Horse, Follow Closely - Native American Horsemanship™
Relationship Training: The Foundation, Volumes 1 and 2

By GaWaNi Pony Boy
© 2000 Bowtie Press
Each video approx 90 minutes
Two-video set approx $60
Phone: (570) 325-2012
Fax: (570) 325-9212

In this beautiful video set, "Horse, Follow Closely", GaWaNi Pony Boy takes the viewer through his step-by-step teaching methods of Relationship Training. Pony, an animal behaviorist who carries on the traditions of his Native American ancestors, explains, "What I've learned about horses I've learned from horses."

Pony teaches the viewer what Relationship Training is all about, and why and how it works so well. Having its roots in Native American horsemanship, Relationship Training is based on tribe beliefs. The Native Americans looked at the horse, observed the nature of the horse, and worked within the nature of the horse, achieving better results in a short period of time. They viewed horses as a part of a larger universe, one in which we are all related. Rather than dominating the horse, they sought to build a relationship with the horse.

These professionally produced videos present how to build a relationship with the horse, through the training exercises that Pony teaches in his book of the same name, "Horse, Follow Closely", and in his travels. Pony believes that if he alone teaches the horse it is not enough; it is important to teach the owner to teach the horse. These horse-friendly videos help to do that, and they give the viewer a complete picture of how to build a trusting, solid relationship with the horse by achieving alpha status in a way that the horse understands.

Pony's philosophy is: "Establish a strong working relationship that the horse understands and training becomes much easier and longer lasting. Through this relationship horse and rider become a more intimate team working together as one."

In "Horse, Follow Closely", Pony demonstrates 14 training exercises with various horses and in different locations. The exercises include a few designed for the human more than for the horse, some for obtaining alpha status, and others designed to teach the horse.

The Lessons, and what they are basically about:
1 - "Spend A Day With Your Horse" - Get to know who your horse is; observe him for a day.
2 - "The Notebook" - Make a plan and keep a written record.
3 - "Movement" - Get the horse to move, and teaching the rules.
4 - "Change of Direction" - Get the horse to change direction.
5 - "Inside Turn" - Get the horse to turn toward you.
6 - "The Stop" - Get the horse to stop.
7 - "Sacking Out" - Get the horse used to things and to face his fears.
8 - "Fears" - Teach the horse how to handle his fears; help him through it.
9 - "The Feet" - Teach the horse to pick up his feet for handling.
10 - "Halter Training" - Teach the horse to give to pressure.
11 - "Leading" - Teach the horse to follow your lead; assess your status in the herd.
12 - "Giving to the Bit" - Teach the horse to move his head down and sideways in response to pressure from the bit.
13 - "Going Through" - Teach the horse to go through, get on, or go into something.
14 - "Straight Lines" - Teach the horse to travel on a straight line, and to turn.

GaWaNi Pony Boy first discusses a lesson, then demonstrates it with a horse. Each lesson is presented with an explanation about how it is done and why it is important. The viewer is presented with important details, what to look for in the horse's response, and how one can obtain the desired response. Pony describes various kinds of problems we encounter when working with horses and how the lessons apply.

Pony clarifies the difference between training and teaching, and between a symptom and a problem. He discusses the importance of our body language, when and what to use as rewards, and the proper ways to use comfort and discomfort. He explains the importance of such things as giving a clear message to the horse, focusing, and taking as much time as is necessary.

This video set is well organized and beautifully produced. It is aesthetically beautiful as well as beautiful in its philosophy. "Horse, Follow Closely" contains a huge amount of useful information including teaching strategies, insight into the horse, roles in the herd, prey animal behavior, and much more. Pony's Lessons are sensibly presented and clearly explained, enabling the viewer to utilize the teachings at home without difficulty and with confidence. Seeing Pony at the beginning riding his horse bareback through a picturesque natural landscape, watching the horses respond to his teaching, and listening to his enlightening and entertaining narrations are also highlights in this enjoyable video set.

Pony hopes to help people understand horses, and to enjoy them. With "Horse, Follow Closely" he is doing just that, and is also providing a most valuable teaching tool for anyone involved with horses. This video set belongs in every horse-hold.