Chris Irwin
  • 63, Male
  • The wilds of Northwest Alberta
  • Canada
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Chris Irwin's Page

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A Bit About Me and my Horse(s)

Chris Irwin's Blog

HARNESSING HORSEPOWER? - Don't "put the cart before the horse".

As we all know, the old expression “don’t put the cart before the horse” is a metaphor about making sure that we have our priorities straight. Having said that, what is literal is how tragic it can get when someone arbitrarily assumes that it would be fun to drive their horse in a cart or buggy and that the horse will just agree do his or her job and be okay with pulling the contraption down the road.

Unfortunately, what all too often happens when even the best riding horses are… Continue

Posted on August 29, 2009 at 5:00pm — 5 Comments

Walking The Talk of Natural Horsemanship

Hello and greetings to everyone from Riversong Ranch in Alberta. I’m sitting here in my office reading over a recent chat I found on Barnmice about the merits – pros or cons – of Natural Horsemanship. And I must say that I am truly encouraged by most of the comments I read that seemingly indicate that now that the natural horsemanship “revolution” is over that perhaps now the evolution of natural horsemanship into “supernatural horsemanship” will begin.

Despite all the marketing hype… Continue

Posted on July 12, 2009 at 1:00pm — 13 Comments

Beware of Easy Answers

It was a few too many years ago that I remember the first group of certified trainers from my “train the trainer” program got together at their graduation party and they collectively gave me a box of Depends diapers. This was their way of teasingly letting me know how they felt about the fact that I answered just about each and every question they ever asked with the answer “it depends”. In fact, this happens so much that it has become somewhat of a trademark for me. Often when I am at a clinic… Continue

Posted on June 27, 2009 at 2:30pm — 8 Comments


When it comes to developing a truly willing mind from a horse there is a critical difference between training and schooling. Focused schooling for specific tasks as to exactly when, where and how the rider wants the horse to perform should only begin when the horse consistently chooses not to fuss, challenge or search to find a way out from between the legs and reins of the rider. Once the horse has had enough training to willingly choose the easy path of staying balanced with a rider and is no… Continue

Posted on June 9, 2009 at 3:00pm — 7 Comments


As I travel the world working with people and horses there are significant cultural differences between the various countries. However, it is always true that wherever I go - people are people and horses are horses. But then again there is the very real challenge of how often the time needed for translation of verbal languages takes us “out of the moment” with the horses.

Of course, that delay between a rider hearing what I have to say - and then translating my English into their own… Continue

Posted on May 24, 2009 at 10:30am — 5 Comments

Comment Wall (15 comments)

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At 12:04am on August 3, 2010, Anni Muhlegg said…
I am so grateful for the wisdom and inspiration you provide Chris!! Thanks for your generous voice and clarity! I just found and all the video educational material you and your team share. Thanks!!!!
Blessings from Nelson, BC
At 10:17am on July 17, 2010, Jackie Cochran said…
Way to go Chris! Show the world how it is done, quietly, non-abusively, and with no extra drama.
At 10:49am on June 15, 2010, Frank de Greef gave Chris Irwin a gift
Hi Chris, I'm new on this one... Frank de Greef.
At 7:50pm on January 26, 2010, Abigail said…
Hi Chris!
I've started to train my mare, Miagh, in saddle with your methods. She use to be great at doing a right circle at a trot, but then she started turning to the left right before the fence! My coach, Heather Collinge (one of your students), said that Miagh found one of my "holes" in turning that way. I make her go the way I need her to, but it's takes the breath out of me! She is a stubborn Appy, but breed is no excuse... do I just keep training till she smooths out nicely?
At 8:10am on August 10, 2009, Marti Langley said…
Chris, when will you be in Wales? My Grampa was born there. He is gone now. I have a pic of him riding a horse in Cuba. Wish I could afford to go to Wales. Not this year, for sure!
At 1:21pm on June 28, 2009, Bobbi C said…
Hi Chris,
don't know if you remember my horse Mia and I from your clinic in Ireland (we were your demo lab rats!) back in April. Just wanted to say thaks you so so much for everything I learned that day. I am finally able to get Mia to lunge correctly, and she is learning to carry herself and really work her whole body on the lunge now.
i love being able to read your articles, they keep me thinking and learning. Can't wait to see you when you come back in July. This time i'll be there with my notebook and pen and hope to learn loads more actually being able to concentrate more on you without having my ADHD horse with me!!
See you then,
At 11:08am on April 25, 2009, Lallanslover said…
Hi there Chris...I'd be interested in attending your clinic on the 9th of May, at Maelor Equestrian Centre. I live in Manchester, around an hour and a half away. Please forward details of the clinic to me.
Many thanks,
At 3:04pm on March 31, 2009, Sarah at said…
Looking forward to seeing you at the Cadora Clinic in April.
At 12:02pm on March 20, 2009, Chris Irwin said…
Hi Ann and to all who have posted comments recently,

Greetings to you and everyone else who has been posting such kind comments. Thanks to everyone and many apologies for not staying more on top of these replies with more timely responses to your generous comments. I'm too busy burning the candle at both ends these days - with travel to and from clinics while trying to develop Riversong - it's a challenging transition not unlike the flying changes I just wrote about :-)

Again, many thanks to you all for your kindness of spirit. Much appreciated!
At 9:34pm on March 12, 2009, Patricia Kell said…
Hello Chris, looking forward to seeing you sometime in 2009, and that your winter has been shorter than ours. Take care. Patricia

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