The Natural Horse.
The study of the natural horse is one of the most important core principles of quality horsemanship. The study and management of the natural horse provides three critical functions in classical horsemanship.
First: it created the natural attributes that classical equitation is designed to work with.
Second: The study of the natural horse provides the horseman the skills to recognize and understand the difference between natural attribute and artificial attributes.
Third: The will managed natural horse herd is a control group for the horseman to judge the positive and negative effects of his training of the horse, both short term and long term.
When you combine the study of natural movements in nature with the feel of natural movements in the saddle with a quality seat, the rider can learn to feel of the horses natural gaits and balance and will in turn produce correct upper level movement that are guided by the feel of balance instead of replicating natural movement with circus training techniques
The key point modern horse people make is not understanding the short and long term effects our training actually has on horses. We blindly progress in our horsemanship ignorant of those effects and today; we have reached a point where it is almost impossible to study them.
One of the most shocking understandings of my study of the natural horse was that natural horses have a learned culture, not an instinctual culture. If we destroy this, and we may very well have, it might take centuries for horses to relearn that culture. It is possible the destruction of that culture may lead to the horse’s eventual extinction.
At some point, the horse world will have to understand the importance of maintain the natural horse as a control group and rebuild the horsemanship that goes along with managing and studying natural horses.
Part of my apprenticeship was learning how to manage a natural horse preserve. While that was not the primary focus of my apprenticeship, I understand the importance that a well-managed natural horse herd has on the quality of Classical Equation.