The Road to the Horse

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 … Read more

The Truth About Desensitisation

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 and they’ll eventually ‘get used to  it’. Others say, when a horse is frightened of something, just keep  frightening him with it and … Read more

Round Pen Myths and Legends

There are many stories about round yards and chasing horses. One story often told is that if you chase your horse in a round yard, you enter the ‘mystical’ world of the horse herd. You become the dominant horse in a magical herd of two. When your horse eventually comes to you, it’s supposedly because … Read more

Advance and Retreat and Learning Theory

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, advance and retreat must be used to overcome the bad experience. When advance and retreat is used, two components of learning theory are at work: … Read more

It’s nobody’s fault but your own

Lots of people go to clinics to watch a ‘wild’ bucking horse being ‘tamed’. It’s high time for everyone to realise that a young horse is frightened and terrified when he bucks. Yet I’ve seen trainers make a joke of it or say, “It doesn’t matter, he’ll get used to it. He has to work … Read more

Too Many Horses Can’t Cope

Due to bad handling and bad training, thousands of horses never reach their full potential. Many horses don’t make it past the ‘breaking in’ stage. Many others are ‘blown up’ by the use of too much pressure and too much force during their training. These days, trainers everywhere chase horses with flags, ropes and tarps. … Read more