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Training Ideas Archive

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.

Should You “Move Your Horse’s Feet”?

You may have been told at some point to “move your horse’s feet.” Whether intended as a punishment, a calming aid, or a way to get respect, this instruction is not necessarily good or bad advice. It depends on how it is done and the intention behind it. The biggest key to whether movement will

What Does That Mean? Subtle Signs of Stress in Your Horse

What do you do when you are stressed? Scratch your head, crack your knuckles, fidget with a pen, rub your hands together… Do you recognize any of these common moves in others? These are called pacifying or self-soothing behaviors and they are part of how our bodies regulate stress, whether that stress is from learning,

What Most Annoys Your Horse…About You?

If your horse could speak, what would they say? Do you think there is anything that your horse finds annoying or irritating? In last week’s video, we talked about listening to your horse, noticing small changes in behavior and subtle signs that give clues to what they may be feeling. Now we are focusing specifically