Did I say that? Communicating intentionally to horses.

As I entered the office of a friend the other day, I interrupted him as he was dictating into his computer. We’d chit chatted and swapping a few stories, before he realized he’d forgotten to turn off the dictation feature. It was awkwardly funny to hear him read back our conversation from his screen, word … Read more Did I say that? Communicating intentionally to horses.

A fresh perspective: 8 different viewpoints to clarify your riding goals.

As a horse crazy girl, I remember cresting one of the Caledon hills on a trail ride at Teen Ranch. The view, for this 10 year old from the GTA, where the only hills are suburban “berms”, was a completely new perspective. A new year inspires new riding goals. If you feel your riding’s a … Read more A fresh perspective: 8 different viewpoints to clarify your riding goals.

“How important is it to bond with my horse?”

I’m asked this regularly. I may dig a little deeper, “Tell me what you mean by bonding.” If bonding means to you: my horse feels safe and relaxed in my presence my horse understands me – my movements and cues are predictable  I’d say that’s very important! However, if you’re hoping for your horse to … Read more “How important is it to bond with my horse?”

When experienced riders become stuck in a rut.

What makes an experienced rider?  “Experience is not the best teacher- only evaluated experience is”. Wise words from professor and pastor, Dr. Howard Hendricks Horse club banquet season – the end of the year is a time for reflection. What went well? What would I like to change?  Heading into the next year of life, … Read more When experienced riders become stuck in a rut.

Hazards, horses and helmets

What’s the best choice to control risk in working with horses? Researchers surveyed 1,700 horse people (owners, riders, and enthusiasts). The #1 choice? Helmets. Training was low on the list. “People working with horses seem to simply accept the tradition that equestrianism is high-risk”, said a speaker at August’s U of Guelph Equitation Science conference—a … Read more Hazards, horses and helmets

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 more Nosebands – 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 more Lunging horses – why bother?

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 more Use your corners – advice for riders.