How Stress Affects Your Horse

We’ve all seen the horse that enters into a new situation, whole body on alert, each muscle taut with intense focus on his surroundings. He might poop frequently in nervous anticipation. He might swish his tail or toss his head. Other horses might vocalize repeatedly or move constantly, reluctant to stand still. Such signs of…

A Conversation With Course Designer Bernardo Costa Cabral

An interesting conversation with Level 4 FEI course designer Bernardo Costa Cabral for those interested in show jumping course design. His interest was ignited in the late 1980s when British course designer Bob Ellis was working for a show held at the same riding club where 14-year-old Costa Cabral rode in Portugal. Because the ring…

The Neural Dance Between Horse and Rider

The primary reason horses and humans communicate at such a high level—and in real-time during very speedy sports—is because we allow the horse to use her own natural form of communication with us. In return, we offer that same form of communication to her. When we apply body language to horses, they reply with similar…

Effects of Different Stabling Routines on Horse Behaviour

Stabling is commonly used to manage domesticated horses despite research indicating that it can negatively impact horse welfare, but its effect on their affective state — that is, their underlying emotional state — has yet to be quantified. Stabling has been linked to significant impacts on the horse’s physiological health, as evidenced by the increase…

Changing Herd Dynamics

Equine behavior experts discuss how and why horses change ranks with changing herd dynamics—and how those changes may impact overall wellbeing and behavior. Your horse’s position in the herd may affect his overall disposition and interactions with you. Tips are provided to help your horse transition to new settings.

Forage is Key When Tackling Undesirable Behaviour in Horses

Rosa Verwijs, senior lecturer in equine behaviour at Writtle University Collegeifferent speaks about how unwanted behaviours can be caused by a lack of forage, such as stress, anxiety, aggression and resource-guarding. These might be displayed, such as abnormal oral behaviours, door-kicking, difficulty in handling and poor performance under saddle.

Horses Follow Reliable Leaders

Traditionally, leadership in horses has been understood as a function of dominance, embodied in the myth of the “lead mare”: the highest-ranking individual in a group will be the one leading it. Thanks to a growing body of scientific evidence, we now know that this is incorrect.