Training Ideas Archive

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

Why Does My Horse Carry His Head So High?

Does your horse go around with his head up? You know he is supposed to carry it lower when you ride to better support your weight and so he can move more freely, but why does he have his head up in the first place? Good movement of a ridden horse involves much more than

Why Every Rider is a Trainer

In the last article and video, we talked about how riding involves more than just your technique as a rider, and how seeing the big picture can bring clarity to riding challenges. I also mentioned my belief that every rider is a trainer, and that every ride we have, every interaction with a horse, matters.

Understanding and Helping the Head Shy Horse

In caring for a horse, there is a lot we do around their head. We need to be able to slip on a halter or bridle, give dewormers and other oral medications, or trim the hair around ears, muzzle, and bridle path. When a horse is “head shy”, they may resist any form of handling

The Wheel of Horsemanship

Good horsemanship involves much more than just our skills of riding and training. To have a good ride, we need a horse that is happy, healthy, and sound. Many times the problems we face with our horses aren’t riding issues at all… they are related to another piece of the horsemanship puzzle… We can think

Best Books for Learning to Train Horses

Recently I received an email from a student in one of my courses asking what my favorite riding or training books were and if I could recommend a reading list. I do love to read and thought it would be a great idea to share some of my favorite books with you! I’m often reading