horsemanship

Think Less, Feel More

If there is one trend that I see reflected in social media, it’s that too many people think too hard about working with horses. Whether it is the positive reinforcement folks who obsess over every aspect of a horse’s life that might be experienced as an aversive or the Dressage […]

Leadership Lessons from Horses

I recently made a major life change – I retired from the organization where I’ve been employed for nearly twenty-five years. Of course my final week saw the requisite retirement party, with the twist of having it over Zoom due to the pandemic. I am not one to like that […]

The Horse Comes First!

A video recently popped up in my timeline of a lovely horse being ridden roughly around a substantial jump course. My heart went out to the good fellow, who consistently jumped, in spite of his mouth being yanked most of the way, and the rider bouncing on his back most […]

Heads or Tails

When I recently reviewed a study on how well owners recognized negative emotions in horses, I was pleased to see that most actually did – at least in some equine activities. However, back on Facebook, I find that so many really don’t recognize those negative signs – even when they […]

They Said …

They said she was being so stubbornBut I saw the fear in her eyes They said she was just disobedientYet I knew that she was in pain She told me the horse was just uselessWhile I soothed the welts in his hide They told me that he could not feel […]

To Ride, Or Not To Ride

As people become more aware of horse cognition and welfare, the question of whether or not we should even ride them comes up. I have friends struggling with that question, and I ponder it myself, now and again. The question as to whether or not you choose to ride horses […]

The Greatest Gift

What do you have your horse for? A pasture pet? A fine choice, but what I have to say here will not apply to you. Do you plan to drive him? Another wonderful choice, but if that is all then you can likely use the next few minutes in other […]

Review: The Way to Perfect Horsemanship

I came to this book through reading Balancing Act by Dr. Gerd Heuschmann. Dr. Heuschmann references or quotes the author of this book, Udo Burger, many times throughout his own book. This is not by accident, for not only was Udo Burger a master horseman, he was also a veterinarian […]

The Art of Relaxation

The first thing that a rider must learn, if he aims to become an artist, is the art of relaxation. This means detachment, serenity, enjoyment of the work for the sake of beauty, unconcern with success or failure, praise or criticism. In this sense – power of total concentration of […]

What is Classical?

I always hate to disappoint my readers, but this post may raise more questions than it provides answers. There exists no single definition or understanding of ‘Classical’ with regard to riding. Many have tried, and many definitions are very close to each other – but that is only at a […]