What I Wish I Knew Then…

What do you wish you knew back then that you know now? 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 up a few regrets,

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

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

What Causes Bad Behavior? Considering Physical Problems

We have all encountered horses with behavioral issues, from bucking to rearing, “girthiness” to rushing fences. What we should always stop and consider however, is that perhaps some of the behavior problems we see aren’t really behavioral, and are instead linked to a physical problem and pain. Sometimes finding a physical problem isn’t easy, but

Should You Post the Outside or Inside Diagonal? Or… what you may really be asking… What’s a Diagonal?

If you have ever watched young competitors at a horse show you have probably heard parents and coaches on the sidelines whispering to their rider “wrong diagonal” or “change your diagonal!” Similarly, many riders both young and old are taught diagonals and then reminded often of the importance of rising with the outside shoulder (at

Developing Steady Hands

Do you struggle with keeping your hands steady as you ride, and with being able to “feel” the reins and follow the horse’s movement with your hands? Developing “independent aids” is one of the cornerstones of good riding, and “independent aids simply means that you can move one body part without everything else moving as

How To Bridle a Horse

In this week’s video we are covering another “everyday” horse skill that can be an area of problems and frustrations for many people – putting on the bridle. For those of us who have been riding for years it may seem like a simple task, but in the beginning it took a bit of work
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