The Free Walk and the Horse’s Back

One of the huge factors in the epidemic of back problems our horses struggle with is the fad of insisting that the horse move with their neck arched and their head tucked into a fixed position regardless of what they are doing. I am stunned by how many riders of late seem to be genuinely […]

Beta Readers and Field Tests

One of my questions  my Fly By Night publisher never responded to was how to go about getting a couple of beta readers for my manuscripts. I have this peculiar and persistent idea that my instructions and stories on horse training should be tested to make sure that they are accessible, engaging, and usable before […]

Kikkuli Principles of Horse Fitness

Thank you for coming to my blog.  I appreciate your interest, and want to let you know that the content of this post is being incorporated into a series of books. Horse  fitness is as vital now as it has been to cavalry for some 3500 thousand years although our challenges are a little different.  […]

Learn To See

By the time a horse begins to vocalize (groan) with pain IF they ever do make noise at all their situation is life threatening.  Noticing signs of pain , distress, and discomfort early on is vital in schooling and competition as well as horse keeping. Learn to see, not just look! Here are a few […]

I’ve Got A Feeling

Fine horsemanship has been considered a spiritual practice for countless ages so a synonym for ‘feeling’ in horsemanship  might be ‘mindfulness’ in Buddhist practice.  Horses are naturally mindful, they are incredibly aware of and responsive to us and our awareness of them. They are also, like our emotional feelings and our physical perceptions, non-verbal. To […]

My Hero

Etienne Beudant, “L’Ecuyer Mirobolant” (“the Fantastic Trainer”) was, with Nuno Oliveira, the greatest rider of the 20th century. He trained very complicated horses that were mostly rejects from the army and turned them into objects of beauty working in great lightness and performing amazingly complicated movements. He is seen here on Mabrouk in what he […]

Tricks and Treats

To demonstrate  that they were truly in communication with their mount, High School riders of the classical traditions were often challenged to perform any sequence or combination of movements their audience could think up right there and then.  Here Nuno Oliviera and his horse demonstrate their versatility: For centuries the worst insult a High School […]