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Training Ideas Archive

Draw Reins, Side Reins, Martingales, Bits… Is Extra “Equipment” Helpful?

Walk into any tack store and you will find what may feel like endless options of equipment for horse and rider. There are walls of different kinds of bits, variations of bridles, reins, nosebands, and training aids that vary from simple to complex. Many of these tools are designed to change how a horse feels

Unconventional Thoughts on Nervous Horses

Have you ever worked with a nervous horse that flinched, spooked, and startled at every movement? They feel consistently tense and uptight, and even just moving normally around them can seem to set them off. Think of the last time you were around one of these nervous horses. Did it put you on edge too?

Using Treats to Train Your Horse? Here is what kind of treat to use and why

Food is a powerful motivator, and is a very useful tool in training. Using food when training horses is frowned upon by some out of the concern that feeding a horse will cause pushiness, biting, or a horse who is just always looking for a handout. If food or treats are used inappropriately, they can

What Causes Anxiety in Horses?

Our connection to horses can be a respite from many of the concerns in our human lives. But when that connection seems to fail due to our horse jigging around, snatching at the bit, calling frantically for other horses, and generally acting like a hot mess, it can create just one more form of frustration

Why Smart Horses Get a Bad Rap

I love working with the so-called “problem horses”. They are the ones that have always made me better as a trainer. They are the ones I wake up at night thinking about. One reason I love these “problem horses” – they are almost always highly intelligent. In fact, it is just this – their intelligence

5 Reasons Why Horses Behave Differently for Different People

Ever wondered why horses can behave so differently for different people? Perhaps you’ve been having a problem with your horse, but when your trainer rides they never seem to have the same problem. Or you notice that a lesson horse you get along with really well is more difficult for other riders. The reason one

Connection – The Intersection of Awareness and Caring

What is connection? A word that is so commonly used, yet so widely interpreted.  It is essential but can be experienced in many different ways. As social species, we strive for connection, but how do we know when we are there, and why does the sense of connection often seem to fade as quickly as

Why your horse does what he does… A Simple Model for Understanding Behavior

Behavior can be both simple and complicated. Today, let’s focus on the simple. Understanding the behavior of your horse, what causes different behaviors, whether certain behaviors will continue, and how horses learn new behavior are all very important for your work with your horse. The more that we can understand how behavior works, the more

Fight, Flight, Freeze – It’s More Subtle than you think

“He just took off. I had no warning at all!” “I was just brushing her and then she bit me, I never saw itcoming!” Has your horse ever had a reaction that seemed completely unprompted? You were not expecting it, were not prepared for it, and then all of a sudden… it happened. They bucked,

Does Your Horse Like to be Petted?

Touch can be connecting, soothing, reassuring, and calming. But not when it is unwanted. We love to touch our horses. They are beautiful, from their shining coats and flowing manes and tails to their soft muzzles. We love to touch our horses, however, it is important to recognize if the horse also appreciates that touch.