Vaquera Ranch, a natural horsemanship ranch, is running in Bastrop, TX. We need more like this. This is more like how it should be done. (Maybe could be better. I have not been there.)
There is an awful lot of information out there about how to keep your horse(s). At Vaquera Ranch we believe, that it is best to keep them as natural as possible. Therefore, all of our horses are kept as mini herds on pasture all year round, with a shelter to protect them from harsh weather conditions. We also try and keep our stallions together with other horses instead of isolating them, so they can learn social behavior from the professionals, which are horses themselves. We do this to avoid having to deal with unnecessary stallion aggression or other vices commonly encountered when handling stallions.
Our own experiences have shown, that horses tend to be a lot calmer and laid back when they are kept this way as opposed to stabling all year round. Also, many horsemanship experts seem to agree with this philosophy. In addition to socializing extensively with their fellow herd members, they tend to be less spooky on trail rides, and can also be ridden rather safely on windy and rainy days, because they are naturally exposed to a lot more during the day than stabled horses are.
As for training:
We train all our horses using Natural Horsemanship methods. There are a lot of excellent horsemen out there to learn from. We have chosen to stick to Clinton Anderson’s method of horse training, because we feel, that he has an amazing ability as a teacher. His numerous clinics, DVD’s and books are an excellent resource for all horse owners, and demonstrate clearly how the horse thinks, and how to teach him respect without introducing fear – the most important aspect of horse training.
Other good trainers are Buck Brannaman, Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, Monty Roberts, GaWaNi PonyBoy, Klaus Hempfling — and more.
A horse should be treated like a horse; we should treat it and provide for it according to its identity, not according to some old, conventional practice from ignorant, barbaric days. Most people who have horses ignore identity, cause and effect, reason, and logic; they act too much on authority, blind belief, and emotion. Vaquera is being more scientific in dealing with horses (maybe could be better; I don’t know: I have not been there). As it should be.