Western riding is a style of riding that is more relaxed for the horse and rider and with more comfortable saddles that are designed with horse and rider in mind.
Riders learn to become more body aware, and practising self-control, mindfulness and leadership skills, the rider finds the horse more responsive to voice commands and simple weight movements rather than forcing the horse around by its head (and mouth).
Many of our horses had been damaged by rough hands and we retrain them with games from the ground first, and then using a bitless bridle. This is much more comfortable for the horse and combined with clicker training, bonding and desensitisation exercises the horse learns to trust rather than act through fear.
This is a foundation principle that we are committed to. An animal that is naturally a prey animal will run away or shut down when in a fearful state of mind. We can never change that level of thought by using pain or punishment.