Horses behind the bit.

Once a horse learns how to escape the hands of a rider, he’ll tend to hide behind the bit even with a rider of educated hands, avoiding the annoyance before it begins. In equitation science, this is called “avoidance conditioning”. Thankfully, most horse show judges these days aren’t swayed by that horse with his nose tucked in – they’re looking past the head to analyze the balance, rhythm and relaxation of the whole picture.

Our horse’s welfare – who defines “abuse”?

One thing I love about speaking and coaching riders on the science of equine behavior is reviewing all sorts of studies to help sort through the fact and fiction of equine learning and horse welfare. Research ranging from trailering to horse training methods to tack – how what we do with horses, or neglect to do, affects a horse’s stress…

How to set your horse’s feet for showmanship….or in the barn aisle! Part 1

The showmanship judging dilemma – “Oh dear, how long should I wait for the exhibitor to set up her horse?” When I’m judging I SO want to be gracious, but the show must go on!
Icy, muddy season is the perfect time to perfect your set-up in the barn aisle.