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
Standard equipment in English disciplines. Training equipment in western. While nosebands are designed to prevent bit evasion, in the horse business, we’re inclined to default into thinking “If a little is good, more is better! Are we masking bit evasion without asking WHY the horse might be resisting?
The International Society of Equitation Science responded to the dilemma of cranking nosebands in equine sport with a study and by designing a noseband gauge for competition ring stewards:
“Some equestrian manuals and competition rule books propose that ‘two fingers’ be used as a spacer to guard against over-tightening, but fail to specify where they should be applied or, indeed, the size of the fingers.”
“When this device was used to check noseband…Continue
Posted on April 18, 2018 at 6:29pm
Have you ever been unsettled by your classmate’s handwringing before an exam? Or the patient before you holding their jaw as they emerge from the dentist’s room?
Its not that you sense or smell fear. You’re reading their body language….and catching it like an infection.
Riders often tell me that their horse senses they’re nervous. I ask them if they think their nervousness changes the way they ride and move around the horse.
“Do our horses appear to act up because they’re nervous and anxious when we are? Or is it, rather, because when we’re nervous, our muscles get tenser and our aids become completely different from what the horse is used to? To me that makes more logical sense.” Dr. Katrina Merkies, PhD, associate professor and equine program coordinator,…Continue
Posted on April 11, 2018 at 8:40pm
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 the reins, unseat a novice, or bump into another horse in the warm up ring. A nifty tool in training when a horse’s tension’s rising, and BEFORE he hits flight mode!
On another note, who doesn’t wish we’d put the brakes on our tongues from time to time!
Indeed, we all make many mistakes. For if we could control our tongues, we could also control ourselves in every other way. We can make a large horse go wherever we want by means of a small bit in its mouth. … in…Continue
Posted on March 19, 2018 at 4:00pm
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 - unlike other information, once learned, fearful responses are not forgotten. You can layer new responses on top, so they become less easily retrieved, but fearful responses need careful training to keep the lid on them.”
A horse doesn’t get a 2nd chance in nature to make a judgment error – when a threat is perceived he flees to a safe distance and checks things out from there. Thus, while most skills are learned by trial and error, it only takes one trial…Continue
Posted on March 12, 2018 at 4:00pm