Natural Horsemanship

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 “princess complex.”

Jonathan Field, fun horse riding, setting horse riding goals, make horse riding fun

Fun! It’s the reason so many of us are drawn to horses. It seems obvious... so why write an article on it? Because often fun seems to be forgotten by both horses and riders.

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.

whole horse podcast alexa linton, heather nelson, liberty training

Source: The Whole Horse Podcast by Alexa Linton | Episode 52 - One of my favourite podcast guests is back, because we all can use a little humour right about now. Liberty trainer Heather Nelson joined me to chat about the training of her “magical unicorns” aka her three horse herd. We got into some excellent detail about the unicorn creation process, mainly diving into working at liberty in different positions (including long-lining) and in different ways with each of her horses, and I was riveted and inspired. I hope you will be too!

Lynne Gunville, Dr. Trisha Dowling, horse conformation, horse balance, horse angulation, horse care, horse built for job

Function follows form, according to Dr. Trisha Dowling. It’s the conformation or structure of a horse that ultimately determines its athletic function.

exercises for horses, jec ballou riding exercises, training horses with poles, pole exrcises horses

One pole? There is still plenty to do - Simple exercises can sometimes be the most effective because riders are apt to practice them more consistently. And when it comes to movement and fitness, consistency matters above all. I often use the following single pole exercises in clinics because they offer an easy way to derive the postural benefits of pole work without the logistics and effort involved in setting up more complex routines. When you are short on time or dealing with poor weather, these exercises offer a convenient way of ensuring you do not miss the calisthenics your horse needs.

alexa linton, how does a horse learn, josh nichol, hannah weston connection training, heather nelson liberty, equusoma, elsa sinclair

Adventures in Brain Power - Adaptability is an essential quality we think of in many contexts, and one synonymous with flexibility, learning, and growth. Yet, do we always overlay this quality on our horses and our training, or even more importantly, on the very thing that allows us to be adaptable in the first place — our nervous system? Have you ever met a horse or human who had a hard time learning or retaining a new skill, exhibited “bad” behaviour when under pressure, was challenged by changes such as moving, new environments, or with their schedule, companion, or training routine? I know I have, and I have also been that human, and had that horse. Often, we get labelled as overly sensitive, flighty, or even slow or challenged learners, but the reality is that each horse and human has a unique nervous system that functions, thrives, and learns in different ways and under different conditions.

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