Horse Training

Taking Charge? Taking Control?

Taking charge is not the same thing as taking control although the two are often confused. Since horse training is a good mirror through which to reflect on our human condition, let’s talk about taking charge in equine training. To take charge means to assume responsibility for your horse. It requires that, as a leader, you have the intention of understanding his needs and fears and striving with all your might to see the world through his eyes, to find [...]

Horse Training, Horsemanship|

Learning When It’s Not Work

I talk in my book, Lead With Your Heart—Lessons from a Life with Horses, that training horses—like any education or learning process—should be fun. But what’s true for training horses is true for any teaching situation: the teacher or trainer is responsible for making the learning experience fun. It is not an option. It’s a duty. When it comes to horses, if a trainer gets out in the arena or round pen and begins to see her training session degenerating [...]

Horse Training, Horsemanship|

The Twitch Is Out!

Let’s get the subject of the horse twitch cleared up. There is nothing analgesic (pain-relieving) about a twitch squeezing the lips, one of the most sensitive parts of a horse’s anatomy. I know. There are some of you out there---horse handlers, trainers, and even veterinarians—who are going to tell me what an essential piece of equipment the horse twitch is. That they use it and the horse calms down. And some of you will tell me that there are even [...]

Horse Training, Horsemanship|

Patience: Give Yourself a Year

The key to training horses is patience. Not because horses are so slow but because human beings are so fast. As humans, we are so inherently predatory by nature that we want the horse to learn, to respond now–or even sooner! That means that our intention is not focused on the horse’s mindset or how it relates to the learning process but, instead, we are looking ahead for the result. When we look for results, we lose our focus, our [...]

Horse Training, Horsemanship|

New Riding Environment? Help With Your Horse’s Anxiety

I recently had an interesting question from a reader that related to some of the principles I talk about in Zen Mind, Zen Horse. I thought it would be helpful for everyone to review this real life example: Dear Dr. Hamilton, (excerpted) I have an eleven year-old mare, born and raised in Montana.  Although Barbie was broke, she spent the first seven years “out on pasture,” the majority of time in a herd of twenty or so horses.  She has [...]

Horse Training, Horsemanship|