We discovered Natural Horsemanship in 2001 when there was a Parelli Tour in GA. Since that time, we have been reading, watching, going to a variety of clinics, and working with different people to absorb as much of the knowledge as possible. It really has made a HUGE difference in our horses and our relationship with them. They understand us more clearly, are more polite, respectful, and brave as a result. In addition, it is simpler to train horses and FUN. As we progress in our horsemanship journey, we are delghted to find that there is more and more help out there. See a list of our recommendations on the last page on this website.

These pictures show a few of the different things we do with our horses. We start on the ground and progress to doing the things under saddle.

Scroll over each photo to see the caption. Click on a photo to see the enlarged whole photo.

          Which Relationship do You Want with Your Horse?

partnershipvs  dictatorship
suggest     demand
request      force
allow    make
ask      tell
hold      pull
quick release   slow release
soft       hard
slowly closing hands  quickly closing hands
communicate   boss
show    insist
guide    push
play      work
focused      distracted
discipline    spoil/punish
polite    rude
leadership  passenger
soft  hard

If you prefer the words in the first list, you are a good candidate for liking what natural horsemanship can do to make your relationship with your horse even better than it already may be. But, as in all things, look carefully at the teachers, programs, or books you follow. Not all natural horsemanship training is created equal.

Get more information about how to train using natural horsemanship on our ARTICLES PAGE. Let us know what you think!
Building confidence entering a creek Sidepassing Glory over barrels is easy after doing it online.Desentizing to scary things by following them.First ride--in a rope halter to be sure there is no pulling on the mouth.Magic going over barrels.Mounting from  different places and both sides  A head down cue makes bridling easier and  relaxs an emotional horse.Dusty moving his front end acrossGambler closing a gate one step at a time in the beginning.Putting feet up on a stump.Trail class with a bridge to turn around on.Backing through poles--one slow step at a time at firstSending onto a trailer after having other skills mastered.Gaining confidence  meeting a blowing tarp.Following a plastic bag as it moves away.Squeezing backwards through barrels.Squeezing over a log.Stripe crossing water in pool.Polly and Gregg moving a calf at a cow clinic.Going up a step up.
May 30-June1, 2008
Brent and Kris Graef, clinicians from Canyon, TX, returned to GA for a three day clinic consisting of  a Foundation class in the mornings and an Advancing Horsemanship class in the afternoons. We took three horses, Stripe, Joy, and Polly and soaked up as much knowledge as we could. Some of the main emphasis was in learning where the feet are so that the reins were connected to the feet and our requests were made at the appropriate time. Brent really emphasizes lightness and refining everything we do with horses whether it be on the ground or under saddle. There were big improvements in all the participants and their horses by the end of the third day!
The eye is the window to the  soul.
Gregg with PollyBrent working Joy, Kyle watchingBonnin on Stripe
Our Journey in Natural  Horsemanship
We were invited to give a demo on natural horsemanship at a local riding academy. We decided to take Baron, 10 and now a gelding, demonstrating English and Joy, his 4 year old daughter, showing western to emphasize that natural horsemanship works on whatever discipline or breed it is used with.

Bonnie on BaronSidepassing barrelsKyle backing Joy
Gregg bridling StripeJoy and Kyle backing ringStripe and Bonnie going up jump up.Joy and Kyle meeting blowing tarp.
Click on the link to read the write up of this clinic. It was really an awesome trip!

September, 2009 Canyons Horsemanship Clinic with Brent Graef, Canyon, TX

Bonnie on Stripe at ranch near Canyon, TX. We're looking for the cattle.
Bonnie on Stripe, Palo Duro Canyon, TX.
Gregg on Polly and his sister Sherry on her 25 yr old Arabian mare Skilite. Cap Rock Canyon, TX.
The SE Buckaroo Association Workshops
Click on the links below to read about the SE Buckaroo Association workshops and clinics we got involved in on our horsemanship journey.
SE Buckaroo Association Clinics
Cow sorting workshops.
Obstacle Workshops and Cllinics
The 2010 GA clinic with Brent Graef was an awesome three days of Horsemanship on the Trails and Horsemanship with Cows. Horses that came in with buddy sweet issues, bucking, lack of confidence, and problems with canter leads got the help their riders needed and went home much better than they came. The cow class gave a lot of opportunity for asking the horses to do moves over and over that helped them become more soft and responsive and the cows gave horse and rider a reason for doing the moves without it becoming boring. A big plus was the setting for the clinic. It was at Quercus Farm in Gay, GA, a 4300 acre cattle/horse ranch with beautiful places to ride and a wonderful facility. Brent will be back in June of 2011. Check out his website for scheduling and early sign up. www.brentgraef.com

In November of 2010, we traveled to Canyon, TX to participate in Brent's Young Horse Handling clinic. The horses we worked with in the clinic were unstarted ranch yearlings. This clinic was like no other that we've ever seeen or heard of. It really proved to everyone how soft and responsive a horse really can be if they are handled to be so. These babies had absolutely no brace in them at the start and it was our task to keep them that way. Tjhe first day was spent getting the babies in from the field, Brent haltering and handling them some, and then assigning each baby to one of the students. By the second day, under Brent's coaching, we had the babies out of the round pen into the arena and going on nature walks on the ranch. Each day we accomplished more and more with them building their trust in humans and confidence to be able to do anything. They learned to trailer load, stand for having their feet trimmed, stand tied, move with us with slack in the lead. By the last day, they were so relaxed with humans that they stayed lying down when we approached and let us sit and cuddle with them.

There is a short video clip of the clinic on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO_a514Nqjk&feature

Day 1--catching for the first time without scaring the babies
Nature walks started the second day and happened every day after that.
By day six, the babies were totally comfortable with us.
We continue to ride with Brent every year when he comes to QC Arena in Gay, GA for a three-day clinic. Bonnie is now his GA contact person. Come join us to ride or audit. You will have fun and learn a lot!

In addition to Brent, we have benefited from watching and/or riding in clinics with Mark Rashid, Buck Brannaman, Bob King, and Gary Townsend, Sr. and Jr., David Lichman, and Pat and Linda Parelli. There are others on our bucket list as the opportunity arises.