Western Horsemanship

Written by Dallas Smith
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Western horsemanship, denotes a style of riding that is something of a departure from the traditional English riding style. Instead of a focus on highly stylized forms, the western technique relies more on the horse's natural gait and inclinations, leading to a more casual, fluid style. Not surprisingly, this style is better suited to the long, rigorous trail rides that are common out West.

Additionally, the western style is built around leading a horse based on what the horse's instinctual tendency tells him or her to do, while still maintaining full control of the horse. Also, no force is used to control the horse; instead, the horse is simply guided in what he or she needs to do. This style is highly effective for maintaining optimal performance throughout a long trail ride.

Western Horsemanship: A Complete Approach

Western horsemanship not only addresses the riding elements of horsemanship, but the total aspect of care, as well. These areas also include grooming and saddling. Taken together, this approach, which, incidentally, is more commonly known as "natural horsemanship," focuses on the caring for a horse based on how that horse would react in a natural situation.

These behaviors are determined by observing how wild horses interact and carry themselves, and seek to utilize that behavior without going to great lengths to change it. The end result is a horse that is highly manageable due to the tremendous amount of trust the rider has instilled in that horse. If you are not familiar with an approach that produces those kinds of results, it might be a great time to take a look at how the natural, western technique can work for you and your horses.

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