top of page

Naturalness in Holistic Horsemanship

Through naturalness in Holistic Horsemanship we create a relaxed state of being and working for the horse.

Naturalness is the state of being natural, free and the quality of being real, authentic, and not influenced by anything. I do my best to allow my horses, any horse I am with, to express themselves when with me, including leaving me when they feel like it.

Naturalness in Holistic Horsemanship

How often is your horse allowed to be natural when around you and during training?

Too often training focuses on mechanics. When it’s too mechanical it creates a level of emotional, mental, and physical conditioning (and stress) that creates learned helplessness in horses. Or in my case, before I learned what I needed to keep things more natural for my horses in training, my personal horses would leave me often, including jumping four-foot fences to get their point across. Stop drilling me!

In psychology, learned helplessness is a state that occurs after a person (or horse) has experienced a stressful situation repeatedly. They believe that they are unable to control or change the situation, so they do not try, even when opportunities for change are available.

Even with the best intentions, we can fall into mechanics with our horses and create an unhappy, and stressed, horse quickly. This is how (why) horses lose their natural and free movement - they feel unhappy, unheard, unwanted. In the end, naturalness is akin to free choice and creating a willing, happy horse.

When equestrians talk about “breaking” horses or “dead broke” horses, this is what they mean. The horse’s spirit is broken. Even if the person training the horse is not purposely, intentionally, hurting the horse, too much repetition and pressure will take its toll.

Next time you’re out with your horse, either just being with them or schooling with them, take notice to how you’re interacting with them and ask yourself:

  • Does my horse appear free in their movement, is their body loose or tight?

  • Does my horse appear happy to be with me, relaxed, attentive and eager?

  • Does my horse express themselves, feel safe and confident enough with me to tell me how they feel about what I am asking of them, even if it means pinning ears, sideways kick, tossing the head, leaving me?

  • Or is my horse dull, non-responsive, worried and tense?


If you're not sure how to read your horse, or if your horse is stressed and not relaxed when working with you, holistic horsemanship can teach you what you need to learn to understand your horse and create the two-way relationship, connection, communication, and partnership you and your horse will love and look forward to.

If you’ve been searching for a deeper way to be with horses, a better way to train horses and in a connected and safe riding partnership, you don’t want to miss our free 7-day Holistic Horsemanship Mastery Mini-series: "Develop the Relationship and Ride of Your Dreams".

Free Holistic Horsemanship Mini-Series


Join today to learn how to develop the relationship and ride of your dreams with your horse!



bottom of page