Lindsay Grice's Blog (105)


Reliable brakes – not just for reiners!  Anyone ever been thankful for a horse who had a braking safety feature installed? An accident averted, an equitation class won, an opportunity to re-group before things got “out of hand”?

I’ve been thankful for horses that know “whoa” before they steps on…


Added by Lindsay Grice on March 19, 2018 at 4:00pm — No Comments

The horse’s flight response. Practice makes perfect.

Flight response is a prey animal’s instinct to flee from perceived danger.

Dr Andrew Mclean says “A structure deep inside the brain called the amygdala, sorts out stimuli as to whether they are fearful or not. Fearful stimuli receive special recognition by the brain in terms of remembering…


Added by Lindsay Grice on March 12, 2018 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Horses and Fences

Don’t give up what you want most for what you want right now.

I had the privilege of speaking to a student group last night- Life Lessons Learned from Horses. From the city, on outdoor education at a local retreat centre, everyone had experienced their first “horse…


Added by Lindsay Grice on March 11, 2018 at 4:11pm — No Comments

Horse learning: Licking and chewing-takin’ it with a grain of salt

Is it an AHA moment in a horse’s understanding? A sign of submission or a sigh of relief?

Always one to ask questions, I think a little differently about the licking and chewing thing  than I did in earlier years training horses. We recognize this mouth behaviour…


Added by Lindsay Grice on February 14, 2018 at 6:55am — No Comments

De-stress horse handling procedures.

Applying science-based learning principles for any horse training scenario, Dr. Sue McDonnell suggests how to de-stress 5 common stressful vet treatment procedures. It's common for equestrians to unintentionally train avoidance responses using pressure and release in the wrong timing. “We put pressure, the horses react, we back off because we have to because they're big or we weren't prepared, and the horse almost immediately gets into an avoidance cycle,” she said. “Recognize when something…


Added by Lindsay Grice on February 6, 2018 at 6:21pm — No Comments

New Year, new horse show rules.

It’s human to look for a fresh start every January, isn’t it?


New habits and attitudes to replace or tweak the old ways.


And because it’s our human nature to find a loophole, horse show committees roll out new or tweaked rules to close them!

 Judges and stewards reset our inner scoring systems. Competitors tweak tack and even training techniques.


What’s new from EC?

No ear phones or earbuds in the show ring. And only one…


Added by Lindsay Grice on January 8, 2018 at 4:17pm — No Comments

Riding bareback: when natural is not necessarily better.

That bareback beach riding bucket list experience - a tender moment for the rider, yet perhaps differently “tender” for the horse.

In several recent studies researchers have confirmed the benefits of pressure -distribution thanks to saddle trees, making them a better option…


Added by Lindsay Grice on November 25, 2017 at 10:45am — No Comments

Am I allowed to use a bitless bridle?

 I'm asked this question at a few open shows per season. Currently most rule books do not permit bitless bridle.

At the Global Dressage Forum. Dr. Andrew McLean one of the panel experts “How you train the bitless bridle depends on the hands at the other end. I think you can have the horse light in…


Added by Lindsay Grice on November 17, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Ready for the show – bitless or not!

I applaud Melanie Ferrio-Wise  not so much for going bridleless at the Washington Horse show, but for the systematic process she took to get there.

As a riding a teacher, I’m excited about process– understanding and enjoying the journey, not just the results.  Teaching skills and cues to your horse,…


Added by Lindsay Grice on November 10, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Bridless Jumper class

Even with one refusal and two rails, which dropped them to 24th in the placings, Melanie Ferrio-Wise  was delighted with her performance at the Washington International. She rode the course with a neck rope instead of a bridle!

She describes her horse as a tough horse unable to handle the stress of…


Added by Lindsay Grice on November 3, 2017 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Cowboy Up!

Oops!  I ironed a hole right through my dress pants for the second day of judging in Israel.  And my pants from the previous day had a small rip beginning.  No needle and thread…maybe duct tape?  Prayed for the seam to hold as I crawled through fences…gingerly!

I had to take my own advice-when things go…


Added by Lindsay Grice on October 25, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

Three days teaching riding clinics and workshops after the horse show in Israel.

 I LOVED coaching this group of older teens, each hoping to earn a place on the Israeli AQHA youth world cup team.  The following year each will head to compulsory military service, before pursuing any post-secondary education. 

This must be what contributes to their strong work ethic and…


Added by Lindsay Grice on October 23, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

Horse shows then and now-amazing!

Before my judging assignment in Israel begins, I’m standing in King Herods’s 1st century “Hippodrome”-the site of ancient horse shows and chariot races Herod built at the time of Jesus Christ-part of his summer palace in Caesarea.

It hit me – Tomorrow, I’ll be standing in a…


Added by Lindsay Grice on October 21, 2017 at 9:00am — No Comments

A return trip to judge a show in Israel!

My judging colleague is from Italy. My ring steward (and wonderful interpreter), Israeli.

Striking, as a “reserved” Canadian, Middle Eastern shows are more…  dramatic!  Enthusiastic applause for every class, down to the final one at 9:00 PM. 

Passionate viewpoints are expressed at the…


Added by Lindsay Grice on October 19, 2017 at 9:15am — No Comments

A good case for saddle time vs. screen time!

"Mr Smith, I think for the sake of your daughter's well-being, you should invest in a horse..."

Reading an article about the effects smartphones and social media have on us, I‘d say the science is confirming that uneasiness many of us have our ever-present screens.   "There's compelling…


Added by Lindsay Grice on September 28, 2017 at 5:32pm — No Comments

Coaching riders and… buying watermelons??

Had a little chuckle in the produce section yesterday J

Hmmm…the process of choosing just the right melon includes the 3 things I consider in choosing just the right solution to offer a horse and rider!

LOOK- We scan the melons comparing one to another - any…


Added by Lindsay Grice on September 13, 2017 at 8:14pm — No Comments

Tack Traditions

Jim Wofford wrote an insightful piece a while ago in Practical Horseman on the “mindless application of equipment, regardless of whether it is suitable for this horse at this stage of training.”

What do you think?

He said, “Nosebands are one of my many irritants…


Added by Lindsay Grice on August 17, 2017 at 9:45am — No Comments

Whales, horses, clicker training

On a Nova Scotia horse judging trip, how cool to detour for some whale watching with my son and his friend!

As horse gals we pondered what it would be like to ride 'em!…


Added by Lindsay Grice on August 11, 2017 at 7:04pm — No Comments

Confusing horse training jargon…

Mystical, humorous or deliberately elusive – the terms we use in the horse business can leave a rider scratching her head.  I was a coach’s worst nightmare - “What do you mean by that?” I’d ask . I rarely got a meaningful answer.

When coaching ,I’ll often press a rider to explain a term they’ve used.…


Added by Lindsay Grice on July 31, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

A unique “Horse Show Checklist”!

Heading off to a show this weekend?.

(condensed from hunter judge, Laura Kelland ‘s May17 blog)


DON’T go to the show  if:

  •  you aren’t getting excellent rides at home, …

Added by Lindsay Grice on July 29, 2017 at 10:35am — No Comments

Live Mare Stare Donkey Cam!

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