The HYBRID HORSEMANSHIP FAQ

Q: What is Hybrid Horsemanship?
A: Horsemanship as a word is the term for handling horses in general. These days there's a variety of horsemanship styles out there, most of them built upon "Natural Horsemanship" (or "NH"). Hybrid is the combination of two or more different things, aimed at achieving a particular objective or goal. Hybrid Horsemanship is the term for Paul Williamson's ways, views, and methods in the company of horses. It's the combination or blend of "old school" and "NH" styles that makes Hybrid Horsemanship unique and it is more about common sense than anything, which makes things easier for the horse to understand. Horses are individuals and one style will not suit every horse.

Q: Why do things your way when NH seems to work a charm?
A: Does it? It works if the method makes sense to the handler - if it doesn't, it won't make sense to the horse either. Have you felt lately that you'd need a PhD in horses or something to ride and care for your horses in a way that won't make people cry "ABUSE!"? The goal of Hybrid Horsemanship is to bring SIMPLE back into horse riding because a horse will follow any confident leader, that's the beauty of the horse. There's no need to get complicated but there's every need to get confident - and confident is knowing what you do and why you do it, which is hard without a DVD series or a PhD in NH these days. Hybrid Horsemanship encourages you to use your common sense and approach each horse in a way that suits both you and him and not in a set way directed by someone who has never met you or your horse. We would like to give you some basic knowledge about the horse, which will enable you to asess the situations you are bound to come across in your life with horses.

Q: Where do I learn more about Hybrid Horsemanship?
A: As of now, this web site is the place to go but we're working on several projects to help get the word out there including a book on Hybrid Horsemanship, which we will be seeking to make widely available at low cost.

Q: Isn't it a lack of respect for this amazing animal to call him simple?
A: No, it's not. The fact that he is simple is what makes him so magnificent. His brain is actually quite different from the human brain, which is why we have to approach him not as a child, not as a friend, not as a leader, but as the simple animal that he is. It is our duty as complicated creatures to see past our need to treat him as an equal, a thinking partner; to avoid anthropomorphism and instead approach our horse safely and simply so we can protect him from fear and confusion and show him how to have fun in our company. That is respect.

Q: How do I make my horse see me as an equal?
A: You don't. You make him see you as someone to turn to, someone to follow, someone to listen to - but he'll never see you as another horse, thinking so is an insult to his intelligence. Show him exactly what you want from him, make it short and easy to comprehend, make sure it doesn't hurt, scare him, or make him tired, and he'll be happy to do it.

Q: What is the philosophy behind Hybrid Horsemanship?
It is the belief that every horse has a certain line or point they will go to when they are "misbehaving". In most cases what is perceived by most as dis-respect is nothing more than the horse's curiosity - looking for answers. "I wonder what will happen if I stop?", "I wonder what will happen if I rear?", etc. The horse doesn't automatically know what riding is about and as a creature of curiosity and strength he will seek to use both in trying to find out what is expected of him. When riding or handling horses, these questions will arise, and when they do, I believe in letting this curiosity run it's course while giving the horse the answer then and there by simple persistence. In a non-aggressive fashion, of course. Be willing to take the issue past the stage the horse is willing to go to and in most cases the horse will have found the answer he was was looking for and the issue shouldn't persist..

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