Classical and Western dressage. What's the difference? Tips on riding the current popular western discipline patterns: competitive trail, horsemanship, the new ranch horse pleasure patterns.…Continue
Started Jul 30, 2013
Reinforcement: An outcome a horse receives which increases the likelihood that a response will occur again.Following a behaviour with a reinforcer (an outcome or a payoff) will cause it to happen…Continue
Started Jun 5, 2011
Lindsay Grice has not received any gifts yet
In 2004, FEI introduced into its dressage rules the phrase “happy athlete” to describe the ideal dressage horse.
But judging a horse’s happiness remains fairly subjective.
In a recent blog, I wrote about horse unhappiness – describing the Horse Grimace Scale… the method scientists have developed to objectively recognize pain in horses.
So, can we objectively recognize happiness in riding horses? Not just the absence of tension, but genuine enjoyment?
It’s a question researcher Dr. Natalie Waran has been looking into, and she presented on the topic at the International Society of Equitation Science Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Here are some of her…Continue
Posted on January 11, 2016 at 5:30pm
Yep, there’s an official tool to identify if that horse is really stressed. Last year, researchers developed The Horse Grimace Scale, grading 6 facial action units (FAU) to determine horse pain, including ear position, muscle tension around the eyes and nostril shape. Good horse-people read horses well, don’t they? Just helps to have a scientific tool to confirm we’re not just making this stuff up! Now…is there a comparable Human Grimace Scale to gauge the Christmas shopper stress I saw in last week’s Black Friday cashier line -up??
Posted on December 14, 2015 at 2:18pm
Steering a horse with one hand is like adding another language to your horse’s education. Initially trained to speak “direct rein”, as the horse advances in his education you’ll begin to communicate with a curb bit and introduce pressure from the neck.
As an english rider, entering the western world, I felt awkward riding with one hand. So, like many riders, I’d train at home with two hands and hope that I’d be able to pull it off with one hand in the show ring! Very bad plan…
French immersion students rise above their French-class-only friends by operating in the language every day, in every class.
Similarly, discipline yourself to ride only with one hand every time you choose a curb bit. Before long you and your horse will become…
Posted on December 14, 2015 at 2:00pm
I did a double- take as I walked by this camel in Israel – he wasn’t tied and he wasn’t fenced…
Though I’m no camel training expert, I guess he’d earned the “privilege” of freedom because he’d learned the boundaries by trial and error.
Same way horses do. They learn by bumping into pressure and finding release. And they choose to stay where there’s freedom. That’s self-carriage – when a horse between the aids without being held there.
But what about you and me? What makes us stay within our own boundaries? Play by the rulebook? I wonder if it’s part of the human condition to think the grass is greener on the other side, look for loopholes, and push the limits J
For me, I’m inclined to test the fences too. Only an inner conviction –a belief that the best way to avoid life regrets is between some life guardrails …Continue
Posted on November 4, 2015 at 5:11pm