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Breeding a foal – A REALITY CHECK

Yesterday I received my 5th call for the season of people wanting help as they have tragically lost their mare or foal or both in the birthing process. The lady I spoke to yesterday was kind enough to allow me to share her experience in the hope that people really rethink if breeding a foal at home is a good idea. Samantha did everything right. She read books, she got the vets advice, she had a foaling alarm, she had her mare in a safe paddock…… but the night before last she lost her precious mare giving birth. She now [...]

By |December 14th, 2016|Insights|0 Comments

Are our expectations blocking our progress with our horses?

Life has its own rhythm and its own natural course to follow, yet we still insist on trying to control how everything unfolds. This is particularly true when we are talking about training horses. We know what we want from our horses, we expect them to behave in a certain way and if we don’t get what we want, we are unhappy and frustrated. We then begin searching for how to fix our horse that won’t fit in the box we have created in our mind. In contrast, it is a really amazing feeling when you are able to take [...]

By |December 1st, 2016|Insights|3 Comments

Trick for a treat! Yes or No….

I guess the first question you need to ask yourself is "do you want to build a two-way relationship with your horse, or do you want your horse to complete the tasks you are setting for him or her, that is to be obedient?". I am not a fan of using treats or clickers to teach horses. I believe it creates a false relationship. Let me explain what I mean... When we have done something really good with a horse, most of us want to reward them and our go to is usually pats or treats. This is where I [...]

By |September 28th, 2016|Insights|1 Comment

Rules, rules and more rules!!!

Hi Everyone I had two great questions from our online student Erica that I just answered. Q1 - I always notice your movement with the horses and see you moving backwards a fair amount. I was always taught that we must do everything possible to NOT move backwards, because doing so would indicate ‘being moved’ by them, or being ‘less’ in rank. and conversely we can bring about more confidence in an insecure horse by letting them move us. As I watch our herd I always notice that horses lower in rank are moved easily off their spot, while the [...]

By |September 16th, 2016|Insights|0 Comments

Are you in control?

We as a human race have subjugated horses for a long as we can remember. Many years ago it was to make our daily lives easier as they were used for transport and farm work. We have taken them to war. Wars that make absolutely no sense to horses who are a peaceful animal. Today we don’t need them in the same way, yet we still yearn for our horses to do what we say and meet our needs. A room full of trophies, a trainer with many clever techniques to get the horse doing what they want, a problem [...]

By |July 20th, 2016|Insights|3 Comments

Vulnerability is needed.

“People perceive it as a weakness, but new research reveals it’s the master key to an extraordinary life.” Social Scientist Brene Brown. I feel so moved by what happened today with Expresso and I have been contemplating all day if I will share my feelings in a blog or not. As my mind mulled over what took place this morning the overwhelming word that kept coming to my mind was “vulnerable”. What took place this morning was so beautiful and moving and it came from a place of vulnerability. Vulnerability carries a negative connotation. Perhaps this is because we use [...]

By |July 1st, 2016|Insights|4 Comments

Something incredibly beautiful unfolds when you work with a horse only for the horse

At Ribbleton, we work hard to keep our focus on “what is in it for the horse?”. This is no easy task if you are ambitious, driven or goal orientated. Now these things are not bad things at all. I know that if I went onto the training arena with no goals or drive my horses would quickly find me boring and walk away. Yes they want to be heard, but they also want to be stimulated. And when they are confident, they also want to be challenged. This morning I worked with our 3 mums, Weltango, Foxy Lady and [...]

By |December 12th, 2015|Insights|0 Comments

Are you diminishing your horse?

I can see the horse training world changing. The horse world is moving in the direction that it is unacceptable to be brutal with horses. Trainers are realising that with a soft approach most horses will do what they are asked. Is this enough? Picture this. You are married. Your partner has a clear vision of what they want. When ever you discuss things, your partner presents a convincing case. Your partner is a kind person. They are never harsh with you, but at the same time not allowing of who you are. You don’t feel heard, but it’s easier for [...]

By |November 25th, 2015|Insights|0 Comments

A Sense of Freedom

Happy engaged horses need to feel free in their mind and bodies. My horses remind me of this all the time. I am also reminded of this as I travel and do clinics. One of the most common things I see as people are progressing with their work is horses that become reluctant to move. When I meet new students and we begin our training, one of the main focusses is for the horses to find freedom of the mind. Without freedom of the mind, our horses lose their beautiful movement. Horses that are trained under a dominance model, even [...]

By |October 3rd, 2015|Insights|0 Comments

Give to get

I give to my horse by releasing the pressure to get the desired action that I asked for, sounds reasonable doesn’t it? I remember early in my marriage, I would sometimes say to my husband, “if you do this for me, I will do that for you”. I never got a good response, in fact it really annoyed him. I didn’t really understand his high level of irritation, it sounded reasonable to me! Many years later I now understand why he was so irritated. When we give with an expectation of getting, it’s a selfish act. It’s about us. The [...]

By |September 19th, 2015|Insights|0 Comments