Horse Vacations, Internships, Volunteering
Eclectic - deriving ideas and style from a broad and diverse range of sources
Things tend to come much easier once we understand why a horse does what he does. Yet, figuring this out can be confusing. Nowadays, there are all sorts of phrases - for example, natural horsemanship, true horsemanship, foundation training, relationship training - that go along with working with horses but in reality, each method is not that much different from the others. They are all based on horse behavior and the good ones also take equine cognition and perception into account. Years of learning from the best of the best horsemen and women combined with years of our own experiences and research discoveries has allowed us to develop a gentle yet effective method of working with and being around horses. This eclectic approach encourages flexibility in thinking and continual improvement in techniques and understanding.
Every single thing a person does around a horse, whether on the ground or from his back, affects the horse. This is often good but just as often detrimental to one or the other or both. However, a deep understanding of horse behavior is what helps resolve problems quickly and enhances the skills needed to improve human/horse communication and relationships.
The Equine Research Foundation horse vacations and internship programs explore the equine mind and teach participants how to interact more effectively with horses. Eclectic horsemanship starts on the ground where participants learn how to act more like leaders and how to help horses build confidence, responsiveness, respect, and a desire to be with people. Once this is accomplished, horses want to interact and respond willingly, even at liberty!
Behaviors learned on the ground translate to riding as well. Participants of our horse vacations and internships discover this quickly and are amazed at how natural the human/horse partnership becomes. When bonds are strengthened, trust comes easily.
So, get yourself ready for eclectic horsemanship! We will teach you the Foundation's alternative methods of ground schooling and bond formation (see our horsemanship pictures and our horse research pictures pages for more info). Using these natural training methods - which are based on equine behavior, psychology, and positive reinforcement (including the Foundation's variation on clicker training) - you will learn to develop a better relationship with any horse. All techniques emphasize positive interaction, form strong human/horse bonds, and serve to create willing partnerships between humans and horses.
You won't just be interacting with horses on the ground on your horse vacations and internships because a beach ride is also available for those who are interested. You will be partnered with gentle, well-mannered horses matched to your ability for an enjoyable ride along the shoreline of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary where we often observe sea otters, harbor seals, sea lions, dolphins, whales, and a large variety of seabirds.
Your participation in one of our learning vacations or internships is key in helping us educate the public about horse behavior, their learning abilities, trainability, care, as well as their psychological needs. How so? The knowledge you help gather is published not only in scientific journals but also in popular national and international magazines and is featured worldwide on television documentaries, radio shows and Internet interviews.
Conducting research is only one part of the Foundation's learning horse vacations and internships. Through personal instruction and hands-on experience you will learn how the findings of the Equine Research Foundation relate to human dealings with horses and how cognition and behavior principles apply to handling and training.
You will work and make friends with a diverse group of people with whom you share the experience of the Foundation's horse vacations and internships. Participants have traveled from Germany, Austria, France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Japan, and Canada, as well as from all across the United States. Teachers, lawyers, writers, students, horse lovers, horse trainers, and people brand new to the horse world all have left with a new appreciation for horses and the horse's mind. They reached their goal of learning how to help their horses become the responsive and agreeable partners they always wished for.
Small groups ensure ample opportunity for participation in almost every aspect of the research and horse handling/training. Early sign-up is recommended.