Recently a student pointed out that my work is defined by how I listen to horses. The traditional way of interacting with horses is to tell them what to do, its unidirectional communication. The human tells the horse what to do and the horse must do it. If the horse protests, then the human gets stronger and ‘shows the horse who is the boss’ until the horse does it.
This is how I was taught and this is what I did for many years. I was good at it and most horses did what I a
For quite a while I have been trying to work out exactly what it is that I do with horses. I have called it Natural Horsemanship, and in the past I have studied Parelli, Monty Roberts and other advocates of Natural Horsemanship. I have definitely incorporated many valuable tools into my kit from this source but I don’t follow any particular method and do not only do Natural Horsemanship.
I have called it Science Based Equitation because I have a degree in Equine Science and
I’m sure you’re familiar with this word being used in relation to horses, but what does it mean and how do you get it? A dictionary translation is ‘a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else’. We can rewrite this as ‘a relationship in which a person is linked with a horse’. There are two important words here, relationship and linked. A relationship is a two way thing and a linkage is the connection. You cannot make your horse connect
For most of the history of horse domestication, we've tended to have communications between humans and horses that are unidirectional. Humans order, horses obey. But now many people are realising that communication could be a two-way street. Horses do communicate with humans, and more and more people are learning to listen.
If the cognitive abilities of horses are misunderstood their treatment may be inappropriate. Equine welfare is dependent not only on physical comfort bu
I looked up the definition of this word and came up with – ‘regard with deference, avoid degrading, insulting, injuring or interrupting and treat with consideration’. Respect is a word that is heard often in horse circles, usually when a person is saying a horse doesn’t have enough respect. This is considered a very bad thing and the horse must be taught to show more respect for humans immediately. I usually start feeling quite uncomfortable when I hear people use this word i
The use of food in training horses is a controversial topic. Many ‘horse people’ are against using food treats. With all other species of animal food is used in training, so why not horses? In many European countries food is used extensively in horse training. Circus and trick horses are also trained this way. I started questioning people and found an interesting thing. A lot of people don’t understand basic training theory and don’t know the difference between bribery and
I am very fortunate to be able to meet and work with many different types of horses. Every single one of those horses without exception has a brain. Horses are capable of understanding an enormous amount of information and are very good at retaining it. Yet constantly when I watch people work with their horses they are trying to make the horses’ body do things. They want to move that leg over, send the body backwards etc., so they expend an enormous amount of time and energy
It has been suggested that one of the things that sets humans apart from other animals is our ability to think of the past and of the future. It is certainly true that we do spend an enormous amount of time doing this. Animals appear to live more in the present moment. A horse will respond to something that triggers a memory from the past, so their present behaviour is affected by past events. But they are having their response and their thought process in the present. Unlike