Get Your FREE Bonus Chapter from Dr. Allan Hamilton's latest book, Zen Mind Zen Horse. "A History of Natural Horsemanship From Ancient Times to the Present" is a facinating, 49 page look at the art and practice of natural horsemanship. This richly illustrated chapter will surly give you a deeper insight to your own horsemanship.
Training horses has been an integral part of the march of civilization. Over
millennia, the methods and principles of horse training have undergone profound
changes, culminating in what has become a worldwide movement of non-coercive,
natural horsemanship. The history of horsemanship can be conceptualized as two major,
divergent schools: the first is the classical dressage movement from the Old World, and
the second is the vaquero tradition of the New World (see Figure 8.1). The dressage
tradition is historically ancient, rooted in Eurasian and European civilizations. It stretches
three millennia from before 1000 BC to the present. By comparison, the vaquero tradition
is brief, spanning little more than a few centuries from the colonies of New Spain in the
early nineteenth century to today.
There are significant differences distinguishing these two disparate,
“hemispheric” movements—akin to the differences between the two sides of the brain,
and the Eastern and Western halves of the globe (see Figures 8.2 and 8.3).
The two movements demonstrate dramatic distinctions as well as telling
convergences in philosophy and technique. Both are punctuated by figures who became
advocates of employing gentler, more humane techniques for training horses at times
when such attitudes represented minority--sometimes revolutionary--views within the
prevailing schools of horsemanship.
In the Eastern or European tradition, training techniques were handed down
through manuscripts and, later, texts and schools of equitation. Sometimes, the chain was
broken and the pearls of wisdom from one generation remained dormant for centuries
until a new champion took up the cause, adding his own personal insights to what had
already been written. On the other hand, the methods of the vaquero, of the Western
cowboy, were entrusted to oral tradition until very recently.......to read more, subscirbe above.
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