You can tell a Natural Horseman by the tools he uses.... and by the tools he would never use.
We are very particular about the tools we use with horses. The right tools can help people communicate better with their horses and although tools are not a substitute for savvy, they will make a world of difference especially for you and your horse during the learning stages.
ROPES THAT CONVEY ENERGY
Most ropes are limp noodles, made not for communication, but made to hold horses strong and fast. One of the most important features in the ropes we use is the amount of "life" it is able to convey from you to your horse. They are quick to come to life and quick to quit.
This is critical when teaching horses, and it becomes increasingly important as you advance your Level of savvy and degree of refinement with your horse.
NATURAL ROPE HALTER
Flat leather or nylon halters encourage horses to lean on them; and most rope halters stiffen from the weather and become uncomfortable to the horse. We use extremely soft rope halters, that are soft and comfortable when the horse is right and uncomfortable when he is wrong. This softness is a major factor when it comes to giving comfort and release.
We recommend the use of a natural hackamore when riding, until the student is near the end of Level 2, at which point you and your horse will be well prepared to graduate into the snaffle bridle. The natural hackamore is one of the best tools for teaching your horse to understand your rein communications without ruining his mouth if he should get confused or resist at first. It also preserves the sensitivity of your horse's mouth while you're learning to develop a truly independent seat.