Welcome to Natural Horsemanship!

Welcome to Aeron’s Natural Horsemanship page!  This site will highlight all things NH, ranging from the general to the specific, as well as provide information about bitless riding, barefoot trimming, and other forward-thinking philosophies.  I believe all of these things greatly benefit every horse, and we owe it to our equine friends to make them as happy and comfortable as we can, right?  For a brief description of Natural Horsemanship, click on the “What Is Natural Horsemanship?” link on the left.  There are also links for bitless riding, and barefoot trimming. I  add more content to this site almost every day, so be sure to bookmark it and check back every once in a while to see what’s new.

It has been over a year since I started my new reality show, “Flip That Horse!” in which I take a rescued horse, re-train it, spruce it up, and try to find it a great home. (See link at left for more info).  A portion of the profits will be donated to a local animal rescue group.   You can watch the episodes here, or on YouTube (you can also buy the DVD which has all the episodes).  Be sure to watch them all from the beginning to see how our first project, a young palomino filly named Sundance, goes from uncatch-able and un-halter-broke to a calm,  willing partner.

Another project I am most excited about is my halter invention (Provisional Patent received) called the Aeron Riding Halter.  It is a bitless riding halter/bridle in one, and is great for trail, endurance and any type of Natural Horsemanship riding… a big improvement over the traditional rope halter and lead arrangement!  Already doing well on ebay, several online tack shops have started to carry them, both in the US and abroad.  For more information on this halter and how to order it, click on “Aeron Riding Halter” on the left.

Good news! “Sundance” has sold!  Congratulations to Mychelle D. and her daughter Ashley on purchasing this gorgeous filly!  If you would like to buy the DVD (only $12.95 + S&H) of all the “Sundance Episodes”, click on the Tack Shop on the left.  Sundance is also the star of my DVD showing how to teach a horse who is terrified of the trailer how to load calmly and quietly.

I will continue to add lots of useful links to other great sites as I go.  This site is meant to be fun, informative and get you inspired.  Let me know what you think!  And let’s keep it positive, please!  : )     ~Aeron

Click here to read the article about me in this month’s Middleburg Life newspaper!

Here is what people are saying:

“Dear Aeron,

I saw you at the 2008 Va Equine extravaganza and purchased your riding halter. I have a horse that is a nervous wreck with any bit in his mouth. I was somewhat fearful of riding in “just a halter”, but got up the courage to do it anyway and I could not believe the difference in my horse. His head went level, and the nervousness disappeared like magic. It truly was amazing. Now I ride him everywhere in it–he is very light with it and I just wanted to thank you for encouraging me to try it. It is a wonderful product.”   -Marylin Zorn

“Aeron, we received the DVDs on Thursday, watched the Trailer Loading DVD that night, and the Flip That Horse DVD on Friday night.  All I can say is they were GREAT. Please let us know if and when you come out with more training DVDs. We put some of your lessons to work on our horses Saturday at the barn and they work. Thank you, Greg and Sherry Melville”

.

“I absolutley love [the halter]! It fits her beautifuly! No more raw spots from the halter. I thank you and my baby does too..she didnt even get upset when I put it on her! It was so light weight and alows her skin to breath..thanx again Aeron..you and your videos have been a tremendous help to me and I have established a much better relationship and communication with my horse..thanx again! YOU ROCK! -Kimberly Barnes”

Hi Aeron – just received my riding halter, reins, and hoof picks in the mail today. All well packaged and very speedy delivery! Extremely impressed with the quality of your product and I really think you’ve got it cased for the perfect setup for bitless riding. I endurance race and have tried numerous other bitless bridles, but they’ll be showing up for sale pretty soon on e-bay! The reins were better than expected and are the perfect weight for a long day on the trail. Love the unique hoofpicks – one for me, and one as a gift for my instructor. Thanks for a perfect transaction and good luck with your many endeavours! – Anne Barlow

“Hi Aeron,
Just wanted to let you know that my little arab loves his Aeron Riding halter. Last year at this time he was downright dangerous on the trail rearing, bolting and just being miserable! It put some serious fear into me and made me really consider selling my precious horse. But I was determined to find out what the problem was. So after a check up at the vet, and a proper teeth floating, I decided to start over from ground zero, but this time with no bit. I tried several set up’s but he prefers the Aeron by far. We are now riding everywhere bitless, he is happy, willing and we are both enjoying eachother.
By the way, the craftsmanship on this bridle is great! Hopefully it will last for several years.
Thanks so much
Charon & Deacon”

39 Responses

  1. Hi,
    I also use the Cook’s Bitless Bridle. I noticed that there is a delayed release because of the crossover. However, I like the side-pull effect. I have two questions regarding the Aaron Halter Bridle:
    1. Where is the pressure felt ? Is it only on the nose?
    2. Can the knots themselves inflict much pain for the horse?
    I would greatly appreciate a response to this message
    Maria

  2. Hi Maria,
    Thanks for the great questions.
    My Riding Halter works by putting very mild pressure on the knot on the opposite side of the nose. It would be nearly impossible to hurt the horse in my halter, even if you were to pull as hard as you possibly could. The knots are really just there to help the horse know when you are pulling, and to keep the halter together!
    For a short tutorial, click on the link to the left “How To Start Using a Bitless Bridle.”
    You will find that once your horse is trained to go with light pressure, you won’t need anything more than this halter. I use it even when galloping cross country and jumping. But of course it takes a little practice to get to that point!
    Hope this helps,
    Happy horsing,
    ~Aeron

    • Are you the woman trying to start remanufacuting the EZ cart that Republic sold years ago?
      If do, I’d appreciate being added to any customer list you may be developing.
      We’ve used one as a wood cart for many years. My husband has done a number of repairs to it, but it’s days are surely numbered.
      We;ve not found another cart that would work as well.
      thanks from southwestern Ohio
      cathnolte@gmail.com

  3. aeron, hi, congratulations on your new ad. i am sure you will succeed.
    please promote those nice rope bridles. are you going to the STAR TANNERY ride in april?
    it will be our 1st ride this spring & only 2nd ride of 50+ miles for Speaker. we love horse camping, trail riding, and endurance.

  4. How in the world do I order one of your riding halters? Thank you

  5. Hi there!
    It’s easiest just to email me directly, until I get a proper website set up to take orders.
    My email is: aeronmack@yahoo.com
    Thanks!
    ~Aeron

  6. Hi Aeron – just received my riding halter, reins, and hoof picks in the mail today. All well packaged and very speedy delivery! Extremely impressed with the quality of your product and I really think you’ve got it cased for the perfect setup for bitless riding. I endurance race and have tried numerous other bitless bridles, but they’ll be showing up for sale pretty soon on e-bay! The reins were better than expected and are the perfect weight for a long day on the trail. Love the unique hoofpicks – one for me, and one as a gift for my instructor. Thanks for a perfect transaction and good luck with your many endeavours!

  7. Hi all great information here and good thread to comment on.

    I am an adict to training and really want to get to my best this year!

    Can I ask though – how did you get this picked up and into google news?

    Very impressive that this blog is syndicated through Google and is it something that is just up to Google or you actively created?

    Obviously this is a popular blog with great data so well done on your seo success..

  8. I have no idea how this got onto Google news! It must be something they do. Thanks for your comments! Keep up the good horsey learning!
    ~Aeron

  9. Hi Aeron,
    Just wanted to let you know that my little arab loves his Aeron Riding halater. Last year at this time he was downright dangerous on the trail rearing, bolting and just being miserable! It put some serious fear into me and made me really consider selling my precious horse. But I was determined to find out what the problem was. So after a check up at the vet, and a proper teeth floating, I decided to start over from ground zero, but this time with no bit. I tried several set up’s but he prefers the Aeron by far. We are now riding everywhere bitless, he is happy, willing and we are both enjoying eachother.
    By the way, the craftsmanship on this bridle is great! Hopefully it will last for several years.
    Thanks so much
    Charon & Deacon

  10. Hey Aeron .
    thanks for stoppin by my website , good to hear from you – as i mentioned i put you on the list to win one of the hoofpicks. we’ll see how it goes . Announcing the winner tomorrow for september winner. Just wanted to touch base with you – keep up the great work.
    john “TheFootDoctor” silveira
    http://Farrieritis.Care4Horses.com

  11. hi aeron,

    did you get the link i sent you of Little Buddha ? I sent it to your yahoo address. can you email me your current email.

    Just in case you didn’t get it, the link is
    http://www.me.com/gallery/#100071

    Love the site !!!

    wendy

    wendy

  12. i have horse that will not mind and has been rearing up with people. what shoud i do? Your show is awesome!

    • Rearing is a very dangerous problem and difficult to fix. First, be sure you are not inadvertently rewarding the rearing by releasing the reins when he does it. This is hard to avoid as it is natural for the rider to reach forward when the horse rears, thereby releasing the reins. In doing this, the rider actually rewards the behavior. Instead, you can do several things, like turn the horse sharply to the side. Horses have a difficult time going up if they are turning in a tiny circle. Try to use this as the horse is just going up. If the horse is already “up”, you can risk flipping him over if you try to turn them sharply. Another thing people have had success with is conking them on the head right between the ears when they go up, and yelling “NO!” or something like that. Whatever you try, always keep in mind: Make the right thing easy, and the wrong thing difficult. Good luck!

  13. This si a wonderful website providing you with all the information you need when having a horse. I love it!!

  14. Hello, I just wanted to write a quick note here to tell you that I really like your blog,

  15. my aunt has a horse that won’t tie up what do you do i really want to help her and you are SO good with horses and if you don’t know what to do maybe you could suggest some people/websites that could help us

  16. Hi, today i used a bitless bridle on my 17 year old pony , he doesnt like taking the bit , only a snaffle , but goes just fine once its in, today he was so confused, he bowed down with both front feet , he walked backwards, and worst of all he reared alot , so i took it off and put his snaffle back on and right away he was fine and we went on a short hack
    why would he behave like this? it was like he was scared so i dont think it would be safe to try it again

    • Hmmmm… without seeing what he’s doing in person, I can’t really say what was causing the behavior… what type of bitless bridle was it? Was it a Dr. Cooks by any chance? I think you are right, stick to what works.

  17. hi, sounds like a great halter, but how does it work on the stop if your horse takes off for some reason.

    • You must tech the “turn-to-stop” technique…. along with a few others, when you first start using the halter. You will have just as much control as you do with a bit after you do the steps!

  18. Hi Aeron, I am new to horses and horsemanship. I have rescued a few horses that I used to drive by every day to work, and just couldn’t let them starve. Right now I’m feeding them all they can eat hay and two scoops of feed a day morning and evening. I should have gotten my place ready for horses before I brought them in, but like I said they were starving to death. So I’m clearing pasture and seeding it to give them a place to stay. I’m wanting to train one to ride, but it is obvious that none of them have ever been worked with. I’m on day two of working this horse so that he’ll approach me. I’m basically trying to do what I saw in the second episode of Flip that Horse. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks a lot!
    Stephen

    • Wow! Good for you for rescuing those horses!!! I wish there were more people like you…
      I would highly recommend having someone help you with them, especially if they have never been worked with before… training can be a tricky thing, and they can easily pick up bad habits if allowed to…. it also helps to have someone who’s familiar with horse care have a looky-see at your place, just to make sure there are no hidden hazards… for example, cherry trees and red maple trees are toxic to horses…. Meanwhile, keep watching my vids, try to handle your horses every day if possible, touching them all over and getting them to trust you…. you are on your way to success! Keep me posted! ~Aeron

      • HI! I was just notificed of your recent run in with Chrisine Wright.
        I am the person who actually rescued Cas from Camelot. And would really like to know what is going on with this horse, and why he did not go to you. It seems to me, that he would have a more than wonderful life with you. I have a feeling that he is still with her. Can you please contact me, I thought I was putting him into good hands. :(
        Thank you,
        Gina

      • Hi Gina! I am SO SAD that she backed out of our agreement… I get all the Camelot emails and facebook pics, along with many other horse rescues and charities, so I see a LOT of horses, but something about Castiel just spoke to me. He looked like such a nice big ole fellow….. I had contacted her and we had sent emails back and forth, maybe a dozen times talking about him… at first she said she thought I was the perfect person to adopt him, since I do Natural Horesmanship, barefoot trimming, etc…. and all seemed to be going well…. I had arranged the transport down here to Virginia and emailed her to see when she could set up the vet check, which we had discussed before… (we had spoken on the phone for 40 minutes one evening about all of it).. so anyway, she emailed back and said that someone else had adopted him. I was so crushed, and so angry that she didn’t even bother to pick up the phone or drop me an email saying someone else was interested. Of course if your theory is correct, and she still has him, that would explain it….. I had told all my friends about him and how excited I was to be getting him… I have 5 horses now, and my older mare, who I rescued 18 years ago, turns 25 tomorrow! Another one I rescued, and currently foxhunt, turned 17 this week. I rescued him (former timber racer) about 10 years ago… so I think I’m a fairly reliable person who obviously cares about my horses!!! Oh well, it’s a real bummer cuz he would have had a really nice life here…. plus it’s made me a little nervous about adopting again, which is unfortunate cuz there are so many horses that need adopting out there as you know!

      • yI am really really unhappy to hear this. In fact, the lady that QT him for me, just loved him. I cant tell you, how much $ I have into him. I truly wanted to help a horse. Then, to find to many dishonest people, it truly saddens me. Good news is, she just recently moved around the corner from me. And I have a close friend who is friends with her. I am going to find out what is going on. Promise. And where he is. He is still on her website. Here is my email. Lets take this up via email. Did you send her any money? So sorry this had to happen to you. He is a really nice boy. Gina
        luvalabrador@aol.com

  19. do you recomend using your bitless bridle for starting a young rising 3yr old horse and continueing in it after the backing and first rides?

    • Sure! As long as you and horsey are safe, I think it’s absolutely wonderful! It makes sense as you start it’s training in a halter, to continue it’s training in a halter, right? They are already familiar with it and the signals….. Sometimes I’ll ride a youngster in a bridle as well, because I think it’s good for them to know how to go with both methods, and in case I ever sell the horse, the next person may want to ride with a bridle. But for starting, I think a halter works very well…. just go slow, make sure the horse understands what you are asking, and reward him when he ‘gets it.’ Make sure you have your ‘turn to stop’ and ‘emergency stop’ in place before you get on for the first time…. Good luck!

  20. Hi Aeron,
    I’ve been working with one of the resque horses that I told you about. The ground work has gone really well. I have her cooperating with almost everything I ask her to do in a halter. Left circles, right circles, stop, back up, trot, walk, and lead like I want her to. I can saddle her and ride her for about twenty minutes before she starts acting up. I’ll be going from one target to another on an open trail and all of a sudden she’ll refuse to go to the target. She just locks up and won’t go forward. She’ll start side stepping back and forth keeping her head where I point it and then she’ll start backing up. Do you have any advice of how I can overcome this particular challenge? I’ve been trying to teach her the ques for those movements by applying the que when she goes through that movement, but that doesn’t get me to the target that I picked out. It is very frustrating to want to go somewhere on this horse and for her to take over about a quarter of the way through the ride and basically refuse to go where I want to go. I have tried to time it so that I can ride her for a little while going where I want to go and get off before she starts acting up, but is seems to come out of nowhere. She’ll be going along just great and then all of a sudden she just says NO, and she acts like a little kid throwing a tantrum at toysRus not wanting to leave a particular toy. I can’t figure out what is causing this behavior. Do I just need to ride her for very short amounts of time?
    PLEASE HELP
    Stephen

    • Hi Stephen – this is a very interesting problem you describe. Is it always after about 20 minutes? I would like to be able to see in person what she is doing, but short of that, I would say that what you have is a refusal to comply issue… you ask her to do something and she says no. So, keeping in mind the philosophy of making the right thing easy and the wrong thing difficult, try to make ‘saying no’ more work than ‘saying yes’ for her. And try to break it down into very small steps. For example, if you ask her to walk 20 feet to a cone, and she says ‘no’ at 10 feet… then your goal is to get her to go to 11 feet, not to the cone… I would try circles… so, when she says ‘no’, do a couple small circles, and then ask again. If she says ‘no’ again, circles again. If she says ‘yes’ even ONE step towards the goal, stop rest and praise. Build it up step by step… what you don’t want to do is correct her for saying no at 10 feet, but then expect her to go to 20 feet without praise, cuz in her mind, she won’t know that the reward is coming at 20 feet, she’ll only know she is not being praised for a small effort in the right direction, which my frustrate her. Does this make any sense? It’s hard to explain, but hopefully it will work…. let me know how it goes… ~Aeron

  21. hi my name is crystal, i am a green horn ive rode horse alot but i have recently gotten a 4 year old mare and she is only halter broke and lead broke now i am in the process of trying to work with her on ground training and its not as easy as it looks. she is very smart and catches on very fast but the problem i am having is i dont know where to really start with the ground training ive been watching different videos and just cant seem to see where to really begin. i would hire a trainer but where i live they are charging alot so i was wondering if u could tell me where i should start.

    • Hi Crystal,
      Have you watched my video series (Flip That Horse!) yet? It might be helpful to you. I also highly recommend the Original John Lyons Symposium series (orange covers) – they can be hard to find, but they are REALLY good. Meanwhile, here’s the first video in my series to get you started: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8OuhSo7V0o

  22. HI …this is so interesting..i bought a natural horse bit less bridle at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto a few years ago.. it was great… i started one of my fox hunters Betty in it.. was also handy for some ottb’s who were puller’s. I am just learning about barefoot trimming one of the girls i work with has taken some courses own it and is doing it a bit on the side.. Looking forward to reading more.

  23. http://www.nurturalhorse.com/ This is the one they sell in Canada.
    Jodi

  24. Please!!! I am going blue in the face looking at bitless bridles, I still like yours best, can’t you get the bridlemaker to make some!! Before I have to buy another kind!!!

    Thank,
    Ina

    • Hi Ina, should be any day now! She had the wrong size rope, so now she’s getting the right kind and making me a batch of halters!!!!! I’ll let you know the moment they get here. : )

  25. Will you email your address to me and the cost of the bitless bridle? I will send you a check. My address is 23375 SW Mountain creek , Sherwood Oregon, 97140 Black would be great.

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