Published in the Scottish edition of Equi-ads 2012


Years ago, my old landrover broke down on a rough track, while I was towing a trailer full of hay to my horses. It was getting dark, snowing, the heating didn’t work and the evening wasn’t looking too great.

I called the AA, and soon someone arrived. I can’t remember what he said, or what he looked like, but I do remember the instant calm he created. That feeling of ‘I can relax, he’s going to take care of everything, all will be well’.

The hay was stored, I was given a lift home, and the landrover taken off to be fixed, all with no stress. In addition to the lack of stress, I let him totally take over and arrange everything, and I’m usually pretty insistent on being in control!

What has this got to do with training horses?  It’s a good reference point for me when I’m working with a horse - that is the feeling I want to give the horse, especially if they are troubled. Not that they better do what I say or they will be in more trouble, but that everything will be good if they stay with me.  Maybe worth a thought when you’re working with your horse -  how do you think he views you? Are you running around shouting ‘don’t panic’ like Lance Corporal Jones from Dad’s Army (showing my age)? Are you getting a bit pushy and trying to force things? Or being indecisive and unclear?

Think of a role model who made you feel calm and relaxed, someone that you positively wanted to be in charge, and try to present yourself like this to your horse.