Lindsay Grice's Blog (115)


It’s the misuse of imagination according to renowned motivational speaker and salesman Zig Ziglar.

“What if..?” keeps us up the night before a horse show or a presentation or a difficult telephone conversation.

A nagging worry is like dragging a weight around on the end of a rope. Wherever we go, it comes with us.  The longer we drag it, the…


Added by Lindsay Grice on January 12, 2012 at 3:37pm — 1 Comment

What We Say to Horses.

Leaning against the fence of the warm up ring, waiting for the next class to begin, I chatted with an amateur rider who was watching her trainer give her horse a pre-class tune up. “He gets along so well with my horse,” she sighed. “My horse just knows who’s boss. I think we have a personality clash.”

She chatted away to her horse and trainer…


Added by Lindsay Grice on December 19, 2011 at 9:24pm — No Comments

Did I Say that?

Photo courtesy of Mcphail Equine Performance Center


As I entered the office of a friend the other day, I interrupted him as he was dictating into his computer. We’d chit chatted and swapping a few stories, before he realized he’d forgotten to turn off the dictation feature. It was awkwardly…


Added by Lindsay Grice on November 6, 2011 at 1:53pm — No Comments

In the Box: Self Carriage

Boundaries. With kids or horses, establishing limits and expectations is the one of the most considerate things we can do for them. Insecurity and resentment arise when boundaries aren’t well communicated or they shift.

As  decision maker the horse/human partnership, riders must clearly define their expectations of the pace, path and package with which they…


Added by Lindsay Grice on October 2, 2011 at 10:22pm — No Comments

Artificial Aids


Equipment that is used to back up or fortify a rider’s natural cue (i.e. spurs, whips, martingales).


Rarely should an artificial aid replace a natural cue. Used following the first light cue, it combines with negative reinforcement, giving relief as soon as the horse responds. Used logically (light cue, stronger cue,…


Added by Lindsay Grice on September 27, 2011 at 8:50am — No Comments

Testing What We Believe

At a horse show the other day a horse came firing backward out of a trailer, breaking the trailer tie (and the pride of the red faced owner) as she pranced free, tail flagging, touring the show grounds. Her  owner had tied her up, and then went around to fasten the tail bar….

You never know…


Added by Lindsay Grice on September 12, 2011 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Why so Tense?

Stress and tension plague us in modern times. Too many voices. Too many demands. With white knuckles and gritted teeth we soldier on. We can spot the signs of tension in a person – but what about a horse?

As judges we’re trained to recognize technical errors, lack of talent and lameness. What about signs of tension? We’re talking about this…


Added by Lindsay Grice on August 24, 2011 at 7:43am — 4 Comments

Timing and Intensity

Timing is everything when communicating effectively with your horse. Catching a horse in the moment he makes a decision with  reward or pressure identifies that particular decision as right or wrong. Pressure delivered a second too late allows him to…


Added by Lindsay Grice on August 7, 2011 at 9:58pm — No Comments

Heads up! Heels down!

Beautifully turned out and positioned, long legged equitation riders head up the placings at top shows this summer. Lessons spent without stirrups and in two point position pay dividends in the show ring. But have you ever considered the line between poise and pose? Dignity, calm and confidence stemming from an unmistakable wisdom describe a rider with poise.…


Added by Lindsay Grice on July 25, 2011 at 10:58am — No Comments

Contiguous Reinforcement

Joining or touching. In horse training, when the outcome quickly follows the behaviour. It’s key that a horse associates “this” with “that”. So the speed and skill of the rider to identify the choice moment to reward a horse for his response is key. A horse learns to link a behaviour to an outcome. For instance, when asking for a rein back, he gets no relief…


Added by Lindsay Grice on July 17, 2011 at 10:05pm — No Comments

My Horse/My friend? Part 2


I recently read an article explaining the concepts of Equine Facilitated Learning, a discovery/recovery program for people using horses as the teachers. The authors praised the program’s ability to enable self discovery and personal…


Added by Lindsay Grice on June 29, 2011 at 7:40am — No Comments

My horse/My friend? Part 1

Anyone who’s been dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend questions themselves later if they read too much into the relationship…I guess he wasn’t that into me after all…

Can we read too much into our relationships with our horses?

Earlier this year in Horse and Rider magazine, readers shared how they would describe their…


Added by Lindsay Grice on June 20, 2011 at 4:17pm — No Comments

Arena Mirrors

As I rode by the mirror this week, I checked to see the outline of the horse I was training - had he hidden behind the vertical or did his frame match the one I had in my head? Although he felt soft in my hands and forward in his trot, I’ve come to realize that what I feel doesn’t always match what is.

In life, horses, people and circumstances can act as…


Added by Lindsay Grice on June 13, 2011 at 8:51pm — No Comments

Behind The Bit


“Headset” is a bad word in my vocabulary. 

Thankfully, most judges these days aren’t fooled by that horse with his nose tucked in, looking past the head to analyze the balance, rhythm and relaxation of the whole picture.

I often describe the horse as…


Added by Lindsay Grice on June 7, 2011 at 9:18am — No Comments

It's More Than Horse Shows

I went to my first horse show when I was 13. The judge advised me that the yellow macramé browband I’d created for my gelding’s bridle was not really customary show attire. I didn’t really understand the difference between hunter or equitation, over fences, showmanship or halter/line classes. I just signed up for ‘em all, hoping that my horse had read the show program.

After spending my teen years showing my hunter on the A circuit, going off course as much as staying on track, I took… Continue

Added by Lindsay Grice on May 31, 2011 at 2:36pm — No Comments

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