Horses

HEventingorsemanship is an ancient art, dating from approximately 6000 years ago. Many of the techniques we use in training our horses today were devised hundreds of years ago, long before the development of the study of psychology, and even in advance of humans having closely studied the anatomy of horses, bone structures, soft tissue, the ability of animals to feel pain, etc. As a result, techniques were used because they got results, but often without any deep understanding into why or how they worked.

Recent studies have shown that many of the techniques used in the past have not taken the horse's learning abilities, and limitations, into account, simply because that knowledge was not available. While some horses have given the desired responses - and performed successfully, the result for other horses has been high levels of stress, confusion and suffering for the horse, resulting in problem behaviours being displayed.

Fortunately, major advances have been made in recent years in the area of studying horse psychology and learning. Based on these exciting developments, techniques used in horse training can now be assessed in a more scientific manner, and replaced, where necessary, with approaches which make use of the horse's learning abilities more efficiently.