‘Natural’ is a word used to describe those elements of life which are unadulterated. These elements have not been changed by human hand. Natural should be understood to describe how Mother Nature laid life forms on this planet called earth. If we study life before modern men began to alter its existence we would find things very different from what we see today. Flying in an airplane, driving a car or even covering our body with things called clothes are in fact unnatural procedures.
Horses are flight animals created in nature to roam grassy plains. They prefer to be able to see about a mile in every direction. It is natural for them to be hunted down, killed and eaten by certain species, such as dogs and big cats, which are called carnivores and qualify as fight animals. A horse, in nature, would never allow another species to ride on its back. This procedure would be quite unnatural. I think you can see where I am going from here as everything we do in modern horsemanship is unnatural.
I would like to rephrase the question to replace ‘Natural Horsemanship’ with Join-Up®. In no way do my ‘violence free’ methods sit at odds with competition. If they did I would never have been able to achieve eleven World Championships with my equine partners.
The fact is that to train ‘violence free’ one can achieve a far higher degree of excellence than forceful training. Horses will perform closer to their optimum levels when they do it when they want to, than they ever will if they are performing because they are frightened not to. It is scientifically sound to make this assumption for the flight animal.
I have been amazed by the willingness from these top riders to be involved in learning my methods of violence-free training. I prefer to use the term violence free to the use of ‘Natural Horsemanship’. It has been one of the most exciting challenges of my career to launch my Monty Roberts Online University and yet one of the most rewarding.
Within the content of this Online University’s exploration of my concepts, I bring to the students lessons from the greatest masters on earth. I have further commitments from other top Dressage riders, Show Jumping performers, racing greats and the absolute top trainers in Western competitions.
These world class riders bring to my students their methods for achieving world class results. It is incredibly exciting to me to have launched into this effort which has been brought to me by the questions I get from the tens of thousands of interested horsemen that have come to know my work. I consider this one of the great blessings of my life.