All animals, including humans and horses, respond to the same powerful principles of learning. One of these principles, classical conditioning, is responsible for horses learning many things we don't mind them learning, but also many, many things we never want them to learn. In order for classical conditioning to occur, a horse must experience the pairing of something 'neutral' with something that has meaning to the horse. For example, the sound of a chain being undone on a g
I see horses for a variety of behaviour problems, such as aggressive behaviour, general anxiety, specific fears about various things or events, or issues related to separation from other horses. These issues can occur during routine management, in-hand, or when ridden.
No matter the horse behaviour problem, before I even see the client I am usually giving them some 'triage advice': advice meant to help the client see an immediate reduction in the frequency and/or intensity
Aggressive behaviour is a common complaint of horse owners. Aggression in horses may appear as threats such as ear pinning or kick or bite threats, or it can involve actions such as biting, chasing, kicking or striking. Aggressive behaviour may be directed towards humans or other horses. In rare instances, it may even be self-directed, where the horse bites themself. Horses displaying aggressive behaviour are not only potentially dangerous to be around, the behaviour often in