Horse Behaviour & Psychology

help horse work through confusion, understanding confused Horse, horse aggression, giving proper horse cues, jonathan field

Confusion is an emotion that we do not always allow our horses to feel. When you work with your horse, think about the horse as being always right. Most horses want to please us, so when they respond to a cue, they respond the way they think we want them to.

Jonathan Field, how to stop horse bucking, why is horse bucking, horse won't canter trot, groundwork for horse

Recently, I helped a friend whose mare was having problems with the transition to canter. Moving from trot to canter was scary at best – the mare might cut sharply into a turn, panic and rush, or throw in a strong buck. The mare seemed to be saying let’s just stick with the trot!

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The mammalian nervous system is an incredible thing, with its complex functionality, and all the ways it regulates our systems, adapts to change, restores itself, and even mirrors the nervous systems of those around us. If any year was going to introduce us to the limits and resourcefulness of our unique nervous system, 2020 would be it. In this one year, every one of us has found out exactly how we cope with global uncertainty, massive change, potential scarcity of resources, and possible threats to the health of ourselves and our family and friends. Our nervous system is an integral part of how we cope with stress and change, working behind the scenes to recalibrate, reorganize and bring us into new ways of being in a healthy or not-so-healthy state.

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There is always a reason when things go wrong, and we have to accept at least half of the responsibility. Remember it is we who are asking for certain acceptable behaviour; if we have not defined what is actually acceptable then the horse is right to be wrong.

happy horse, horse wellbeing, alexa linton, equine sports therapist, how to respect my horse, understanding my horse

The conversation surrounding needs is interesting and complex in terms of our non-speaking horses, especially within a culture that has a historically tricky relationship with the expression of needs. For the purpose of this article, let’s define a need as either a base need required for survival, namely food, water, shelter, and movement, or a need required to thrive, such as friends, space, play, touch, connection, purpose, praise/affirmation, supplementation, and interesting activities. When it comes to our relationship with our horse, the combination of the perceived needs of the rider and the potential needs of their horse can be a space of connecting growth or disconnecting frustration, depending on our perspective and openness to collaborative solutions.

Lindsay Grice, how to enjoy fall winter with Your Horse, meeting your equine goals, explore alternate activities with your horse, horse training, bonding with your horse, winter horse riding, autumn horse riding

Fall fairs, circuit championships, and club awards banquets signal the end of another horse show season. So how did it go? Did your shows, rodeos, or competitive trail rides meet your expectations? For the majority of horse owners, the answer to this question will likely be no. Stuff happens. And so we look toward the next year. But with chilly fall and winter weather looming, we all need some goals to motivate us to get off the couch and out to the arena on those cold nights!

how to stay calm while riding my horse, how to learn from my horse riding mistakes, annika mcgivern, enjoying my horse ride

Every equestrian knows the magic of our unique bond with our horses. It is a relationship that sits at the centre of our lives, supporting us and challenging us in equal measure. Every minute spent with our horses has a big impact on our well-being, which is an individual’s personal experience of good mental health and satisfaction with life. Research now supports what horsey folks have known for years: spending time with horses is good for us, so much so that horses are increasingly being used as a source of therapy. Studies have demonstrated that time spent interacting with horses increases positive emotions, decreasing depression and increasing social connection skills in children and adults alike.

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