The Aids: The Lower Back

The other aids are often spoken about, but the importance of the lower back in ground work, as well as riding has been lost. The lower back, along with the hip sockets, is one of the most integral parts of our bodies in terms of allowing or blocking the flow of energy. In many ways,…

Irked by Distractions

It is a common scene. You arrive at the stables, 10 minutes late for your lesson. You rush over to the paddock to grab your horse, but he runs circles around you. After struggling a further 5 minutes, you eventually catch your horse and lead him up to your car where you hunt to find grooming…

Timing is Everything

We have already extensively discussed B. F. Skinner’s theory of Operant Conditioning. The four quadrants of conditioning, namely Positive Reinforcement, Positive Punishment, Negative Reinforcement and Negative Punishment, are frequently utilized by parents in order to shape their children’s behaviour. In the case of equines, some riders still believe that they can use positive and negative…

The Legend of Monty Roberts

In the early 1940’s, a young man decided to oppose the brutality of equine “breaking”. He traveled extensively, even as a teen, facing insurmountable odds, in order to discover more about the inner workings of Mustang herds. His work was rejected and he spent his entire life trying to prove to the World, as well…

Jump Types

When jumping, as with the true meaning of dressage, it is important to know the aim of each jump. Jumps all have different functions and they can be used to improve a horse’s confidence and way of going. A cross pole is a jump shaped like an X, commonly used to introduce jumping to horses…

Who Cut the Brakes?

Some clients recently asked the question “how do you stop a runaway horse?” The fear of losing control of a horse is a very real issue for many riders. If we were to honestly think about all the possibilities of things that could go wrong, we would never place a foot in the stirrup. The…

Communication 101: Energy

Have you ever met someone and just known that you were going to be friends? Have you met someone and known that you would have to work hard to understand them in order to like them? Do you feel yourself uplifted and energized by your social circle or do you feel drained, heavy-hearted or critical…

Dial it Down!

Ignorance is bliss. There are many different “methods” available all over the world which claim to have the answer to all of your problems with horses. If you have learnt to be an open-minded individual, or are trying very hard to be (it is tricky!), then you have likely come across a variety of these…