The 'Natural Training Method'
The Natural Training Method teaches horse and rider in a logical manner that considers the horse’s natural tendencies. Horse and rider are prepared every step of the way for new challenges, both physically and mentally.
The Natural Training Method was developed out of the old European Cavalry schools. Cavalry mounts needed to be responsive and willing in a wide variety of settings. Most importantly, the rider needed to count on his horse to take the initiative in difficult situations. This demanded that the rider be in control of the horse, but also allow the horse to make certain decisions on his own. A high level of cooperation and trust between horse and rider was required.
The cavalry schools needed to design a system that would work for a broad range of horses and riders to produce consistent results. Out of this, a progressive training system was born to gradually increase the demands on horse and rider and to build confidence every step of the way.
The horse is taught in an easy and relaxed manner to co-operate with the rider. We never set the horse up for failure or try to ‘catch him out’. The same goes for the rider. Success breeds success. If the horse learns that the only way is the right way, then he will not second guess his rider. He knows his rider would not ask him to do anything unreasonable. The horse will be so confident, that he will take the INITIATIVE to help his rider through challenges. If instead, the rider consistently over-faces the horse or bullies him, he will learn to resist and will become progressively more difficult to train.
All of this sounds obvious…but how many times have you seen a horse refuse a jump, the rider get upset and then try to force the horse over the fence again and again? The rider thinks the horse is being ‘naughty’ and he must ‘teach him a lesson’. The reality is, the rider did not prepare the horse correctly and over-faced him. There was a misunderstanding between horse and rider. The rider reacted by losing his patience, trying to force the horse into submission. Riders and trainers must always have patience.
The correct response to this miscommunication would be to ‘explain’ the demand to the horse more clearly. The fence should be lowered to rebuild the horse and rider’s confidence. The rider should reflect on why the horse may have refused. Was the horse caught by surprise because of a strange new filler under the jump? Did he approach the fence on a bad stride? Was the horse distracted by a noise just before takeoff? Was the jump set higher than what the horse was used to jumping? Was the rider subconsciously tensing his muscles and worrying about the landing? Whatever the reason, the answer should never be to ‘force’ the horse back into the stressful situation. The rider must set his ego aside at that moment. Horses and riders cannot learn while stressed. They can only react emotionally. To succeed, horse and rider need to be able to think.
Trust and cooperation must always be present in our training. They cannot be present if the rider over dominates the horse or doesn’t listen to the animal's feedback. A good rider always listens to his horse and adjusts the demands accordingly. The rider may be able to force a horse to do something once, but in doing so, he will mentally scar the horse. The horse will lose trust in his rider. It is of utmost importance to never over-face the horse. Our horses trust us to only place reasonable demands on them and we must not violate that trust, or we will risk the horse losing confidence.
The Natural Training Method uses centuries old methods that are tried and true. This isn’t some ‘new fashioned’ training method that goes against the grain. It works for both horse and rider. It builds a foundation of trust and cooperation, allowing the partnership to soar to new levels. It serves as a step by step, practical guide for every horse and rider. There are no shortcuts. You must start with A, then B, then go to C. One must not skip forward from A straight to Z.
I promise that if you follow along, each step of the way, you and your horses will make more progress than you ever thought possible. Setbacks will be a thing of the past. You will have tools to teach your horse in a humane and understanding way each and every one of your requests.
Your horse will develop physically and mentally. Your bond will grow stronger and YOU will become a confident and happy rider. Patience is key. But with every session you will move closer to your goals and improve your relationship with your horse.
We specialize in helping riders with confidence issues. We'll work with you step-by-step at your OWN pace to feel relaxed and in control of your riding experience.
According to Greek mythology, Xanthos was the immortal golden horse of Achilles. Xanthos carried him to battle in the great Trojan war. He loved his charioteer so dearly, that Xanthos wept tears when he was slain on the battlefield. After this, the goddess Hera gifted Xanthos with human speech.
Don't we all long for such a deep relationship and communication with our horses? If only our horses could speak to us like Xanthos, we could understand them.
Our horses may not be gifted with human speech but they are telling us something. They want to be loved and trained in a manner that is closest to their nature. We need to take the time to understand the way their bodies and minds work so that we can be better partners for each other. Xanthos Equine uses the Natural Training Method to bring horse and rider into harmony. Respecting the horse's nature and tailoring our training methods to the animal's perspective allows us to elevate our relationship.
No longer are we master and slave. The horse becomes our partner. He is thinking with us - taking the initiative in difficult situations because he is empowered by his rider, not borne down. Our communication doesn't need words, because we've developed an understanding with our equine partner that enables us to work in harmony.
Xanthos Equine in located in beautiful San Diego, California.
We are fortunate to have a beautiful facility to train in and cool ocean breezes year round. We keep our lesson prices very affordable so that everyone can have access to quality training.
Dressage is the basic training of horse and rider. Nothing fancy here! We're achieving better understanding between horse and rider while strengthening the horse to do his job better.
The Natural Training Method for show jumpers. Everything progresses in a logical way. You and your horse build confidence together.