Nosebands – how tight is too tight?

Standard equipment in English disciplines. Training equipment in western.  While nosebands are designed to prevent bit evasion, in the horse business, we’re inclined to think “If a little is good, more is better!   Are we masking bit evasion without asking WHY the horse might be resisting? Who knows where the “two-finger rule” for fitting bridle … Read moreNosebands – how tight is too tight?

Lunging horses – why bother?

I’ve learned so much about horses by watching them – particularly the countless ones I’ve watched revolve around me on the lunge line.(One at a time of course). I’ve learned to “read horse” by studying the subtleties of body language and facial expression, noting signs of stress, distraction and relaxation.   Lunging has tuned my eye- … Read moreLunging horses – why bother?

Riding bareback: when natural is not necessarily better.

That bareback beach riding bucket list experience – a tender moment for the rider, yet perhaps differently “tender” for the horse… In several recent studies researchers have confirmed the benefits of pressure distribution thanks to saddle trees, making them a better option than the localized pressure from some treeless saddles or riding bareback. With the … Read moreRiding bareback: when natural is not necessarily better.

Use your corners – advice for riders.

Lindsay Grice Multiple disciplines

Good reminder from dressage Olympian and useful tip for hunter and  western competitors.  “The corner is such a valuable opportunity to correct, and we all have a tendency to fly straight through it focusing on the next marker. Utilise every corner to gauge your balance and self carriage, your power and responsiveness to your aids … Read moreUse your corners – advice for riders.

Reading horses (and people).

Lindsay Grice stable aisle

Researchers observed equine  body language and facial expressions  in a grooming study, comparing these visible responses  to what’s under the surface – blood cortisol, oxytocin levels  and heart rate. As a coach, I encourage riders to read their horses –to check in every couple of seconds with how their signals are reflected in their horse’s … Read moreReading horses (and people).

Connecting with your horse through trail obstacle competition!

Judging the CQHA trail obstacle challenge at the Happy Trails Horse Park , my score sheet reflected the connection (and patience!) of horses and riders. When you think about it, the horse doesn’t know if that water obstacle is 2 ft or 20 ft deep. He doesn’t know that the bridge REALLY  IS sturdy and … Read moreConnecting with your horse through trail obstacle competition!