Tom and Bill Dorrance

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Brothers and horsemen William "Bill" Dorrance (January 19, 1906 – July 20, 1999) and Tom Dorrance (May 11, 1910 – June 11, 2003) are considered among the founders of the modern natural horsemanship movement. Born and raised on an Oregon cattle ranch 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 fellow horseman Ray Hunt and Hunt's disciple, Buck Brannaman, as well as Arabian horse breeder and trainer Sheila Varian. Many horse trainers and owners claim influence from the Dorrance brothers.



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, True Horsemanship Through Feel





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, True Unity: Willing Communication Between Horse and Human



See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Bill Dorrance


Tom Dorrance

Sources[edit]

  • True Horsemanship Through Feel by Bill Dorrance and Leslie Desmond. ISBN 1-59921-056-8
  • True Unity, by Tom Dorrance. First Edition, Word Dancer Press, 1987. ISBN 1-884995-09-8
  • The Revolution In Horsemanship by Dr Robert Miller et al. ISBN 1-59228-387-X
  • Death of a Legendary Horseman, Bill Dorrance obituary, New York Times, July 24, 1999