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The Project:

Horses from many walks of life, communication through body language, tools used only for safety, never to train.


The Goal:

To discover how far Equestrian Art can be developed solely using body language.


How you feel is more important than what we do


After seven weeks of teaching around the world I am home again.


The dripping rain falling on evergreens and moss soothes my soul and feeds my mind. My thoughts are swirling with all I have seen and processing so much I have learned.


This morning as I woke up to the crunch of footsteps over gravel as the horses walked under my window, I realized, in a nutshell the thing I now understood most deeply is this:


How the horse feels is more important than what we do together.


That is the basis for the relationships we build.


It sounds simple, but there are immense and fascinating depths to that statement that I study every day.


The end goal is that my horses have habits and patterns of feeling so good in my company that together we will reach into the unknown and do a wide variety of things that bring richness and joy to our lives.


The reality is all of us have to know hardship of some variety before we know what good is in contrast.


As much as I would like to find a way around that, I haven’t found it yet.


The type of training I do is called Freedom Based Training®.


This means the horses are free to do absolutely anything they choose, as we work around them in patterns that show the horse, we make good choices for ourselves therefore we can be trusted.


It is standard classical conditioning we are doing, but it builds a new level of feel and timing in the human as we learn to build associations in the horse.


With practice and repetition the horse begins to see a pattern: When they are naturally feeling better, they will see and feel that I fall into harmony with them. When they are naturally feeling worse they will see I keep moving around them until the emotional tide changes and they start to feel better. When I see they are feeling better again I will fall into harmony with them again.


With enough repetition the patterns of harmony or disharmony become linked to the emotions.


Harmony = feelings getting better


Disharmony = feeling getting worse


To be clear, getting better does not mean great, and getting worse does not mean terrible. It is just an indication of ebb and flow of the tides of emotion.


It is only after these associations are built that I think any concept of togetherness can exist.


Togetherness and harmony must be to be linked to feeling better if we want to do things together.


Any living being will instinctually avoid doing things that make them feel worse.


In contrast, any living being will instinctually seek out the things that make them feel better.


We must teach the horse to avoid disharmony between us if we want to build a strong sense of togetherness.


In contrast we must teach the horse to seek harmony and by extension, togetherness.


Exactly how we do that is an art form.


This is the art form I have devoted my life to studying, and as study goes, I often have to remind myself; When I get it wrong, I have learned something important and when I get it right, my horse has learned something important.


I have to admit, I prefer it when the horses do more learning than I do, but we are a team so, sometimes I also have to experience the worse to see the contrasting better.


When I say “How you feel, is more important that what we do,” I don’t mean I will always make you feel good, that isn’t my job. I mean to say I will continue to make good decisions around the horse, until they associate me with good feelings and good times.


Then, from that foundation, we can build a wide and diversely entertaining range of things we might explore doing together.


That is the life I choose to live with horses!

I hope my study gives the world little food for thought.


Hooves and Heartbeats,



If you are curious about this ongoing study I am doing, check out Patreon/ for weekly updates in video form. I promise to share both my successes and my mistakes with you, so we can all learn together.


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