Why “Being the Boss” of the Horse Isn’t Necessary

Many riders have been told that the only way to be successful with horses, to be able to teach and train them, is through first “being the boss”. It is often taught that aggression is a necessary part of working with horses because of their social structure and need for a clear “pecking order.” I

How Long Should Your Reins Be?

Rein handling is one of the most essential skills of riding. Our reins provide communication with the horse at one of the most sensitive areas of their body – the mouth. In order to use the reins for communication we need to be able to maintain an appropriate length of rein and be able to

When Do You Need a Bigger Bit?

The title to this post is a bit misleading as the answer to most problems where people begin considering a “bigger bit” is not to change the horse’s mouthpiece but instead to reconsider the horse’s training. Problems like head tossing, pulling, rooting, or rushing may initially seem as though they could be fixed by simply

Wendy Murdoch: Finding New Possibilities

As riders, we all have things that hold us back. Often there are little patterns of movement or areas of tension that make use feel as though we can’t find our balance, like we need to constantly grip the saddle, or that we just can’t get “in sync” with the horse’s movement. Wendy Murdoch is

The Importance of Turnout & The Dangers of Stall Confinement

I have always felt strongly about the importance of turnout for horses. I think horses are happier and healthier when they have the freedom to move around, socialize with other horses, roll in the dirt, and generally just be a horse! Just as chronic stress can create many problems for humans, the stress of confinement

Buying Your First Horse

Buying your first horse, or any horse, can be an intimidating process – what kind of horse is best, where do you look, what should you expect in the process? In this video, I am going to share a few tips for what you should consider before you even go out to look at a

Mares, Geldings, or Stallions?

The question of which will make a better riding horse – a mare or a gelding is often debated among horse people. Some feel so strongly about this that they will only allow geldings in their barn, believing mares are too moody and temperamental. While there are differences between mares, geldings, and stallions, a horse’s

How to Stop Gripping When You Ride

Do you grip when you ride? Perhaps you’ve been told to hang on with your legs for security or to keep a “tight leg” to get your horse going.  Or maybe you’ve been told not to hold on with your legs but you aren’t sure how to stop gripping or how to stay on without

Connection, Relationship, Control… what Therapy Can Teach Us About Horses

Last month I hosted a clinic at my farm – it was a clinic teaching equine assisted psychotherapy. I didn’t know what to expect, I was just hosting the event, but I looked forward to learning a few things that I thought might help me with my riding students. By the end of the weekend,

Setting Yourself Up For Success in the Saddle with Self Awareness

Today we are discussing a topic that, at first glance, may seem a bit strange for a riding video… the idea of self awareness. Last week I shared about the importance of “body awareness” and how being more aware of our bodies through other forms of exercise or movement can improve our riding. In this