The Importance of Timing

We communicate with a horse by using a corridor of pressures that suggest the shape, the pace, and the direction we want the horse to take. Removing a pressure is the horse’s "reward." It is the way we communicate to the horse, "Yes! That’s right." If your timing is off when you either apply a pressure or remove it, your communication becomes garbled. The horse will not make a clear connection between a particular pressure or corridor of pressures and the response you expect from him.

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Horses as Therapy

They’ve long been a symbol of peace and harmony with nature. They are known for their sociable, nurturing personalities, and their capacity for empathy. So it’s perhaps not surprising that doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists and other professionals agree that horses can help patients with a wide range of physical and mental health issues to experience themselves in a different way.

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Heeding: Loading the Disobedient Horse

Loading a horse into a trailer is not a separate skill that horses and their handlers need to learn. Loading is simply a response to the step cue you’ve taught your horse through heeding. The horse that has learned to stay at your shoulder, trust your consistency and trust that he’s got your full attention whenever you’re with him. He has learned that your step is a cue for him to take a step. So he will match you step for step and walk right into the trailer. The step cues are the same and the horse’s response to them should be the same as if you were asking him to walk down the barn aisle or into an arena. When the horse understands heeding, walking into a trailer is just one step away from what he already knows.

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