Handling and Restraint

Article

Smart Mare, Smarter Vet

September 01, 2007

I am doing some positive reinforcement-based behavior modification for needle shyness in a draft broodmare. This mare is just too big and strong for the old-fashioned restraint methods of working around the problem. She has quite a repertoire of... Read More

Article

Understanding Horses Part 8: Teaching the Movements

August 01, 2007


It's important to teach your horse to respect your personal space

(Editor's Note: Last month we discussed the start of using pressure to work on ground... Read More

Article

Bitless: A New Breed of Bridle

August 01, 2007

What is the difference between The Bitless Bridle and other cross-under bitless bridles (CBBs) versus the traditional type of bit-free bridles such as the hackamore? Even more importantly, what are the advantages and disadvantages of the CBBs versus ... Read More

Article

Training Your Horse for Procedures--And Everything Else

July 21, 2007

"It is our responsibility to have the horse so well trained that we can do whatever we need to do without a problem," he stated. "Our horse does not have the right to hurt anyone. It's not because the vet smells funny that a horse hurts him... Read More

Article

Positive Reinforcement

July 01, 2007

Can you explain the concept of positive reinforcement training? What exactly does it mean? I was recently in New Zealand, where I was with a group that seems "converted" to what they call "all-positive training." It sounds like good old-fashioned... Read More

Article

Understanding Horses Part 7: Yielding to Pressure

July 01, 2007

I'm going to start discussing ground manners by talking about a 2-year-old colt from Arkansas who hadn't been handled much. He wasn't mean, he was just uneducated.

I use a rope halter to give me a little more leverage and "bite" if the horse... Read More

Article

Lessons Learned, Again

July 01, 2007

Sometimes we need to hear the same things again in order to learn them. Or maybe it's not the learning, but the applying what we've learned. I had to call Dr. Andy Anderson after reading his column this month and put his lessons into practice at... Read More

Article

Understanding Horses Part 6: Trailer Loading, Part 2

June 01, 2007

Last month we talked about how to aggravate the horse to load into a trailer. Remember, this isn't beating the horse or getting angry. It's like the horsefly being able to make a 1,000-pound horse move. You merely make it more comfortable to be... Read More

Article

A Late Start

May 01, 2007

I have a 5-month-old colt that was never halter broken. According to the breeder, it appeared that at one point a halter had been put on him, and the experience was traumatic for him.

Since he came home with me, I have been spending time with... Read More

Article

Understanding Horses Part 5: Trailer Loading Part 1

May 01, 2007

The reason most horses don't load in trailers is that owners have studiously trained them to not load. Horses learn this by accident. The horse gets led up to the trailer and decides not to go in and turns sideways. Then the owner leads him away an... Read More

Article

Calculating the Equine Attention Span

April 28, 2007

Using operant conditioning, scientists have quantified horses' attention spans, and they have drawn some conclusions that could help horse trainers and owners better understand their charges and how they learn.

The researchers at... Read More

Article

Understanding Horses Part 4: An Epic Day

April 01, 2007

People are shocked that I give my horses treats. I tell them there's a big difference in giving your horse treats, and him demanding treats. My horses don't demand treats. I don't show them treats before I catch them. Consider my horse Epic. I give... Read More

Article

Herd Instincts: Sparring

March 26, 2007

My horse was seen biting another horse in the throat. They were up on their hind legs supposedly playing when all of a sudden my horse made a very unusual move, according to the witness, and bit the other horse in the throat. The other horse ran an... Read More

Article

Horse Management and Care (AAEP 2006)

March 01, 2007

Various horse management and health care tips offered by equine professionals at the AAEP 2006 Convention.... Read More

Article

Understanding Horses: Basics #2 and #3

March 01, 2007

Last month we started talking about the three things every horse needs to know to make his rider happy. My hero, champion reining horse owner and trainer Dick Pieper, told me I had been making the training of my horses way too complicated. "You... Read More

Article

Overexcited Stallion

February 01, 2007

I have a stallion that "saucers" (exhibits glans penis enlargement) prior to mounting. Any suggestions?... Read More

Article

Keeping Stallions Focused

February 01, 2007

I'm a veterinary student from the United Kingdom and have been riding with a stud farm veterinarian in America going from place to place. I am trying to figure out the art of handling stallions for breeding. Can you please enlighten me on the... Read More

Article

Understanding Horses: Basic Movement #1

February 01, 2007

Champion reining horse owner/trainer Dick Pieper is my hero. I was showing and winning, but I wasn't completely happy with my reiners. In less than an hour under Dick's tutelage, I learned more than I had in the last 20 years. He said I was making... Read More

Article

Bringing Home a New Horse

December 01, 2006

Bringing home a newly purchased horse can be a stressful event for you and the horse, particularly for the horse. While you might feel a certain amount of stress, your new horse will be experiencing it twofold. After all, he's the one that has been... Read More

Article

Study Formulates Method for Reducing Fearfulness

October 30, 2006

Desensitization, the gradual introduction of a new stimulus, might be the most effective way to reduce fearfulness and reactivity in horses, according to a recent study by Danish and Swedish researchers.

The scientists examined three method... Read More

Article

Here's Looking at You

October 09, 2006

Different breeds of horses examine novel objects using different dominant eyes, according to researchers from the Universite de Rennes in France. Their observations of horses' reactions can also help horse handlers interpret whether a horse is... Read More

Article

Stallion Handling Course for Veterinarians and Stallion Owners Available

October 04, 2006

The Havemeyer Equine Behavior Lab and the Section of Reproduction at the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center is offering a stallion handling course for veterinarians, stallion owners, and managers. The two-day course will focus on... Read More

Article

Rearing and Flipping

October 01, 2006

We have a Quarter Horse mare whose mother was a bad flipper in the starting gate. She has two half-brothers that were also bad in the gate. All of these offspring were trained by different individuals. This spring, she had a filly that tried to fli... Read More

Article

Restraining a Horse (Book Excerpt)

August 23, 2006

The horse might appear to be well restrained while nothing is being done, then react with great speed when the procedure is attempted. If a restraint device is only partially applied, there is a much greater chance of the device coming off... Read More

Article

Skull Fractures in Horses

July 17, 2006

Horses suffering a skull fracture often had a history of being handled with the horse rearing and flipping over, striking the head on the ground, or hitting its head on an overhead structure such as a trailer or stall ceiling. ... Read More