Feed on

So what do you do if you need to store hay and other supplies before the forecast rain comes but the horses are blocking the entrance to the feed rooms, as they bask in the sun after a yummy lunch. Chase them out of the way? Put a halter on and lead them to another spot? Or simply explain the situation and ask for some cooperation? Continue Reading »

Tags: , , , , , ,

When a horse enters our life, one of the very first things we think of is training. I have gone on record as someone who believes that we grasp at the crutch of training long before we give contact, connection and communication an opportunity to create a strong bond of understanding between horse and human. Yet I readily acknowledge that there are times when training, as in the conditioning of a horse’s behaviour, may be required. Positive reinforcement is the method of choice when this is the case for it makes it possible for both the human and the horse to experience the joys of voluntary, spontaneous interaction between them outside the confines of training. Yet, and this may come as a surprise to many, positive reinforcement also carries within it the seeds of danger to the horse, the human, the relationship between them and other humans. So just what are these joys and dangers? And can the dangers be avoided to exploit positive reinforcement for truly creative communication between horse and human? Continue Reading »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Whenever anyone tells me an extraordinary – by ordinary standards – story about their horse’s ability to understand and communicate with them in the absence of any training or trained (conditioned) behaviour, I usually encourage them to share it with other horse people. My thinking goes along these lines: the more we humans realise what is possible with horses by simply relying on understanding, trust, connection and communication, the less need we will have to reach for the crutch of training and the more we will learn to rely on authentic inter-species interaction, something which horses readily offer us, if only we would take the time to listen to them. I had just exited a Zoom meeting with fellow horse lovers from around the world yesterday afternoon, when just such another extraordinary event occurred in the most ordinary way. So to practise what I preach it seems appropriate to share it with you. Continue Reading »

Tags: , , , , ,

Horses and Free eBooks

Towards the end of 2010 and early in 2011 shortly before I crossed the world for the second time in search of something that was actually waiting to be discovered within me, Vicki and I organised two body awareness workshops in our home in Bellingen, Australia. The body awareness exercises were designed to enable humans to ground themselves and, by doing so, to discover the power of being with horses in spontaneous consciousness, which is their natural condition. For the first workshop we did not set a fee. Instead we asked the participants to make a contribution based on what they felt it was worth and what they could afford. However, we did set a fee for the second workshop because some of the participants insisted on this. In both cases there were at least two participants who were hard pressed to pay a fee. We more than covered our costs for one of the workshops but were seriously out of pocket following the other. On which workshop did we lose money? Continue Reading »

Tags: , , ,

The knowledge that humans have of horses is impressively extensive, if the number of books, magazines, research papers, websites, audio-visual documentaries and films is anything to go by, not to mention the reflection of humans’ understanding and imagination of the horse in our culture and the arts. It is testimony to the hugely important role which the horse has played and continues to play in human history, arguably more so than in the case of any other animal. Personally, I am astounded by the extensive knowledge that even ordinary horse carers have about so many different aspects of horse husbandry and training, everything from breeding and feeding through to medical treatments and the disposal of an equine corpse. Continue Reading »

Tags: , , , ,

Older Posts »