clicker training


I’m at an art festival with my husband. We’re holding hands. I see something that I want to look at. I walk towards it, he feels where I’m going through our hands. He follows. He gets distracted by something and he stops, he pulls lightly on my hand so I […]

The Halter As Welcome Information


Susannah called me in because she wanted to be able to tack up her mare, Fawn, without her horse showing signs of worry. The first thing that I do is watch the baseline behavior, and then tease apart the components. Here is how Fawn reacted when Susannah stepped towards her […]

Standing Still For Saddling


Susannah has an OTTB mare named Fawn. Fawn raced, not brilliantly, then was purchased by a family inexperienced around horses. A few years later Fawn went to a similar home. Then Susannah bought her. After a few months of getting to know Fawn, Susannah was ready to get to work […]

Catching A Horse Is In the Details



Here in New England, it’s the beginning of horse show season. There are tune-up schooling shows to go to, and we dressage riders are mapping out which USDF recognized shows to enter later this summer. I like showing, and Tonka seems to, too.   We’ve certainly done well since entering […]

“Success” With Your Horse


In an ideal world, your horse confidently walks with you anywhere. A comfortable halter and lead rope provide for subtle, tactile information. Turn here. Slow down. Wait.   However, when faced with something worrisome, a horse might need more from you. We’ve all been there. A horse won’t get in the […]

Effective Luring For Horses


We teach our dogs to come. Even the little ones will rush towards you with a bit of training. (Scooter has a hard time putting on the brakes. He stopped just behind me.)   Like dogs, horses can be taught to come for treats. However, a horse is a grazer, […]

Come! From Turnout



I just returned home from four days in Houston, Texas. I was there for the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) annual conference. There were three full days of lectures about the science of animal behavior (with ethology, physiology, and a few other ologys thrown in.) I go to […]

IAABC Conference Conversations


Several times a year, I teach a Problem Solving Your Problem Animal class through local adult and community education departments. Each person who comes loves their dog (it’s usually a dog, although I’ve had people discuss cats and parrots, too) but they’re at their wit’s end. Each person has an […]

How To Choose A Trainer


It’s 0° F this morning. Which is not as cold as it is in the Midwest (I feel for you guys!) On the plus side, there’s not much wind and the sun is shining in a blue sky. The horses are fine. When the weather is at it’s worst, they’re […]

Walking In the Cold