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Training Ideas Archive

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

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

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

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,

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

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,

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