Supplementing The Equine Diet, By Alison Averis

Dietary supplementation for horses is a vexed area where the scarcity of scientific studies, owners’ desires to do the best for their animals and enthusiastic advertising by manufacturers all conspire to make it difficult for anyone to know the best thing to do. There is nothing inherently dodgy or implausible about vitamins and trace elements. […]

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“Getting” a horse’s attention… By Catherine Bell

Linda Parelli recently increased her notoriety when a YouTube video of her working with a horse received “trial by internet” (the Linda Parelli video mentioned). Her response to the wide-ranging criticisms included the reason that she needed the horse’s attention to be focused on her in order to work him safely. This prompted further on-line […]

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Conference Review: The first Pan-African seminar on working equines (March 2010), By Suzanne Rogers

At the end of March I left the dismal weather in the UK for the sunny Gambia to present at the first Pan-African Conference on Working Equines. The conference, entitled ‘Better Management, Improved Performance’ was organised by the World Association for Transport Animal Welfare and Studies (TAWS) in association with The Gambia Horse and Donkey […]

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Why is who we are as people so important to who we are as trainers? By Ben Hart

The science of behaviour does not yet have all the answers to the questions posed by our horses; in fact it does not have all the explanations for human behaviour and learning fully defined. When dealing with the elements of behaviour which are unknown, our interpretations are supposition of behavioural intent. We make assumptions on […]

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Thoughts on Pressure Halters, By Ben Hart

Are pressure halters and thin rope halters good or bad? Pressure halters are just collections of webbing, buckles, brass fittings or plastic they are not inherently good or bad. That said people immediately leap to the conclusion that it is the hands that hold them that determine their label. I personally don’t think it is […]

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Horse Sense or Nonsense: How Do You Decide? By Alison Averis

In the equine world there are many sellers of goods and services who say that their products will make your horse healthier, or happier, or easier to ride, or more likely to win competitions. How can you evaluate these claims, and sort out the facts from the fiction? And when does it matter? It matters […]

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Some Thoughts on Bounderies. By Catherine Bell

With my toddler’s second birthday fast approaching, the subject of boundaries is close to my heart. The “just you wait until….” brigade has been out in strength, warning me of the need to enforce boundaries before my toddler turns into a monster. Funnily enough, different people with the same message gave me similar warnings about […]

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Horse Health, Management and Training – Why We Need Science. By Alison Averis

Once upon a time, a horse owner said to an alternative therapist: “Thanks very much for treating Billy last week. He was much more relaxed than usual in the stable that night, and he went really well when I rode him the next day – more forward going, more supple and more willing than usual. […]

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What Does it Mean to Train a Horse? By Ben Hart

How do I know that I am the person to work with a particular horse? Working with equines is not about the individual trainer or owner, no matter how great their equine training skills, marketing or publicity may be. It is about the sheer brilliance and ability of the horse, donkey or mule to figure out what on earth we humans want, what they have to do to survive, to receive rewards and to avoid discomfort. An incredible amount of equine intelligence and behaviour goes into just dealing with humans.

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