"Affirmative training is the art of understanding the horse."

Relaxed & Forward Training: We train with a profound concern for the horse’s mental and physical welfare. We listen to their Calming Signals to learn their perspective.  We affirm the horse’s intelligence, empowering their confidence with positive energy. Join our Relaxed & Forward Tribe. We put horses first.

Author, Horse Advocate & Trainer

Affirmative Training is a calming gift. It's a way for a horse to find peace, a way he can find safety and trust in a chaotic world.

How is Anna Blake's Approach to Horsemanship Different?

Relaxed & Forward Dressage: Lessons with me are firmly rooted in the principles of authentic Dressage; training relaxed and forward gaits with responsiveness and balance for the horse and rider. I combine with brain science of how the horse thinks with a special focus on listening to Calming Signals, the natural language of the horse, for a partnership of understanding, confidence, and pleasure. I take horses and riding very seriously, but I do it with humor and lightness because horses like happy riders.

WM Andante Stretch

The Relaxed & Forward Barn School Courses and Virtual Clinics are open to Everyone

Teaching a wide range of intensive small-group courses in a supportive culture, putting horse welfare first.

About Anna Blake


Welcome. I’m a horse advocate first. I work as a trainer, international clinician, and award-winning author. I train horses and riders communication skills and dressage, and I write parables about horses and life.

I write the AnnaBlakeBlog: Relaxed and Forward, a popular and unconventional blog about horse training, life with the herd, and poetry from the prairie. My writing and training offer an affirmative and inspirational approach to understanding, respecting, and communicating with animals

I offer Concept Clinics in the U.S. and internationally. Concept Clinics are an opportunity to explore a focused group of ideas with exercises designed to clarify and deepen the awareness and practice of a fundamental principle of communication or training. Clinics include Calming Signals, Dressage Rhymes with Massage, Rhythm and Dance, and others.

The Print Version is my author blog where I share my passion for writing, offering workshops, and being a word geek, smiling like a fifth-grader in cat-eye glasses and a buttoned-up sweater because Grammarly is my new best friend.

I’m the author of six books:

  • Stable Relation, a Memoir of One Woman’s Spirited Journey Home, by Way of the Barn, a Peoples’ Choice Gold Medal Winner.
  • Relaxed & Forward: Relationship Advice from Your Horse
  • Barn Dance, Nickers, brays, bleats, howls, and quacks: Tales from the herd
  • Horse Prayers, Poems from the Prairie.
  • Going Steady: More Relationship Advice from Your Horse
  • Horse. Woman. Poems from Our Lives *Next Generation Indie Award Winner in Women's Literature*



Join us in the Relaxed & Forward Barn, a warm place to ruminate with Anna and an interactive circle of like-minded horse people, focused on the art of communication, affirmative training, and all things equine.  We advocate for the horse/human partnership, knowing a positive attitude is the best training aid.