October 6, 2018

Humanity has come a long way in terms of respect for animals. We now have animal rights written into our government policies and animal groups looking after the interests of those who can’t speak for themselves. I feel we are moving forward towards living in a more com...

Lately I've been thinking about health and training. Recently I was working with some horses and noticed one had an enormous bean at the entrance to the urethra. This is caused by smegma build up forming hard lumps or 'beans' in the folds of skin around the urethra ent...

Here’s a good question to ask. When I am with my horse am I making it easy for my horse to succeed or difficult? Sometimes I see people making things difficult for their horse, resulting in stress, reduced learning and animal health issues due to raised cortisol levels...

April 1, 2018

I was recently talking with a lady who understood that animals are sentient and should be treated with respect and kindness. But even though she was clear about how animals should be treated she had trouble getting her head around the idea of riding with a bitless brid...

March 1, 2018

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 relatio...

February 1, 2018

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...

January 1, 2018

Whenever your horse does something that you've asked for it's imperative that you give a reward. This reward lets the horse know that they gave the correct response and 'marks' the spot where the behaviour occured, making it more likely that the horse will offer this r...

December 1, 2017

When I meet a new horse we often go through what I call ‘the conversation’. This is where we check each other out and decide how we’re going to progress from that point. To someone looking on not a lot is happening but between the horse and myself there’s HEAPS going o...

December 1, 2017

Sentience is the ability to perceive one’s environment and experience sensations such as pain, suffering, pleasure or comfort. An animal that is sentient receives internal sensation and information from their environment, and interprets this as an emotion. The sensatio...

October 1, 2017

TRAINING/DETRAINING

Everything we do with our horses is training them or de-training them. We call it training when the horse ends up doing something ‘better’ than they had previously, and we call it de-training when they end up doing it ‘worse’. Horses don’t know the d...