What Is a Horse Whisperer?

A horse whisperer is an individual who trains a wild horse to accept a saddle and a human rider. Also known as natural horsemanship, the technique is based on developing a rapport with a horse and rejects forceful or abusive methods.

The practice of horse whispering is based on observations made of free-roaming horses and relies on methods of communication such as easing back or retreating when the animal exhibits a desired behavior. Working in sympathy with a horse in order to gain the animal's trust and cooperation is not a radically new idea. The term dates to the 1800s when Daniel Sullivan, an Irish horseman, became known for rehabilitating horses that became intractable or vicious as a result of abuse.