Natural horsemanship training methods just make sense…


Picture of Tom Dorrance with a horse

Tom Dorrance once said: “What I know about the horse I learned from the horse.”

I am fortunate to have been able to learn from what Tom and Bill Dorrance have written, along with personal experience with Frank Bell, Pat Parelli, Leslie Desmond, Richard Shrake, John Lyons and other horsemen, who while not so well known nonetheless added to my store of knowledge that grows day by day, horse by horse. I owe a special debt of gratitude to Dick and Ginny Elder who first introduced me to a way of teaching and caring for horses that recognizes their intrinsic nature and rejects using fear and intimidation in favor of respect, communication and trust. I owe more thanks to Frank Bell, probably the gentlest of the gentlers. Frank’s focus on safety and taking the mystery out of communication with horses has in large part influenced the focus of my horsemanship, which is to help troubled horses and assist new horse owners to safely enjoy these wonderful animals.

– Jim Rea

The objective of horse training should be to end up with a safe, calm, dependable horse that will willingly do what we ask it to do when we ask it to do it. Horses are almost always eager to please if they understand what it is that we want and if we provide them with dependable leadership.

Bill Dorrance said: “It’s really amazing what a horse will do for you if he understands what you want. And it’s also quite amazing what he’ll do to you if he doesn’t.”

The secret of the financial success of some horse trainers is that they fix a problem with the horse, but don’t fix the cause of the problem, which is usually the owner, or rider. We cure the problem with the horse and teach the owner or rider how to keep it from reoccurring. A trainer who won’t let you watch him or her training your horse is not a trainer you want, either they have some secret that other trainers don’t know or they may be using abusive training methods.

Training vs. Teaching

Most often we refer to the process of getting the horse to do what we want as teaching rather than training. It may be a matter of semantics, but training seems to imply doing something to the horse where teaching implies doing something for the horse.

How We Teach

First and foremost, we need to have a clear understanding with the owner about the specific goals for a horse we are going to teach.

If the horse has a behavior problem we first make sure that it does not have a physical problem that is causing the undesirable behavior.

We train most horses here at the Colorado Natural Horsemanship Center, however, we can come to your location to teach your horse.

Click » to learn how we approach teaching a horse
Click » for our calendar of scheduled horse training clinics
Click » for more information about our horse training philosophy
Click » to learn about teaching mustang horses