Equestrians are linguists

A dear friend made me realise that learning to communicate with your horse is no different to learning a new language.

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There are many ways to learn a new language...some ways are better than others and everyone learns best with their chosen method.

If you don't learn the language correctly, if you skip the basics, miscommunication is imminent! You would not allow yourself to learn just "part" of a verb or only how to speak in the present tense when learning a language, so why scrimp on your learning or teaching as an equestrian? 

Arguably, starting a horse or getting to know a youngster or gaining a new addition to the herd, is one of the most fun times in horse training. This is your moment to get to know one another, to become acquainted and is the true beginning to a thorough and steady education together.

Somewhere along the way, many have forgotten the art of playing. Once you have your basic understanding of how to move your horse, and are able to do it well, you are open to use what you've learnt to practice conversations with your horse. In the beginning, it will not look like much to an outside eye, but you will start to feel your horse and will begin to realise your horse does "talk" to you - they're not just a good listener! The tools you were taught for the basic movements now become your own.

When you have taken the time to slow down, speak softly and practice with your equine partner, you will have the tools to move freely as one and to progress. 

This is where the fun begins! As you play with your "words" and learn to make "sentences" together! 

We are equestrians. We are linguists.

Not your average riding lesson...

Sense Equine is all about having fun and keeping the horse happy and healthy.

It's important to make it clear from the very start that we are different to most other trainers! 


We do not teach you how to ride but we do teach you how to keep your horse fit and healthy - it just so happens that your riding will improve with your new found knowledge and practices! We will give you the tools to become an exceptional horseman. 


This is NOT discipline specific, it is neither dressage training, nor western - not even "natural horsemanship" - this is Foundational training to fit with anything you may do with your horse. 

We compare the training to "building a house". We will talk you through how to "lay the foundations" and show you how to "build something to last". After all, without a solid foundation, any house will fall. The same goes for horse training; without a thorough foundation to the training, the horse and rider will always succumb to issues at some point. (Lameness, behavioural issues, pause in lesson progression)

Allowing yourself to take time and to master each movement completely before moving onto the next stage will ensure you build an incredible bond with your horse, boost confidence in you both and will be the making of a good foundation. This is what we actively encourage and help you to do. Practice, patience and praise go a long, long way. 

An endurance horse learning "straightness" - your Ultimate Bitless Bridle can come in all colours!

An endurance horse learning "straightness" - your Ultimate Bitless Bridle can come in all colours!

In the beginning, we choose to train with a bitless bridle, or with a bridle fitted with a Fulmer snaffle bit so the horse's whole head can move from the cheek, rather than being at risk of twisting around by the mouth. You will learn complete softness and how to move your horse lightly with your hands, opening a whole new line of communication.

We also recommend to many clients to use a bareback pad in the beginning for a variety of reasons; to learn to become more balanced, for greater range of movement with your horse whilst rehabilitating and in some cases, as a saddle replacement. 

We will teach you how to check your tack, how to keep your horse sound and to check for any discomfort after rides/ground work. You will learn about the symmetry of your horse and how to help your horse to become and maintain true balance and straightness. 

In many cases, we can help to prevent common lameness issues through good riding practice and informative reasoning behind each lesson. Sense Equine works alongside some incredible vets, osteopaths, farriers and physios to bring you a wealth of knowledge and good advice to help you and your horse when required. (Recommendations can be made in the UK and USA.) 

Whether you are looking to improve your riding, solve a training issue, start a youngster or just want to have fun and try something new - we really are for everyone! These methods are well suited for rehabilitation purposes and for those interested in keeping their horses healthy for years to come.

Learn the way the Masters intended - become a good horseman!

 

5 easy ways to become a better horseman

Did you know we can teach you everything with 5 basic movements?

Lower the head, disengage the hind end, shoulder over, shoulder in and reverse arc.

Would you believe me if I told you it could be simple, fun and that learning the basics can take no time at all?

Are you looking to improve your riding?
Do you want to be confident and feel safe in the saddle? 
Is a good relationship with your horse important to you? 


If "yes" to the above questions...read on!

Alex's Story: 

It all started when I was backing my haflinger, Thor.

On the ground I was being dragged around. There were days I felt helpless. I felt like I was constantly battling with him to be calm and to be manageable.

When I was finally in the saddle, I struggled with understanding how it was supposed to feel. With so many instructions, learning to be a good horseman seemed complicated!

Think about your legs...mind your hands, your seat is most important...your heels must be down, head up, shoulders back, squeeze here, lift here, stretch here... Yikes! And all of this before a thought about the horse!

 

 

We believe the most important aspect of learning with your horse is to enjoy it. If you aren't having fun and your horse isn't happy, what is the point? 
 


So, here is what we offer:

 

- to show you how to be calm and to relax around your horse

- help to teach your horse to relax and to engage their mind

- to give you the tools to be your horse's guide and to build a good relationship with them

- bring you the foundations to being a good horseman, whatever your level or discipline, in an informed, simple way

- remind you to have fun!

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FREE Lesson: Teach your horse to relax

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Lowering the head helps to take your horse out of the "flight" mindset and also helps to engage their mind.

It is easy to carry out on the ground, in the saddle, in a halter, bridle, bitless or bitted!

Here is a step-by-step picture guide of how to lower the head whilst on the ground and when you're on your horse.

Just a couple of minutes of practising this movement each time you ride will help you to calm your horse.

Did you know that the first way we humans communicate is via our hands?

It's no different when opening a line of communication with your horse 👋🏻 - soft and gentle is key!

 

 

5 tips for building a bond with your horse

5tips

5 simple tips for a better bond with your horse

It's easy to forget to obvious things when you're busy worrying about much more exciting stuff!

But keeping these little gems in mind whilst training, or even just doing odd jobs around the yard, will do wonders for your relationship with your horse.

  1. Praise often - you can never ever ever give too much praise to your horse! Treats, a scratch or verbal encouragement, always let them know they have done well. 
     
  2. Be calm - an anxious mind is no use to a horse and is not a good mindset to be in whilst around these large animals. If you find yourself worrying, try counting back from 10, slowly. You could try singing too - regulate your breathing and relax.
     
  3. Be fair - don't expect too much of your horse. They have a mind of their own, be respectful of this. 
     
  4. Downtime - allow your horse to just be a horse! Giving your horse time and space to just be themselves is not to be overlooked. Everyone needs some downtime; your horse included!
     
  5.  Grooming - mutual grooming takes part in herds to establish social bonds. Not only will this stengthen the bond with your horse but its also great for skin and hair health.

    What is your best piece of advice to those wanting an unbreakable bond with their horse? 

    Comment below and share your wisdom! We'd love to hear from you!

You want natural horsemanship? This isn't for you!

Yes... we have a great relationship with our horses.
Yes... our horses can move with "invisible aids".
Yes... issues which are all too common are "fixed" with our teachings.

But "Natural Horsemanship" is nothing more than a marketing strategy.

If you want to be able to speak to your horse calmly and to become a good horseman, then this is for you. 

If you want to be able to speak to your horse calmly and to become a good horseman, then this is for you. 

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Your journey, your experience, your passion.

I am not writing this to point out the obvious... 

When someone seeks help or advice with their horse/pony it is because they care.
With so many training methods and pieces of advice out there, how on earth do you know what to choose? Which path do you follow? 

I could write a nice piece about choosing any method is a great choice - but I'm not going to! Let's get a little controversial... 

Read More