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No Stirrups November – will it help your riding?

No stirrups November. The month of the year that riders everywhere vow to drop their stirrups and brave the bouncing and sore legs to better their riding… But does dropping your stirrups really help you be a better rider? Or could it actually create bad habits? The answer depends on what you do when you

Should You Change Horses, Move to a New Barn, Take a New Course or Clinic… Decision Making Advice For Riders

In our riding journey, just as in life, we are faced with difficult decisions… Perhaps it is deciding whether to part with a horse that isn’t a good match Or it’s moving to a different barn Maybe it is going to a new instructor or trainer Or making a big investment in a clinic, a

How Does Your Horse Learn? Simple Explanation of Learning & Training

Have you ever given the right cue, but your horse still didn’t respond? If you’ve ever had this happen, then you know that communicating with a horse involves more than just the right position and the right cues… To be effective, confident riders, we need to know how horses learn, so that we can better

How Horses Experience Emotion & Why it Matters for Our Training

Have you ever wondered what your horse thinks and feels? How do they experience emotion? How should their emotion affect our work with them? We will never be able to truly understand what a horse feels, we are, after all, a very different species with minds that work differently. But despite our differences, we have

Nature or Nurture – Which Creates the Better Performance Horse & More from Equitation Science Conference

We know that a person’s childhood and early development plays a large role in their beliefs and behavior as an adult. Could the same be true for our horses? Does the length of time they spend with their dam, their interaction with other horses, and their early experiences shape the “horse they become?” This is

“Girthy” Horses, the Lick & Chew, Rider Strength & More: Equitation Science Conference

I just arrived home today after a beautiful 10 days in Italy. It was one of those trips that I could say, when asked the reason for my visit at the customs booth, was “for work,” although I feel lucky to be able to call what I do work. The 14th Annual Conference for the

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