Horses and Man's Best Friend

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
February 10, 2017

Imagine putting your beloved pet dog on a long lead and chasing him round and round with a flag on a stick.

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There's Never a Need to Chase Any Horse in a Round Pen

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
January 16, 2017

Next time you see a horse being chased in a round pen, please ask yourself:“What’s the answer for the horse and how can he get out of being chased?”“What does the trainer actually want the horse to do

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Why I Never Use a Flag on a Stick

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
July 25, 2016

Whenever you work with an unhandled horse or foal, the first thing you must do is get a rope around his neck. Without a rope, the horse can run away at any time.

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Don't Frighten Your Horse

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
June 20, 2016

There are some approaches to horses and horse training that are not only idiotic, but cruel as well. I hear and see things every day that make me cringe. Here are a couple of recent beauties:

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How to Add to Your Horse's Knowledge

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
May 22, 2016

Whether you realise it or not, every interaction you have with your horse teaches him something new. Every time you lead or ride your horse, you’re teaching him.

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The Super Sensitive Horse

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
April 23, 2016

A horse is a very sensitive creature. He can feel the lightest touch of your hand and the slightest squeeze of your leg. He can hear the slightest rustle in the bushes and feel the smallest fly

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No More Flags on Sticks

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
April 15, 2016

Lots of trainers tie a plastic bag or a flag on the end of a stick and call it a “training tool”. When the stick is used, the plastic bag/flag makes a whooshing noise that frightens horses...

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Your Horse Never Stops Learning

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
January 28, 2016

Whether you realise it or not, your horse learns from every interaction he has with you. Every time you go near your horse, you teach him something. Even when you clean his stable, you teach him

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Of Horse Herds and Pecking Orders

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
November 14, 2015

In every group of horses, there’s always some form of pecking order. When you feed a mob of horses in the paddock, there’s always one horse who will chase the others away so he can eat more

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Pressure and Relief in Horse Training

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
October 2, 2015

Most horse training is based on pressure and relief. Everyone uses pressure and relief in some way shape or form, even those who say they don’t.

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Horse Training It's Time for a Change

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
June 27, 2015

Everywhere I go I see older horses that are frightened of humans. Riding horses, brood mares, competition horses. Horses of all shapes and sizes, from four years old to twenty four years old.

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Kick the Habituation Habit

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
June 4, 2015

Many equine scientists say that horses must be habituated to every situation – a new stable, the saddle and girth, the headstall, bit and bridle, the saddle cloth, the rug and on and on it goes.

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Be Careful of Quacks

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
April 22, 2015

We’re often told that horses are mimics and will copy whatever their “leader” does. I’ve seen trainers run along in a trotting motion when they want a horse to trot alongside them.

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101 Uses for Your Most Valuable Training Tool

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
March 21, 2015

The first thing I do with every horse is go to him and rub his head. I teach him that life is easy and pleasant when he has his head with me. This is the most important thing you can teach any horse.

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No Method, No Worries

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
December 6, 2014

A fellow rang the other day to buy a copy of my book. “I need it straight away because I’m breaking-in my horse and tomorrow I have to tie him up and put the bit on for the first time.

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Don't Follow the Herd

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
November 16, 2014

There’s a big debate in the horse training world about whether you should be the ‘alpha’ mare, the ‘lead’ mare, the ‘boss’ stallion or the ‘submissive’ horse.

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Give the Flap the Flick

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
November 13, 2014

When you ride your horse, many trainers would have you believe that the biggest problems to overcome are plastic bags blowing in the wind, umbrellas suddenly opening and a world covered in plastic...

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Desensitisation Doesn't Make Sense

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
November 5, 2014

A common theme doing the rounds at the moment is that you must desensitise certain parts of a horse and sensitise other parts, in order to ride him and control him.

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Be an Unflappable Horseman

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
November 1, 2014

At every level of training, every horse has a threshold where his flight or fight response overrules his logical thinking process.

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Don't get in a flap. Say Neigh to Tarps and Flags

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
October 25, 2014

Recently I watched a famous trainer harassing a horse with a tarp. The horse was snorting and ‘taking fright’ of the tarp and was obviously very worried.

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Round Yard Reality

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
October 19, 2014

People have an obsession with forcing horses to come to them. When a horse is hard to catch, trainers say you must make the horse come to you.

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Round Pen Myths and Legends

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
October 14, 2014

There are many stories about round yards and chasing horses.

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The Respect Myth

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
September 10, 2014

I’ve heard at least a thousand times that you must gain your horse’s respect. It’s a mantra parroted off by horse people everywhere and many trainers say that respect is the first thing...

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Habituation - how and why the science is flawed

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
July 6, 2014

More than twenty five years ago, Wayne Bryden, a professor at Sydney University, gave me a book on the science of learning theory. In it I first read about habituation.

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Advance and Retreat and Learning Theory

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
June 17, 2014

In my opinion, advance and retreat is the key to introducing everything to every horse without frightening them. Equally, when a horse has previously been frightened by a specific item

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The Truth About Desensitisation

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
February 22, 2014

The most misunderstood part of horse training is the idea that you have to get horses 'used to' new things. Many trainers advocate to keep exposing horses to things that frighten them

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The Horse as a Prey Animal

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
December 14, 2013

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.

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