Tension in horses can lead to all kinds of problems and hinder their ability to learn. Some horses are so tense and stiff that they are incapable of certain maneuvers. This can lead to frustration and anxiety, which in turn leads to increased tension.
It is important to understand the intentions behind a response especially when the response is explosive. A fear based reaction calls for a different training approach than that used for a confused response, and different again if the same action results from frustration. These three different outcomes make for three different identifiable intentions for the same stress factor. The intentions are important to understand.
Mother Nature built in the response of shying as a defense mechanism. However, humans see it as a vice. Imagine you are walking through a graveyard after midnight. You're only nine years old and you are holding your father's hand. Suddenly, something rustles in the bushes.
By Kentucky Equine Research - Pica is the desire to eat unusual substances that possess little or no nutritional value, such as dirt, wood, hair, and feces. This phenomenon has been observed in horses of all ages, breeds, and sexes.
By Lindsay Grice - I’ve had several horses in my program that, despite their talent, were extremely frustrating in their early competitive years. After investing many years of consistent training they eventually desensitized to the situations that would formerly set them off. Now, as mature horses, they are successful, versatile competitors.
By Lindsay Grice - Highlighting the common mistakes judges see riders making in the show ring, and how to prevent them is important. We should consider why things go wrong in the first place. From minor errors such as a chip before a hunter fence or a slight over-spin in reining, to major blunders like a refusal or a spook (after which everything disintegrates), the source of the problem can often be found through the science of equine behaviour.
By Lindsay Grice - I approach training on the basis of behavioural science which can help explain how horses think and learn. We’ll never know what it’s like to be a horse, but there is a wealth of evidence pointing to the way horses are wired...and they’re not wired like humans!