Category Archives: Brain-Based Horsemanship

The Perfect Flying Change

Flying lead changes are on my short list for True at this point in his training. We’ve been doing a lot of simple changes, shortening the number of trot steps...

Love Nips between Horses

Aww, sometimes horses are so darn cute. I know that sounds anthropomorphic, but hear me out and judge for yourself: True’s been separated from his injured pasture mate for a...

Sharing the Arena

True loves to share the arena with other horses: “Woo-hoo! Play time!” Mares are especially exciting because they’re rare where he lives… and, well, because they’re mares: “Hey, baby! Wanna...

Winter Hiatus

True and I don’t take much time off during the winter because doing so requires so much re-conditioning in spring. Time spent re-conditioning during the riding season is time stolen...

Ground Manners

Ground manners in any horse are very important and often overlooked. Why? First, they transfer to mounted work. A horse who’s been taught to pay attention to you, follow your...

Vacuums

My green Warmblood True and I have been experiencing a lot of snow lately and don’t have an indoor. We manage to walk on long hilly driveways, practice lateral maneuvers...

The Bareback Years

It was snowing and blowing yesterday, so my young Warmblood True got the day off and I worked on a photo gift for my father. This required sorting through 170...

Training the Human

Sometimes the hardest part of horse training is training the human. This problem shows up in many ways—we humans often reward at the wrong moment, apply different cues at once,...

Mistakes with Youngsters

Two years ago, I had just purchased my then-three-year-old Warmblood True. He’d been with me for three months, and I took him to a small schooling show just to ride...

“Likes to Jump”

Brain-based horsemanship makes a person pretty skeptical about what horses do and don’t “like.” Without a prefrontal cortex that can evaluate and judge, horse brains are left to innate instincts...

Putting Smell to Work

If you’ve read Horse Brain, Human Brain, you know that our human noggins are designed to rely on vision as their primary sense, but horse brains are ruled by smell. True,...

Crosspole Roulette

My green Warmblood True is doing well with his early hopping lessons, except for one little thing. I call it “crosspole roulette.” Crosspole roulette is evidently some kind of equine...

Legs

My green Warmblood True, like most youngsters, has these beautiful lower legs with clear definition between his strong tendons that brings a smile to any jumping rider’s face. We protect...

Leaving the Ground

True, my young Warmblood, is trotting individual ground poles and sequences of up to four poles in a row, in both directions at various locations around the arena by now....

Interruptions

Writing a column like this, where one article follows another in perfect lockstep, suggests that horse training is a serial process. It’s as if my green Warmblood True learns one...

Pole Sequences

Don’t worry, we won’t be on poles forever. Last week, my four-year-old Warmblood True was clearing a three-inch raised pole by three feet. I redirected him to a different task...

Raised Poles

Following the exercise described last week, my four-year-old warmblood True is walking and trotting smoothly from each direction over single poles scattered around the arena. With such practice, he's learned...

One Little Pole on the Ground

You know how show jumpers sail over gigantic obstacles, like oh say…CARS? Or set records for height, like oh say… EIGHT FEET high? Or breadth… um, that would be 28...

Pre-Checks for Jumping

It’s time to start teaching my green warmblood True to jump. As usual, we have to begin with some preliminary checks. First, be sure your horse’s bones and body are...

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