. I had the opportunity to watch some videos which pushed me away from this horse(business)man. Yet, it was about time for me to read carefully and analyze his main book Natural Horse-Man-Ship as I received many questions about Parelli instructors…

Horsemanship is nothing more than a series of good habits.

Natural Horse-Man-Ship, Pat Parelli

A rich NH (Natural Horsemanship) background

Pat Parelli started his equine career like most of us: he was passionate with horses, but HE had the chance to meet great horsemen who taught him all the basics. We can easily observe the strong influence of Tom Dorrance and Ray Hunt all along the book. Indeed, he regularly mentions how important it is to adjust to the situation, to feel of the horse and for the horse, to make our ideas become the horse’s ideas, etc. Sometimes, he just copies and pastes concepts _ which I do not criticize as we do not have to re-invent the wheel all the time and something good should be used, recycled and reused:

Books: Natural Horse-Man-Ship by Pat Parelli
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Hoof Care: rehabilitating hooves contaminated with deep thrush

Hoof Care: rehabilitating hooves contaminated with deep thrush

As many riders and horse owners, I was used to clean up briefly my horse's hooves but let the farrier take care of trimming and general maintenance....

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Books: Oeuvres Complètes de Nuno Oliveira / quote

Nuno Oliveira is a master of classic dressage, some say THE maestro of Haute-Ecole. For sure, he is a reference when dealing with dressage and I was amazed to read him: there is so much in common between classic dressage and natural horsemanship.

I have read and analyzed Oeuvres Complètes (the complete works) by Nuno Oliveira in French, yet I will refer to books that have sometimes been translated and published in English: Reflections on Equestrian Art (1965), Classical Principles of the Art of Training Horses (1983), Horses and Their Riders (1987)…

There would be a lot to write about Nuno Oliveira. In a few words, we can say he is the direct descendant of Xenophon and all the hedonist horsemen who followed this path. The dressage master often quotes French horsemen such as the Captain Beudant, but even more important: François Baucher and François Robichon de la Guérinière.

Ask much, be content with little and reward often.

Captain Beudant

Oliveira is to Dressage what Dorrance is to Western riding

I consider these men as cousins in horsemanship: Tom Dorrance was the mentor of many great horsemen, he was said to have a gift with horses, a special understanding; Nuno Oliveira has the same aura in the world of classic dressage. Both have exported their image out of their nations, both have lived for horses. I was literally stunned to read Nuno Oliveira speaking about Feel, Timing and Balance.

Oeuvres Completes de Nuno Oliveira: Classic dressage and Natural horsemanship have a lot in common
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How to teach a horse to pick up its hooves? / video

Taking care of your horse’s hooves is a major part of horse care: no feet, no horse! Yet, hoof care should be a pleasant moment, never a fight. This article is written in order to help to teach a horse to pick its hooves. Indeed, horses should behave as partners during this operation, they should help by lifting their feet when you need them, instead of resisting, fighting or kicking.

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Exercises: Under Saddle – Walk, Trot & Canter / video

Walk, trot and canter are very natural moves to the horse. So, the objective of this page is not to teach the moves, but to teach when, at what speed and how we want the horse to perform the moves.

I will deal only with basic things here: rhythm, soft feel, leads, simple and flying changes will be the object of further exercises.

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Video: less than 5 years old Quarter Horse after 100 hours of training / video

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How to turn grooming into teaching? / video

The education of a horse is a non-stop process. Grooming makes no exception, either you teach respect to your horse or it will teach you! The purpose of this post is to give you some ideas of little drills you can practice during grooming. Your horse should understand pretty soon that respect and leadership are not just for the arena…

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How to educate a horse to think? / video

We should always have these questions in mind when we work with our horse: how can I help my horse to think? how can I let it find out what I want? That is the reason why you may have read a few times in these pages that you should leave time to your horse to think and to give you the good response.

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DVDs: The Making of a Bridle Horse by Buck Brannaman / quote

DVDs: Buck Brannaman describes the different stages from the snaffle bit to the hackamore to the bridle...
The Making of a Bridle Horse is a set of three DVDs: the first part describes the education of a young horse in a snaffle bit, the second part deals with the intermediary level in a hackamore, and the third part presents the two-rein horse that will eventually become a bridle horse.

In short: great DVDs, but definitely not for beginners!

Buck Brannaman gives a short (total three hours) presentation of the complete education process of a bridle horse. It is very interesting to see different horses at different levels and this horseman’s skills are always a great pleasure to admire.

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Exercises: Under Saddle – Untracking the Hindquarters / video

The very first time I read about untracking the hindquarters, I just could not understand why I should bother to do it, for what purpose? … One word: EDUCATION!

That exercise is just great for several reasons: pure mechanical reasons obviously, softness and lightness, leadership and to teach your horse to think. You may compare this exercise to teaching a kid how to draw a circle and a stick, in order to write letters. Later, these will become sentences, that will make pages and books, etc. So, do not miss the basics!

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