Neil's Horse Training Book

January 28th, 2014

Neil's Horse Training Book
Fear-free Horse Training, every step of the way explains every facet of horse training - from catching a foal for the first time, starting a horse under saddle, teaching your horse to move forward and give, overcoming problems such as shying, rearing, pulling back, and much much more. A horse training book built on removing fear and stress during the animal’s every working encounter with a human. This is the bold approach taken by Australian trainer Neil Davies in his long-awaited book, F...

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The Horse as a Prey Animal

December 14th, 2013

The Horse as a Prey Animal
      Although this mare had been handled, I had to use a catching pole to catch her. Every time I pick up a horse magazine, I read that horses are prey animals and humans are predators. Many articles say horses are ‘naturally’ afraid of humans because humans are predators. Others say it’s ‘natural’ for a horse to buck when the saddle is introduced, because a ‘dead animal’ is being strapped onto their back. The truth i...

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The Road to the Horse

December 7th, 2013

I just watched a DVD of the Road to the Horse. A revolution in horse training it isn’t. At the end of the event, not one of the horses could even walk a circle in a confident and relaxed manner. There was an obsession with harassing horses with tarps, flags and ropes. It went on and on to the point where the horses were dripping with sweat and very confused. Horses were continually terrorised with flags and tarps. No matter what the poor horses did, they couldn’t win. If they moved,...

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Horse Problems

November 26th, 2013

Horse Problems
It’s interesting to read of the problems people have with their horses and the advice given. In a lifetime of working with horses, the problems haven’t changed and unfortunately, the thinking about horses hasn’t changed much either. People think they need to make a horse ‘soft in the face’ or ‘control his hindquarters’ or chase him in a round pen or ‘move his feet’ (I wonder how else a horse can move). Instead of thinking of a horse as somet...

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How to use your most valuable horse training tool

November 25th, 2013

How to use your most valuable horse training tool
Rubbing a horse’s head, neck and around his ears gives him to time to relax. I show every horse that life is easy and pleasant when he has his head with me. Rubbing your horse’s head will be the start of a whole new relationship between you and your horse. Whenever you ask him to do something new or stressful, always follow it with a rub on his head. Your horse will learn that difficult times don’t go on forever and are always followed by a pleasant experience. You can use thi...

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Your most valuable training tool

November 23rd, 2013

Your most valuable training tool
  Building confidence and relaxation at the California State Fair, Sacremento 1989. Everyone looks for a magic fix to ‘cure’ their horse problems. Plenty of people will sell you a ‘magic’ halter, stick, lead rope, bit or some other contraption. None of them will really help. No contraption ever invented will teach your horse to be relaxed, confident and ready to learn. I’m going to tell you about the most valuable training tool available in the ...

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You Don't Have to get Your Horse Used to Anything

November 21st, 2013

You Don't Have to get Your Horse Used to Anything
Here’s a scenario to ponder: A person who’s never even been near a horse before, attends his first riding lesson. The teacher says, “Welcome. We’ll start by putting you on a horse that bucks. Don’t worry, just work your way through it. You’ll figure out what to do and tomorrow we can do it again. After a few lessons, you’ll see that bucking is harmless and nothing to worry about. Yes, you might fall off, but you’ll become desensitised and you&rsquo...

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Groupthink in the horse world

November 19th, 2013

Groupthink in the horse world
  Here’s a quote from a scientific magazine. Although it’s written for social psychologists, it also applies to the horse world. “Social psychologists, of all academics, should be particularly alert to the dangers of epistemological homogeneity, or groupthink as some prefer to call it. They would be aware of the errors that can pollute the group’s thinking if no one in the room is prepared to disagree. Assumptions become embedded into theory and method, re...

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