Schooling

ISES research on bits, do horses like wearing bits, stress in horses, international society for equitation science conference

New research has found that introducing the bit to a young horse for the first time can be a stressful process for them. However, this stress could be difficult for most people to identify, as the horse may not show visible stress behaviours.

how do i canter my horse, preparing a horse to canter, ways to canter, jec ballou horse training, types of equine gaits, benefits of cantering horse

When it comes to cantering, riders seem to divide in two camps. In one camp are those who favour it above all else, while the other camp includes those who find it scary or unpleasant. I would like to add a third camp: riders who understand the unparalleled physiological benefits of cantering their horses. Beyond the obvious cardiovascular conditioning, cantering can improve muscle tone, symmetry, and flexibility more than other gaits. Let me explain this further, in addition to offering some tips and guidelines.

how to use a horse whip, whip usage equestrian sports, british show jumping, hartpury college conference, equine guelph on whips

Whip use in equestrian sports is currently a highly debated topic across the industry. Two presenters, Jane Williams and Kirstin Spencer, at the 15th Annual International Equitation Science Conference held at the University of Guelph, Ontario, shared insight on whip use and its perception in riding sports. Previous research has focused mainly on whip usage in the racing industry; however, it is necessary to evaluate all disciplines in order to effectively address whip usage concerns and any welfare issues.

Trigger Points in Horses

When handling any horse with training or behavioural issues, I always watch for trigger points. A trigger point is basically a trigger that can cause the horse to associate a specific stimulus with a fear-based response. For example, a lunge whip flicked at a horse can cause him to remember that he was once scared or hurt by a lunge whip. If he has a flashback memory that takes over, the horse’s behaviour can revert back to previous evasive or reactive ways.

Will Clinging, solving horse behavioural issues, overcoming equine behaviour issues, equine psychology

If I didn’t trust my own judgment about behaviour I would often take a horse down the wrong path. The corrections I make and the responses I encourage are all based on the assumption that I understand the intention behind a horse’s action. If I misinterpret an action, I could easily reprimand a horse for an unintentional action or inadvertently reward a response that was unwanted.

riding green horse, riding inexperienced horse, will clinging

With the green horse there is also a safety factor that is not always present with a schooled horse. If we do too much the potential for the green horse to react violently is very real, yet to continue learning there must be a challenge to improve every day. The amount of improvement will be different each day, but there must be some.

horser discipline tactics, understanding horse behaviour, understanding different horse temperaments, disciplining your horse

I wrote about how many horses are developing different behaviour patterns because of the affection and lack of effective discipline they receive. I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of people I’ve heard from who recognize that their horse fits into this scenario. Recognizing the problem is the first step in resolving it.

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