Horse Behaviour & Psychology

schooling horses, lindsay grice, canadian equestrian coaches, horse learning styles, how do horses learn? types of horse training, horse riding lesson plan, communicating with horses

Keys to an effective horse training session. I’ve trained a lot of horses. After nailing up my sign as a “professional horse trainer” several decades ago, I learned quickly that overhead is high in the horse business so you’d better make some hay if you’re going to pay your bills. Consequently, I rode many horses each day, breaking young ones and tuning up show horses.

lilly ludwig animal intuitive, alexa linton, horse psychology, equestrian psycholgy, connecting with horses

This chat with Animal Intuitive Lilly Ludwig was about as refreshing as they come, and her take on animal communication and busting down myths in the horse world is my cup of tea! In this episode, we discuss how to support our animals through transitions with the help of clear communication, how it doesn’t take any sort of gift to do it, what her mare Athena has to say about, well, everything, and the many ways our horses will surprise us if we let them. Enjoy!

traditional horsemanship practices, alexa linton, how to lead a horse, how to mount a horse, how to clean horse tack, best horse bits and saddle

Why do we have them? What keeps us practicing them? As I write this article, I find it ironic that I am laid up on the couch with a lower back injury, brought on by the age-old tradition of lifting, hauling, and generally doing way too much when my body wasn’t up to the task. From my recovery position, it seems fitting to attempt to grapple with the rather sticky topic of traditions, and why we often feel so compelled to stick to them. I’ve touched on this a little in my past articles, but today I want to really dig in and unpack why and how traditions become traditions and what keeps us practicing them, sometimes long past their best before date.

spoiled horses, will clinging, nervous horse, scared horse, difficult horse

With today’s horse world being highly recreational, there are many horses that don’t have to earn a living. These recreational horses are often very well cared for and sometimes even coddled. I will not use the term “spoiled” as I think a spoiled horse is one that has become a serious problem for his owner. I will say, though, that some of these pampered horses are well on their way to developing “pampered horse complex.”

alexa linton whole horse, horse misbehaving, difficult horse, best way to train a horse, do horses have feelings?

Is it effective or abusive? I remember the feeling like it was yesterday. I’m about 15 years old, and I’m riding a lesson horse in a ring. We’re jumping, or we’re trying to. It’s not going well. My instructor is screaming at me. Screaming. In hindsight, my horse is terrified. He has refused a jump, more than likely because he’s scared of it. My instructor is screaming at me over and over: “Get it done!” and “Don’t let him get away with it.” Eventually, with much kicking and whipping, my horse carries his terrified self and me over the jump. Our hearts are racing. We are both scared, bordering on traumatized, in a place where we are unable to think or be effective in any way.

jec ballou podcast, best horse practices podcast, are horse shows good for horses? amy skinner, katrin silva

This milestone episode is a Coaches' Corner with Jec Ballou (host), Amy Skinner, and Katrin Silva. They have a lot to say about the state of horse shows.

how do horses learn? stop a horse testing you, horse welfare, horse misbehaving, horse abuse

Why is it so important for equestrians to become educated about learning theory and its practical application? Knowingly or not, in each single encounter with horses we use learning theory tools from our training toolbox. Sometimes equestrians pick the wrong tools from the toolbox, or do not know how to use the selected tool correctly and, due to this, horses may suffer and may display behaviour considered to be naughty, unwilling, difficult, or even dangerous.

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