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Why most training styles will NEVER completely TRAIN or FIX your horse...But Holistic Horsemanship Can!

Updated: 7 days ago

The Good, Bad & “Beste” of Horse Training...

For starters, most methods focus on controlling the horse instead of teaching the horse self-control.


Most training emphasizes connection through mechanics, operant conditioning and coercion, rather than connection through consent.

And, most training doesn't consider the horse as an emotionally and socially intelligent species. They keep dumbing them down by dominating them, and taking away their ability to choose, behave naturally, think for themselves and express themselves.

Let me explain...


Traditional training teaches you how to control the horse through pain, force, excessive pressure, and mechanics. Period.

Nose bands, Blue Tongue, harsh training, why holistic horsemanship is better

Traditional training only teaches you connection through mechanics. This is unnecessary, harmful and even counter-productive to developing a trusted partner, safe trail ride or champion athlete in your horse. Don’t fall victim to taking the easy way out and causing your horse pain or even injury in the process.

harsh riding aids, why Holistic Horsemanship is better

Get rid of all of your aids, and develop the horse from start to finish with just a rope halter, lead, and lunge whip.

While mechanics are important to horsemanship, we must consider horses as sentient beings who need to choose connection and not be forced to connect through repetitive and often boring and physically demanding exercises.


While mechanics teach us how to physically/technically train a horse to do what we want and need them to do, they don't teach us how to develop a horse from the inside out - holistically.

Developing a horse holistically means we consider their emotions, needs and opinions about their experiences. It means we care about how they feel about what they are experiencing.

This is the only way real and meaningful connections begin. When our horses can feel how much we care, they will choose to connect, communicate and work with us. This is how training becomes effortless.

When the horse’s heart chooses to join us, their mind and body will follow.


Parelli Natural Horsemanship, Non-effective training methods

There’s nothing natural about Natural Horsemanship. They too teach you how to control the horse through coercion (treats), operant conditioning (pressure and release) and repetitive mechanics they call “connection”. In the end, it's mindless and ego driven.

Science-based training such as Positive Reinforcement (R+) is just as excessive in its level of control. The only difference is it uses food, a basic need of the horse, to control the horse’s behavior. Take the food away and what’s motivating the horse to participate? R+/R- Reinforcement is just another name for operant conditioning and uses positive and negative reinforcement.


While food is a wonderful way to give the horse something they enjoy, both wild horse herds (as well as healthy domesticated herds) don’t raise their young or manage their herds through food rewards, so why do we?

And, finally, we have the gentle horse training methods. These methods emphasize the horse’s well-being - yet, like the others, fail in teaching people how to interact and work with horses the way the horse needs and respects. Most of all they do not teach the level of mechanics, important skills, horses need to live in our world. You can love and comfort your horse, but like children - without leadership and guidance, you will create a monster who does not listen, respect you or trust you.

non-effective horse training, Gentle Horse Training
A horse that kicks out when getting their hooves trimmed and an owner, who thinks they can make it better by holding them, talking to them and loving on them. Love will only get you so far. You need love AND leadership.

In the end, most horse training methods are wrong for the horse. Very few horse trainers understand the real psychology, needs and instincts of horses. That’s because they’re too busy forcing horses to do what they want quickly, instead of learning the horse (how horses naturally influence, manage and work together) to be able to create a long lasting consensual relationship.


After 20+ years of evidence-based research, with thousands of domestic and wild horses, I have developed a 100% PROVEN training system that WORKS FOR THE HORSE – all horses, all disciplines, and in any situation. It’s called The Mastery Membership™ Relationship, Ground and Riding Foundation Program and it uses true HOLISTIC HORSEMANSHIP to create the most reliable connection, safest partnership and strongest foundation possible between horse and human.

This horse was developed with what is now the the step-by-step online program: Mastery Membership Relationship, Ground and Riding Foundation Program. Notice the connection, willingness to train at liberty, and natural collection WITHOUT the use of harsh aids or coercion tactics!

Join our FREE 7-Day Holistic Horsemanship Mastery Miniseries to learn why people are saying, "Tao is the way to all things possible with horses,” and the most holistic, empathetic, and effective path to training, re-training, and rehabilitating horses.



Free Holistic Horsemanship Mastery Mini-Series

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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, the Tao of Horsemanship Academy is for you!

With a comprehensive website of holistic horsemanship information, as well as free resources, support and a complete online learning program, you can immerse yourself in the world of consensual partnership with your horse and love the journey as you learn together.

May you always be one with your horse,

Caroline Beste

Founder, Tao of Horsemanship


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