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Philosophy

To teach a horse you must first know how a horse learns.  To know how a horse learns you must first know how a horse thinks.  To know how a horse thinks you must first know about the horse.  When you know about the horse, their desires, needs and their way of communication, you are on your way to becoming a partner with the horse.

Whether you ride out on the trail or in the show ring, there is no better feeling than riding in partnership with your horse. When the horse moves into the direction you want at the speed you want with that invisible cue, you will be riding as one.

Knowing about the horse begins with understanding horse behavior. The horse’s ultimate desire is to be comfortable.  Being prey animals, horses use their natural instincts, flight or fight, in stressful situations when they are uncomfortable. Horses perceive things unknown to them as a potential predator and thus as danger. It will depend on their personality and temperament whether they are naturally comfortable with unfamiliar situations or not.  Some horses are more inclined to 'check things out'  while others are uncomfortable and want to run first and then turn around and look at it. 

In addition horses are herd animals. They desire socialization and have a strong need for social order.  They spend most of the day testing each other's position within this social order to determin who the leader is.  In a herd of horses there will be one leader and the best leader is the quiet social type that moves around with confidence.  Since this comes natural to the horse they will test the leadership position with us as well.  When you can be the leader the horse seeks, that quiet and strong leader with soft hands, which walks around with confidence, the horse will follow.  The horse will follow your lead, on the ground and under saddle.  Once you become that leader, training techniques are just an afterthought.

So when you know about the horse, you also know about their communication.  Horses are visual creatures and they mainly communicate through body language.  They do vocalize, like a mare nickers at her foal, or like calling for each other when they can not see each other.  But mostly everything is done with a flick of their ear or a lift of a leg.  Horses read each other very well and give each other space and respect.  Horses read us very well as well and talk to us just like they do among one another. 
If you are that leader, you know how to listen. If you know how to listen you will understand what they are saying.

I can teach you how to become that strong leader with soft hands that communicate with confidence, it creates more safety, better handling and best of all… more fun!