What it’s like to ride a “Mechanical Horse”

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to try out a “riding simulator”, and not just any simulator but a super fancy technical one – the Racewood Dressage Model. This is essentially a mechanical horse that walks, trots, canters, and even does flying lead changes! The simulator gave me instant feedback on my balance,

To Improve Your Riding, Change Your Patterns of Movement

To learn a new riding skill we need to understand the feeling we’re looking for as well as find a way to break our old habits and patterns of movement. Trying to do this cognitively only from verbal instruction (how riding is most often taught) isn’t always very effective. But when we can discover what

Linda Tellington Jones – Mindset, Gratitude, and Touch

After marrying her riding instructor at age 17, excelling in many equestrian disciplines, running a top riding school, and developing the unique system of TTouch (a system of touches to calm and heal) Linda Tellington Jones is still going strong at age 79, traveling the world to teach and lead her team of instructors. I

From Dodging Kicks to the First Ride: Working with Zelli

Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a young mare named Zelli. Zelli has been one of the most interesting horses I’ve known. As a foal, she had several medical conditions that made her early handling quite an unpleasant experience. Zelli was already a sensitive and intelligent filly and she

Highlights from Equitana – The Largest Equine Trade Fair in the World

I spent the last week in Essen, Germany attending Equitana, a huge event that pulls in some of the most talented riders, dedicated trainers, and innovative equestrian companies. With 12 exhibitor halls, 7 arenas, and over 200,000 visitors, it is the largest equine trade fair in the world. This was also my first trip to

A New Way to Consider the Intelligence of Your Horse

Do you ever wish you could spend a day seeing the world as your horse does? To experience how they think, how they learn, and how they feel. I’ve always been fascinated by how different individuals, people or animals, think and learn. In today’s video, I’m going to discuss the intelligence and cognition of horses, but

Learning from Different Instructors: How to Benefit from the Experience of Many While Avoiding Confusion

Last week, I visited the Horse World Expo, a local event that pulls in equine professionals from around the country. As I sat outside the various arenas listening and watching the different trainers, clinicians, and speakers teach riding and training exercises and horsemanship theories, I thought about the benefits of learning from different teachers, but

How Different Environments Can Give You a “Different” Horse

If you have ever gone to a horse show or a big group trail ride, you know that the environment you take your horse in can make him behave very differently. At home he may be relaxed and attentive, but in a new place or with other horses, he may be anxious, spooky, or seem to

3 Simple Problem Solving Questions

I’m often asked questions about various horse and rider problems such as: My horse won’t go forward, I have to kick him just to keep him going… my horse rushes at the canter and won’t slow down… my horse won’t stand still at the mounting block… I love questions and I love helping other riders, but

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”!