Author Archive

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

What Does Your Horse Value? Positive Reinforcement for Horses

What is most motivating for your horse during training? Knowing what your horse really likes, and being aware of how this changes in different situations, is key for using positive reinforcement in your training. There are different “levels” of reinforcement, and when we know how our horse responds to different rewards – types of food

Helping the “Spooky” Horse – Four Factors to Consider

Many horses can be called “spooky”, they over-react to harmless things in their environment – a blowing leaf, a flapping bag, a pole that is in a new location, or it may be completely unapparent what they are reacting to at all! Riding and even just handling these horses can be frustrating, even for an

What is Your Horse’s Personality?

We love to guess about what our horses might be thinking or feeling. We wonder at their emotion, speak for them, or narrate their interactions with other horses. But is this fair? Can we really understand what horses think and feel? Is it helpful or harmful to assign human qualities to a horse? These are

Learning to Learn

The more we learn the better we get at the process of learning. Our brains become more efficient at making connections, sorting out relevant information, and creating new memories. For humans on a societal level, the practice of “higher education” through colleges and universities plays a big role in this. No matter what we study,

What Does it Mean to “Open Your Hip”?

Have you ever received the riding instruction of “open your hip” and not sure what it meant? Or have you been accused of leaning forward, but when you try to sit more upright, you feel as though you are constantly losing your balance toward the rear of the horse? In this video, I am going

Better Use of Your Back Riding (with the exercise ball)

A stable, supple back position when riding means increased freedom in your hips to go with the movement of the horse, the ability to give precise cues with your legs, and a soft upper body so your contact can be steady and your rein aids clear. But what is the difference between the terms that

Comparing Horse and Rider Anatomy

As humans, we look different than our horses. Obviously. We walk on two feet, they stand on four hooves. They have long necks and big heads, we have short necks, and well, still rather big heads. But if you look at our most basic anatomy, our skeletons, we are surprisingly similar to our horses. Besides

Inspiration & Advice from Riders Just Like You

If you are feeling stuck, there is often nothing as inspiring as hearing from someone else who also experienced challenges, but was able to work through them. It is inspiring to learn from others who have experienced challenges, made progress, and can share what worked, and what didn’t… Because there are certainly unique challenges in

Three Ways to Connect with Your Horse

Recently, I have been fascinated by the idea of “connection”. What is it, how do we define it, how do we recognize it? Last year, I wrote an article, What Does it Mean to Connect to a Horse, to propose possible answers for these questions. I wanted to follow up with a few ideas about