“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…” quote from To Kill A Mockingbird. How do we know what we know about horses? Working with the staff and volunteers (good sports!) of the Windreach therapeutic riding program, participants gained insights from equitation science and from between the reins … Read moreUnderstanding horses
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).
Glitches in the training ring or show ring can usually be sourced to communication issues: mixed messages or muffled cues. When I started to study the science about horse behaviour and learning, it confirmed many things I’d discovered by trial and error as a coach and trainer. Learning WHY gave substance to the HOW. And … Read more5 top reasons for horse and rider communication gaps.
A subtle jerk and spur. An aggressive back-up. Barking out “WHOA!” with a scowl. As a judge I see them (and sometimes DQ them). As a coach I talk riders logically through them. And I sadly recall a few of my own! In the fishbowl of the horse show, it’s natural to lose it when … Read moreTemper tantrums
What are the welfare challenges facing pleasure and competition horses? A research study, led by academics at the University of Bristol’s School of Vet Sciences set to find out. I thought it was cool that experts from across the equine industry contributed to the research- vets, farriers, trainers, welfare charities, breed and competition associations. As … Read moreFour areas to improve our horses’ welfare
Ever wonder…Why does the horse jump? For the love of it? Or simply easier to cooperate? Just thinking through what it’s like to be a horse is bound to make us better riders and appreciate our equine partners! “Consider, for example, a horse and rider preparing to jump a four-foot wall. Jumping serves the rider’s … Read moreWhy does the horse jump?
At recent clinics for therapeutic riding facilities, we considered ideas to: teach a horse new “buttons” and erase those that are no longer needed fit a really effective skill tune- up into a minimum schooling time budget prevent sourness and unwanted habits evaluate a donated horse for suitability We solved some “horse puzzles” using … Read moreHow do you keep school horses fresh?
I love working with “speed riders” in clinics or lessons – helping them to: identify specific instances in which the horse is resisting their cues on course clarify their cues speak in a code the horse understands – even while navigating at speed. Jumper, barrels or extreme obstacle races. Speed under control is quicker than … Read moreSpeed event “horse science”…Every little resistance costs precious time.
Ever wonder…Why does the horse jump? For the love of it? Or simply easier to cooperate? Just thinking through what it’s like to be a horse is bound to make us better riders and appreciate our equine partners! “Consider, for example, a horse and rider preparing to jump a four-foot wall. Jumping serves the rider’s … Read moreWhy does a horse jump?