Nature's View Part 4: Stepping Toward the Future

By Julianne Rickenbaker, with Bruce Anderson

Through working with the horse, it is possible to change your mindset.


Nature's View is an experiential system that enables horses to find balance between two worlds, 'Nature's World', the world for and by which they were created, and 'Man's World,' the world which we, as humans, created. By using the system, you are working with a horse's mind, and once you have the mind, the rest of the body follows. As you teach the horse about Man's World (as you know it), you use your own natural mental skills. In turn, the horse will in turn put you back in touch with nature, while allowing you to find balance within yourself and be the best that you can be. The better you are, the better the horse will be.

As humans, most of us would agree, our main instinct is survival. Each of us is given the innate tools that we need to survive. Within each of us, there are positive and negative ‘poles' that help to keep us balanced. Because of 'Man's World', the world in which we live, these poles are becoming ‘desensitized' both internally (through the world of ‘entertainment') and externally (through the loss of the three things that we need to physically survive - water, air and sunlight). As our ‘internal poles' become more and more accustomed to and accepting of the entertainment world's version of ‘natural', we move further away from our own humanity. Furthermore, as we continue to pollute our environment, our ‘external poles' tell us that our lives are becoming more endangered, for without those three things we will not survive. Due to this imbalance (internal and external), we are in danger of destroying the planet. One of the goals of Nature's View is to show that it is possible to change our mindset - and the sooner, the better.

One of Nature's View's recent clients found that she applied her new mindset to many other aspects of her life, including communicating with and disciplining her children. Ellison says, 'I bought an off the track thoroughbred, knowing it was not the wisest of choices, but I saw something in the way he moved that grabbed me. I'd looked at a lot of horses and nothing felt right until this one. I knew OTTB's had numerous potential problems, but this horse was sound, had already been let down for 2 years and was quiet every time I went to see him. I went a lot. I knew he'd need work but with time I thought we would learn together, I would become a better rider and end up with a good horse - my forever horse. As part of the price, the owner agreed to work him for 30 days and I found a trainer who agreed to work on me for 10 sessions.

When I got him to my barn, everything that could go wrong seemed to. He cut his leg in the pasture and began to bully me every time I tried to treat his injury. He began to rear to intimidate me (it did). He became difficult to ride and wouldn't leave the barn. If I tried to push him he always felt like he would rear. We took a trail ride once and as soon as we got out from the barn he went backwards…..for 45 minutes. We backed over small trees, ditches, into fences, over asphalt. It was a challenge. The low point came when he developed laminitis and ended up on stall rest for 6 weeks. He hated being stalled so much he reared until he rubbed all the hair off on his poll on the rafters of his stall!!! He would do this to get sufficient momentum to bust through his stall door. I ended up at the hardware store as often as the vet's office.

If I learned from his mistakes, I must say I was learning a lot! Even so, I was losing my confidence, getting terrified his rearing would become a habit and most of all not enjoying what was supposed to be my forever horse. I got to the point many owners of difficult horses get to of 'shoot him or sell him'. Instead I found Bruce Anderson and Nature's View.

The first time I worked with Bruce, I couldn't even load my horse into the trailer to meet him at the round pen. What was supposed to be a round pen session at his location became a trailer loading session at my barn. We worked for 3 hours getting this horse to load. I was blown away with Bruce's patience. Let me add here that I had talked to many other trainers before I found Bruce. Some wouldn't touch us with a 10 foot pole. Some were cowboys that had a 'tie him to a tree in the sun until he breaks' mentality. Many said he would probably regress once I got him home. One even said 'Lady, you should have gotten a Quarter Horse in the first place'. I know these are all good trainers, but they weren't the one for me. As my horse reared and spun and thrashed for 3 hours Bruce would just grin and say 'That doesn't bother me! He can't learn unless he does it wrong.'

One result was that after watching this horse rear repeatedly, I no longer feared it - I began to see it as his 'vertical exclamation point'! I knew he was saying 'I really don't want to do this!!!' Because we kept after him he was trying to get his point across and rearing was his way of emphasizing his point. But Bruce doesn't give up and he finally stopped rearing. He hasn't done it since that day, but if he does it won't intimidate me. Hopefully we'll communicate better and he won't have to 'emphasize' his point to me!

Nature's View can help you to improve your relationship with your horse ~ as well as your co-workers, your friends and your family. Photo by Dave Robinson


The best analogy I can use for Bruce is he is like a pediatrician. You have a sick child and you need help. There are a lot of guys out there who can help your child get better, but how many want to help you become a better parent? Take it a step further - how many tell you 'I want to empower you with what I know so that you won't need me down the road'? Yes, many systems can sell you a do-it-yourself kit, and it's good for helping you improve your relationship with your horse. But Bruce's philosophy spills out across your whole life. I'm looking at what he says now and applying it to how I discipline and communicate with my kids. It does change your life. I just sort of let go of months of stress in that first session.

I am a scientist and I am skeptical of anything that can't be quantified or measured by data, but watching Bruce work with a horse does touch something in your soul. He lets you talk to your horse. When he finally got my horse in and out of the trailer and then handed him over to me, it was incredibly moving when I got him in myself. My horse gave me a look like 'I don't want to do this, but I'll trust you.' I was so thankful he was still mine. Later Bruce asked me how I'd felt as I had tried to get him in the trailer. I told him I was really scared. When he asked why, I said, 'I was in the same side of the trailer as the horse and I was scared I would get killed by this huge, nervous animal.' What Bruce said next is my favorite wisdom from him: 'Well, now you know exactly how your horse felt.' We know they're scared but do we really try to imagine how they feel? Bruce showed me the way to do just that.



Says Bruce, 'Some people call me a Horse Whisperer, others a Horse Gentler; but me, I see myself as a Horse Assistant, the Voice of the Mirror (the horse), the reporter trying desperately to share my experiences in a way that does them justice. I started down this path with only ONE goal in mind, to help horses, and instead ended up with horses helping me in many ways. Remember the movie 'City Slickers' and Curly saying 'Life is ONE THING'? For me, that is helping horses. It has given my life purpose. It is now my quest in life, because of my experiences with Nature's View, to share with others that horses can help humans change their knowledge, change their mindsets, and find balance in their lives - thereby once again allowing the horse to play a vital role in society at a critical time in our civilization. This news is not new to humans, for those who have worked with horses have known this either consciously or subconsciously. So to achieve my goal of helping horses, I use Nature's View to show how the horse can help humans find their ONE THING. Just Listen!'

About Bruce Anderson:

Bruce grew up on the West Indian Islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and it was there on the family cocoa and coffee estate that he began his relationship with horses. He learned to ride on the estate, and then represented his country on the National Show Jumping Team. From there he moved on to breeding farms at home, in the U.K. and in the U.S. While in England, he earned an agricultural degree and in the U.S. worked with racehorses in Florida. Then he moved on to hunter/jumpers, which was his reason for coming to Camden, S.C. (to manage a hunter/jumper barn). It was upon leaving there that he started on his present path, the evolution of Nature's View.

About the author:

Julianne Rickenbaker is the mother of five horses, two dogs and three cats who make their home at Thornfield, an equine facility in Ridgeway, South Carolina. She recently began combining her two loves, dressage and music, and arranging musical freestyles. In her "spare time," she is an elementary music teacher and church musician. She also thoroughly enjoys helping Bruce with Nature's View.

For more information:

Nature's View

PO Box 1464
Camden, SC 29020