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Tom and Bill Dorrance

Brothers Tom Dorrance (May 11, 1910 - June 11, 2003) and Bill Dorrance (January 19, 1906-July 20, 1999) are considered among the founders of the modern Natural horsemanship movement. With a background in the Great Basin "Buckaroo" tradition, they promoted natural, gentle methods of horse training, emphasizing "feel" of the horse and observation of its responses to the handler.

They had a particularly strong influence on Ray Hunt and Hunt's disciple, Buck Brannaman as well as Arabian horse breeder and trainer Sheila Varian. Many horse trainers claim influence from the Dorrance brothers, including Pat Parelli and others.

"The thing you are trying to help the horse do is to use his own mind. You are trying to present something and then let him figure out how to get there." - Tom Dorrance[1]

"When people think of natural horsemanship that could mean a lot of things. It isn't natural for a horse to be around people, and it's not natural for a person to be sitting on him either. When we use these words we speak about what's natural for the horse to do within his own boundaries" - Bill Dorrance[2]

See also


  1. True Unity, First Edition, Word Dancer Press, 2003
  2. True Horsemanship Through Feel, Lyons Press, 2001


  • True Horsemanship Through Feel by Bill Dorrance and Leslie Desmond. ISBN 1599210568
  • True Unity, by Tom Dorrance. First Edition, Word Dancer Press, 1987. ISBN 1884995098


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