What Is “Cooperative Horsemanship?”

“Cooperative Horsemanship” is an approach that uses the horse’s ability to learn and its social nature to help create real communication, control, confidence and a partnership that will form the foundation upon which anything can be built.  Simply put this is a training approach that works with the horse – the way it thinks, the way it interacts with the world – to achieve all the things we want in a horse/human partnership. The approach is simple (though not always easy) and helps the horse gain confidence in itself and the leadership of the human. It improves communication. It improves control. It sets the human and horse up for success.

Now, let’s be clear. This is NOT something we invented. In fact this type of horsemanship dates back to around 400 BC as Xenophon wrote about it in his treatise Cyropaedia. In his writings we find many of the same basic horsemanship concepts we see many “branded trainers” use today (and make money on). The horse has not changed –mentally or physically – all that much since 400 BC. Neither has effective horsemanship. In the 21st Century we like to be able to describe and categorize everything. We want our lives and our horsemanship in neat little packages. The reality is that, like so many Arts, Horsemanship cannot be quickly learned and neatly packaged. The journey is what it is. “Cooperative Horsemanship” is just our way of helping the modern student of the horse to categorize the approach. So…that is it in a nutshell. Cooperative Horsemanship is a term we use to describe an approach to building communication, confidence and control in the framework of partnership between horse and human. We focus on the “quiet conversation” and giving the horse the best deal when asking for an action. No fear, no intimidation, no heavy hands, bits or techniques. Just good solid horsemanship with respect for the horse and the human.

Lucky Star Horsemanship


Red Hook, NY. 12571

(518) 303-2504/ (530) 919-8767