Horse Behaviour & Psychology

Will Clinging, hard-mouth horse, hard-minded horses, headstrong horse

Most people who are involved with horses have at some point ridden a horse with a “hard mouth.” There is a lot of advice and equipment designed to deal with this problem but understanding how the mouth became hard would be more help than a stronger bit. I believe that there is no such thing as a hard mouthed horse; they are “hard minded” horses.

By Will Clinging - What does your horse do for a living? Does he need a change from your routine to keep him mentally fresh and physically rested, or does he need a challenge mentally and physically to make him safe to be around? In this article I will concentrate on horses that are working regularly and horses that are seldom working. Both of these scenarios can be detrimental to the horse’s mental and physical well-being.

Equine Behaviour & Learning Patterns

By Will Clinging - The behaviour and learning patterns of the horse play a major role in his training process. These patterns are established by instincts, genetic makeup, and environment. We are not in total control of these patterns but to some degree we can help or hinder the direction they go in.

Treats in Horse Training

By Lindsay Grice - Although food rewards can definitely reinforce a lesson, in my experience the drawbacks of using food rewards far exceed the benefits. While it is important to reward horses to affirm every correct response, I feel there are other more valuable ways of doing so.

Lindsay Grice, how horses learn, horse's brain, horses social animals, horses safe herd, horse survival, equine neocortex, understanding horses, how horses perceive world, fright-flight response, horse brain

Without a doubt, an awareness of the way horses learn has helped me to train more efficiently, effectively, and safely. Like a detective, I approach issues by asking the question, “Why might this be happening?” I look for clues and go through my mental Rolodex of equine behaviour facts to solve the puzzle.

By Lindsay Grice - If you allow your horse to rub or nibble on you, you become his equal rather than the herd leader. In the horse’s hierarchy system the leader doesn’t allow subordinates to play with her or invade her personal space. Recognize the warning signs in your horse before a bite ever happens.

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.

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Riding Vactions in California with Jec Ballou