The “Big Picture” of Horsemanship

We all want to be better riders. We can picture ourselves riding confidently, our horse calm but responsive, as we canter through an open field, trot along a winding trail, soar over a brightly colored jump, or prance through the perfect leg yield. But the truth is… it takes work to get those “great rides”!

Achieve Your Riding Goals… the Easy Way

Have you ever set big goals for yourself but then watched your motivation fizzle, and your progress towards that goal come to a grinding halt? You can achieve your riding goals, by learning to create easy habits, no matter what your experience level or how much time you have. In the last few videos we’ve talked

Reflect on Your Riding and Plan Your Success

New Years. I love this holiday, and not just because of the New Years Eve parties. I see New Years as a time of fresh beginnings. A time to both look back and celebrate the successes of the year but also to look ahead and dream about the future, and then start putting a plan

Use Positive Reinforcement to Improve Your Riding

Positive reinforcement isn’t just important for your horse at the barn or for your dog at home. Positive reinforcement works for you too and it can make your riding better and the learning process a lot more fun. You don’t even have to change the way your riding instructor teaches. You can use positive reinforcement

Do That Again! Change Any Behavior by Understanding Reinforcement

As a horse trainer, I think about behavior all the time. Why are the horses I work with acting like this? How can I change it, how can I teach them or motivate them to do something different? The answers are often both simple and complex at the same time. A truth I have come

How to Ride Posting Trot… the Skeletal View

Posting trot is a gait many riders struggle to learn and struggle to do well. It may feel difficult to “stay with the movement” of the horse, or to avoid the feeling of easily being thrown off balance. We are often taught rising trot with the chant of up, down, up, down, but the actual

Working with Barn and Buddy Sour Horses

You try to go out for an enjoyable trail ride, but what you imagined as a peaceful ride over hill and dale turns into a battle of wills as your horse refuses to go forward, struggles to turn and head for home, and calls incessantly for his friends left at home. Or perhaps the horse

Targeting, Training Problems, & Timing: Equine Affaire ’16

Listen in to a segment of the demonstration by Angelo Telatin and I on how the basics of learning theory can be applied to work through behavior problems. We talk about how the principles of positive reinforcement, focusing on what you want, and how poor timing can actually cause many “bad” behaviors. During the talk,

Using Food to Train Your Horse

Using food in training is still a controversial topic in many horse training arenas. Will giving treats cause my horse to become mouthy or pushy? How do I start using food as a learning tool? What kind of treats should I use? Food is a powerful tool in training. We can use it to help

How to Stop Bad Behavior

Horses can do many things that are annoying, frustrating, or downright dangerous. Take Finn, the young horse who likes to nip and bite when he gets bored, or Winter, the pony who would rather buck than trot with a rider. What about Sydney, the Thoroughbred gelding who slams on the brakes at every other jump,