Since the discovery
of horse’s usefulness to man, we have sought out more effective ways
to bend them to our will. Many of the traditional methods of training
involved forceful, coercive and often inhumane tactics to gain control
of the horse through domination. Though there are many traditional
training tactics still being used, I believe the shift towards gentler
methods has already begun. It is not that some of these traditional
techniques are ineffective, simply that they are becoming less
accepted by the horse owners paying the bill.
training has been around for thousands of years. From the works of
the Greek General Xenophon, who wrote of many of the same principles
in 360 B.C.,to the famous horses of the Spanish riding school, to the
practices of the California Vaqueros. While each of these forms of
horsemanship in history may have had different tactics to achieve the
desired result they also had one commonality, they learned to work
with the nature of the horse instead of against it.
As a student of Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre, I
learned a lot about the methods utilized by "natural horsemanship"
trainers as well as theory behind it. Dr. Ron Meredith the founder
and president of the school is another innovator of the horse training
world. He developed a system of training which he calls “Heeding”.
Heeding uses methodically applied pressure to create shapes that the
horse can understand. This is a horse communication system that
proceeds in small, horse-logical steps that never create fear or
antagonism in the horse.