Why Fear is Meant to Help You, But How to Tell if it’s Holding You Back

You’re out on a trail ride, walking through the grass along the fence line when your horse spots it – a big piece of plastic caught on the fence and flapping in the wind. She stiffens and snorts, then starts dancing sideways. You know you have to get past this plastic to get back to

“Stop overthinking and just ride!” – Tips to Get Out of Your Head

You’re about to go into the canter. Your instructor has asked you to trot to the far side of the arena and then ask for canter in the corner. Your mind races with thoughts: What if my horse spooks at that bush… Sometimes he really jumps into canter, I hope he doesn’t do that this

How to Get a Stable Lower Leg

A stable lower leg position is what all riders strive for. We know that having a “good” lower leg will make us more effective and clear in our cues to the horse and help us to feel secure in the saddle. “Keep your leg still” is certainly common advice in riding lessons, but how do

Finding “Flow” In Your Riding – Creating Peak Performance

Think of a time when you were completely immersed in what you were doing. You lost track of time and you had no awareness of other thoughts or sensations, just the activity you were immersed in. For many equestrians, this feeling is of one of the greatest thrills of riding – getting lost in the

What Does ‘Feel’ Mean for Riders?

Feel. A term commonly used by horsemen, you may have an intuitive understanding of the word, but it is difficult to define. What does it really mean to have feel? Can it be taught? In the following paragraphs, I’m going to attempt to define feel and share a few simple exercises you can use to

Holding and Switching Your Whip While Riding

When holding a whip while riding, where should you hold it? Right at the top, in the middle of the handle, or even further down? What’s the best way to switch your whip from one hand to the other? If you’ve ever felt a bit awkward riding with a whip, you’ll appreciate the two simple

3 Easy Cavaletti Exercises

Balance, awareness of feet, and a lengthened topline are qualities that lead to improved movement for any horse, whether a jumper, dressage competitor, or a trail horse. Of course, there are many factors that contribute to movement, and many exercises we can do or adjustments we can make to improve it. But there is one

Horse Terminology: Learn the Parts of the Horse

Let’s go back to a basic lesson in horsemanship, one that you would have gotten at any pony club or horse camp as a kid… Parts of the Horse! This is a lesson that is just as important for adult riders as it is for kids. Knowing the parts of the horse will allow you

3 Factors that Cause Bad Behavior in Horses

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,

Putting Relationship First – Lessons from Equine-Assisted Therapy

Horses have played a integral role in human life and society for years, providing transportation, carrying us through war, helping us work the land in farming, providing sport and entertainment. But perhaps today, their role is shifting, as horses today provide us with companionship and even healing… Equine therapy has risen in popularity, and for