Affirmative Training: Navigating the Nebulous.

“I have a three-step process guaranteed to transform your horse into your perfect partner and it only costs ten thousand dollars!!” How many of you are thinking about what you could sell? And how many of you have fallen for some sort of snake oil training approach in the past and are more than a … Read more

Does it Feel Like Everyone is Watching You?

It’s you and your horse. Sometimes people looking at him think he isn’t much but that’s because they don’t know horses. Anyone can see the beauty of mustangs galloping the rocky terrain or a team of Friesians pulling an antique carriage in a PBS show, or a foal cavorting circles around his dam. Beyond the … Read more

Training Your Horse: Spring Fever and Fluid Goals

Ants in your pants. It was a childhood affliction constantly mentioned by adults when we couldn’t sit still in church or school or at the dinner table. Pervasive, chronic, and most of us didn’t grow out of it. I was certain that all the dull talk about patience was just a flimsy defense put out … Read more

Boundaries: Whose Space Is It?

Horses gallop on pounding hooves that cut the ground and then melt to a stop, whiskers floating in the light. A masterpiece of contradictions, horses frighten easily but are forever curious. Wilder than a dog, much bigger than a cat, with a certain animal magnetism that drew you beyond childish reason. Can you remember your … Read more

Calming Signals: “But My Mare Likes This Bit”

I arrived at the clinic grounds Friday afternoon so I could meet the organizers and check out the facility. They’d also set up a lesson for someone who didn’t get into the clinic. The rider was warming up in the arena when I introduced myself. Her mare was beautiful, strong, with a dappled coat. She … Read more

Living the Question

“Why can’t my horse behave for the farrier?” Sarah isn’t the only one who asks this question. Picking up feet might be one of the most under-rated skills a horse can have. It’s inconvenient for us that a horse must be a prey animal, but it’s their nature. Horses will always be horses. We may … Read more

Altering Time to Benefit Your Horse

You have a plan for your horse and an expectation of how it will go, but it’s taking way too long. It’s a simple task. Maybe you’ve seen someone else do the same thing easily, so you lose confidence. You’re probably doing something wrong. If you were doing it right, your horse would do the … Read more

Why Training Techniques Don’t Work

  It’s Sunday night and the clinic has ended, but there might be a horse or two that can’t seem to get into the trailer. That isn’t the crazy part. The owner is tired and muttering something about how happy the horse should be to get in the trailer and go home. That part is … Read more

Affirmative Training and Trust During an Emergency

  You started with horses the same way most of us were taught. You tried to show them who’s boss, not that you ever felt good about it. Maybe you eventually got fed up with fighting. Maybe you saw one too many frightened horses in the hands of aggressive riders. Maybe your horse let you … Read more

What the Nightmare Revealed

Everyone did what instinct dictated. The beach was so peaceful. Deserted with not so much as a footprint when they arrived. People in the distance maybe but they felt alone. Just a bay mare and her rider standing in the water and their friend on the ground leading another horse. All was calm but in … Read more