John Chatterton's Ten Step training method uses horse language, and is a training method John learned in South America which was in use long before 'natural horsemanship' became fashionable.
Most horse training methods have some things in common. They work on the horses' innate need for submission in a hierarchical order. Such training seeks to remove the horses' flight response using negative reinforcement and domination or intimidation. Mostly the flight response is prevented before it happens. John Chatterton believes this method will only be successful with some horses some of the time and much will depend on the horses early learned experiences and handling.
Over the years there has been a lot of different was of describing my methods. To put this into a nutshell, it is a very simple method based on a "comfort zone", meaning the horse feels safe when he is with you, similar feeling that your horse would experience when he was a foal and felt safe with his mother.
There are methods out in the horse world that use comfort and discomfort as a combination of a training method. The way that the discomfort is applied is important, most beliefs when training a horse is based on you being "high in the pecking order" or to be a "dominant leader" to move your horse out of your space, whether you are using a whip, swinging a rope to drive the horse out of your space.... in the horse's eyes you are the bad guy.
Most horses are controlled via lunging in a round yard, some people called this training method "pressing away" or "driving out", I call this "chasing". Your horse cannot choose the flight instinct when trapped in a round yard. When you are lunging your horse in a round yard your horse feels that you are a predator, chasing him with a whip or swinging a rope.
To learn your horse needs to practise the flight instinct. There are video clips available to see the before and after "Spooky Horse" on our video page.
The JC Method is totally the opposite. I encourage my horse to be in my space and if he is rude or pushy, I step out of his space using a long lead and my JC Halter and proceed the "pull and release" method. I then bring the horse back to the same position and reward my horse with a rub on the side that I was working on. You will see this method applied very clearly with a lot of problem horses in Step 8 Video - "Spooky Stuff"
I will often ask my horse after I have done the "pull and release" "what happened over there?" Standing quietly next to me is comfortable. People are amazed at how quickly the horse relaxes and stands quietly next to me. There is no pressure next to John!
You will be amazed how quickly your horse will respond when you have mastered the "pull and release"
John's results with horses are astonishingly different and highly successful because the nature of the relationship is different. Rather than the trainer dominating the horse for incorrect behaviour, John firmly believes the handler needs to become the horse's comfort zone.
John constantly hears the words, 'you have to be higher in the pecking order', 'be a dominant leader' or 'you have to be the boss'. John believes you should become your horses' best mate. If you try to be higher in the pecking order your horse will try to challenge you. If you become someone the horse respects and seeks to be comfortable with, a partnership based on mutual respect will develop.
John's technique is based on what he calls affiliative behaviour and encourages a deep bonding relationship between horse and handler. An important result of this relationship is increased safety for both, resulting from a confident and trusting partnership. The horse becomes less fearful of external influences and looks to his owner to be safe with; he is more relaxed and more respectful. The owner develops confidence from knowing what to do, becoming less tentative and more secure within the relationship.