Riding The Sitting Trot without Bouncing

The sitting trot is one of those gaits that most of us want to improve. To sit the trot smoothly and comfortably takes a combination of balance, stability, and fluid movement. When I ride and when I teach riding, I am always looking for what really makes the difference in learning a new skill. Whether it

Interview with Wendy Murdoch: Centered Riding, Returning From Injuries, and More

“We each have within us our own best teacher that recognizes what is best for our own well being.” This is what I love about Wendy Murdoch’s teaching style – she has a unique way of helping both horse and rider discover where they are most balanced and comfortable.   Wendy has a long list of

Standing Still at the Mounting Block

Standing still at the mounting block is one thing every horse should know. Not only do a surprising number of riding accidents happen at the mounting block, but these first few moments of your ride can set a tone that will carry through the rest of your time in the saddle that day, and you

The Blending of Theory & Practice when Riding and Training Horses

Which is more important – the theory of something, knowing how and why it should be done, or the practice of actually doing it over and over? When we have a challenge in our riding or with our horses, is it more beneficial to learn a new technique to solve that problem such as a

What I Wish I Knew Then About Horses and Riding…

What do you wish you knew back then that you know now about horses and riding? I have been asked this question a few times now (most recently by Stefanie – thanks!) and I think it is such a good question and an important topic to reflect on for all of us. While it may bring

Fiona Learns to Move Her Shoulders

A few weeks ago, I published a video where I taught a big mare named Fiona to lower her head on cue, using mostly a positive reinforcement method. I received great feedback on that video, so I decided to share another video with Fiona.  In this video, I work on teaching Fiona how to move

Tips for Better Breathing While Riding Horses

Two weeks ago I posted an article titled “Less is More,” where I shared what I had taken away from several recent learning experiences. What I heard over and over during the lectures and clinics I attended was the importance of breathing, and of breathing correctly. Correct breathing is essential to good riding. It affects

Interview with Petra McGowan of Ecolicious Equestrian

Last year, I was introduced to a new product line for horse owners – an all-natural, environmentally friendly collection of horse care products that includes everything from shampoos to mane and tail detanglers. I loved not just the idea but also the products themselves, because unlike some other natural alternatives I had tried, these products

Less is More

I have noticed that learning seems to happen all at once for me. I try to be learning all the time, but it often feels as though it doesn’t quite stick until all at once I am exposed to new people, new ideas, or just a series of “breakthrough” moments. This past week has been one

Teach Your Horse “Head Down”

Having the ability to ask your horse to lower their head, and have them easily respond, will make many tasks easier and safer – whether it is to put on a halter or bridle, clip a bridlepath, or even medicate an ear or eye. Being willing to lower their head when asked is important for