To domesticate an equine is to effectively remove almost any semblance of "natural" from his life. In recent years there has been an awakening to this fact, and an ever growing number of people who understand the need to completely rethink our horse keeping practices.
Out of this have come a great number of professionals in the equine industry who work under the "natural" umbrella, most with the true belief in making life better for domesticated equines. "Natural" has become a widely recognized word, movement and philosophy, and although it means different things to different people (not always in a positive light.), its use almost always implies something that is better for the horse, regardless of how natural it is.
As such, the Academy makes use of the word "natural" often in the program, but does so in this context.
Natural Horse and Hoof Care is a system of equine husbandry whereby emphasis is placed on managing horses according to the dictates of their true nature.
The word "Natural" infers our recognition of the importance of all aspects of the lifeway of horses in their natural habitat, and the application of that understanding to management of horses in the domestic setting as essential for health and vigor according to their nature.
It obliges us to subjugate our ambitions in the use of the horse if such ambition should result in harmful consequences to mind, body and spirit of horses in our care, and adjust our management and use of the horse accordingly.
"Whenever an animal is forced into the service of men, every one of us must be concerned for any suffering it bears on that account. No one of us may permit any preventable pain to be inflicted, even though the responsibility for that pain is not ours.
No one may appease his conscience by thinking that he would be interfering in something that does not concern him.
No one may shut his eyes and think the pain, which is therefore not visible to him, is nonexistent".
..... Albert Schweitzer