"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it." Matt. 7:14
I use the feel approach to training instead of the more common way, the repitition approach. The feel approach looks for try not results & rewards each try from the horse, developing confidence and an understanding in the horse.
Most of the riding done here, after the first three to four rides is done in the wide open spaces where horses learn to navigate natural terrain where their confidence is fostered and encouraged. The manuevers that are communicated to the horses are yielding the hindquarters, yielding the shoulders, yielding the shoulders and hindquarters together, and pulling with the hindquarters. The use of an arena or round pen is not necessary to work on these manuevers and these manuevers are worked on everywhere and anywhere the horse is being ridden.
The tack I use is of the vaquero & buckaroo tradition. The owner has the option of either starting their horse in the true snaffle bit (smooth O-ring snaffle) or the traditional hackamore or jaquima (no mechanical hackamores). Only top quality rawhide hackamores and horsehair mecates are used. This is to give as much signal to the horse as possible and maintain soundness in the horse as well.
Horses will be exposed to working cattle, being roped from, pulling/dragging tires, posts, &/or calves, trailer, learn to cross water, climb hills, walk downhill, park, & wait.