Juliane Dykiel's Horsemanship Blog

Archive for the tag “Horses”

Rocío’s Quiet Transformation From Subordinate to Alpha Mare

First of all, I’d like your input on turnout preferences. I’d love to see how the horse community feels about this issue.

While most things we have introduced Rocío to since her arrival have been new to her, turning her out with another horse was not. She had spent 5 years in a holding pen full of other mustangs, and, for this reason, we were sure that turning her out with another horse at Windflower would be a smooth process.

We chose Tica, Ainslie’s calmest mare, to be the first horse to turn Rocío out with.

“Patriotica,” Ainslie’s Andalusian mare.

We waited until the two had been properly introduced through the fence before introducing them. Additionally, the two had bonded from going out on trail walks together, where Ainslie would lead Tica and Rocío and I would follow.

One of Tica and Rocío’s first interactions.

One of Tica and Rocío’s first interactions, courtesy of Sheridan Studio.

However, it turned out that Rocío’s interaction with Tica was one of the most fascinating bits of herd dynamics I have ever observed.

When we were picking up Rocío from Orange on April 10th, we noticed that she was at the bottom of the pecking order. The other mares pushed her around. As a result, Rocío had gotten used to eating old, muddy scraps of hay because she usually couldn’t reach the good hay. We theorized that this was one of the reasons she had been so skinny when she arrived.

To observe this for yourself, you can take a peek at the pick-up video here. If you skip ahead to 0:27, you’ll see how shy she is compared to the other mares.

This is why we wanted her to be out with Tica specifically. Ainslie’s mare is very aloof in a herd and has “adopted” several of Ainslie’s young horses throughout the seventeen years Ainslie has owned her. She usually dominates but is not aggressive.

Tica establishing her role as herd leader early on. Photo by Sheridan Studio.

Tica establishing her role as herd leader early on. Photo by Sheridan Studio.

As soon as we were out together, the mares behaved just as we had predicted. Tica, the flashy Andalusian, pranced around the paddock, shooting warning faces at Rocío while Rocío tried to follow her around. In these first few minutes, Rocío accepted her place as subordinate mare very quickly.


Tica bossing Rocío around. Photo by Waxler Imagery.

Then, Tica settled down and ate some hay, while Rocío circled her for a few minutes. Tica wasn’t letting her approach the hay, and Rocío’s behavior was odd. She seemed to be approaching and retreating Tica from different angles.

All of a sudden, minutes later, Rocío backed up into Tica and kicked her! With a squeal, Tica backed off from the hay, and before we knew it, Rocío was chasing her around!

Rocío changing her place in the herd rather suddenly. Photo by Sheridan Studio.

Rocío changing her place in the herd rather suddenly. Photo by Sheridan Studio.

We were shocked at this quick transformation, and Rocío’s methodical, quiet, relatively drama-free way of switching the dynamic. I’ve seen horses fight for dominance before, and sometimes those fights escalate. Usually, a complete switch from subordinate to alpha mare could be very explosive, but Rocío proved to be extremely calculated.

Both mares were at peace very quickly. Photo by Sheridan Studio.

Both mares were at peace very quickly. Photo by Sheridan Studio.

The fact that she had been out with her herd in Orange, MA for days and stayed at the bottom of the pecking order told me that she has gained a lot of confidence at Windflower since she has arrived. She became the bold lead mare within twenty minutes or less.

Both girls trotting around in harmony. Photo by Waxler Imagery.

Both girls trotting around in harmony. Photo by Waxler Imagery.

This made me feel very happy for her, as well as reinforcing my opinion of how intelligent and sensible this little mare is.

Photo by Anne Dykiel.

Photo by Anne Dykiel.

If you like these updates, and haven’t already, please consider donating to our cause so that we can give this mare the best care possible.

Make sure you like our Facebook page!

As usual, I’d like to thank Sheridan Studio and Waxler Imagery for capturing all of these important moments. These photographers are truly gifted.


Rescue Spotlight: Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue and the Truth About Gaited Horses

sign beech brook farm


            After a thunderstorm and a broken-down car prevented each trip I planned to Beech Brook Farm Equine rescue in CT, owner and president Deborah Finco still took the time to conduct a phone interview in the middle of a day at her full-time job.

How was Beech Brook Farm Equine Rescue founded?

Running a rescue and working full-time cannot be easy, but Deborah still spoke to me passionately about the rescue that she started in 2007 after her horse-crazy daughter wondered: “Mom, what if we helped rescue horses?”

Deborah’s daughter riding one of Beech Brook Farm’s rescues.


Her daughter’s thoughtful suggestion led to them fostering a rescue donkey. When I asked her how this progressed into founding the rescue, a 501c3 non-profit organization, Deborah explained to me that she was not happy with the donkey’s new home and wanted to have more say in the animals’ future.

They started small, with only 2 or 3 horses per year, but the number of volunteers increased, and in 2009 a newspaper article caused the rescue to explode. Deborah told me that the goal of the board now is to adopt out at least 20 horses per year! To date they have saved over 75 horses and place 60 in adoptive homes.

Happy horses at BBF.

However, currently, donations have been down and until this changes the rescue cannot take in any more animals. Therefore, if you are a rescue-crazy equestrian, we hope that you’ll consider donating via at or snail mail at 125 Fishtown Road, Mystic CT 06355.

BBF gets a lot of their horses from the infamous Camelot Auction. Like Save Your Ass Rescue, which was previously featured, BBF has a very distinct quarantine area and guideline. This is necessary as a lot of Camelot horses come in with diseases such as Strangles, which Deborah experienced a recent bad case of.

The Truth About Gaited Horses


            I decided to take advantage of this interview to ask Deborah about gaited horses. BBF will accept any horse and adopts out a lot of donkeys especially, but mostly focuses on gaited breeds such as Tennessee Walkers, Missouri Foxtrotters, Peruvian Pasos, Spotted Saddles, and Paso Finos.

I don’t know much about gaited horses apart from my occasional trail endeavor with a little gaited Spotted Saddle mare. She is one of the most pleasant trail horses I have experienced. She is incredibly forward and responsive without being out of control, but mostly, she is incredibly comfortable.

Juliane Dykiel

Me (Juliane) and gaited mare Sadie



Deborah told me about how gaited horses were bred so that their riders could ride for miles and miles without posting. People overseeing plantation work needed a comfortable horse to help them get through the day. Deborah told me that she has osteoporosis and back pain from a back fracture and, apart from her daughter’s love for gaited breeds, this is part of the reason that she goes with gaited horses.

How about their gaits?


I asked Deborah a little bit more about these comfortable gaits. I’ve heard a lot about the running walk, and the pace, and wanted to know more. Apparently, the “running walk” is what makes gaited horses so comfortable: it is a 4-beat gait that comes after the trot but feels smoother to the rider. The pace, however, is a 2-beat gait, with each side of the horse moving in unison. Deborah described this particular gait as “jarring,” in some horses but comfortable in others. Missouri fox trotters are a bit different in that their special gait (the fox trot which is very smooth) is a diagonal gait.

Gaited horses are not limited to these two gaits, though: they may have a whole spectrum from walk, trot, pace, fox trot or running walk, rack, and canter! Each breed has something different to offer.

What can you do with these horses?

I’ve always wondered if gaited horses can do English disciplines such as jumping and dressage. Most people I know who work with them either trail ride for pleasure, or do competitive trail riding.

Deborah, however, surprised me by telling me that she has a friend whose gaited horse out-jumped all of the horses in a jumping competition!

“They do it all,” she told me, “Dressage, Western, Jumping…”

Gaited Dressage Rescue Horses

Who says gaited horses can’t do dressage? (Cammy, a current BBF adoptable)

However, she also went on to explain that it was harder for a gaited horse to get a good trot in dressage. Also, most people don’t want their gaited horse to trot – the running walk is much more comfortable.

Deborah had mentioned that her daughter used to show gaited horses down South, and I asked if there were different shows for gaited horses.

“There aren’t many up here,” she told me, “which is why most people who adopt our horses want to trail ride.” However, she told me about the shows down South that judge the gaited horses’ different gaits, and I thought about how amazing it would be to see one of those!

Now, for a call to action: if you’re interested in a gaited horse, check out Beech Brook Farm or check back to the Mount Toby Rescue Project regularly. And if you end up adopting, consider AllHorseStuff for your training equipment needs!

Your Emergency Brake on Horseback: the One-Rein Stop

By Juliane Dykiel

Why do the one-rein stop?

A horse’s speed is one of its most intimidating factors. Therefore, imagine being able to ride a young or untrained horse with minimal fear of being run away with. To many horse people that I know, this would be a relief.

marika gerhart bridleless riding

Natural Horsemanship Trainer Marika Gerhart and her horse Masq

However, this does not come magically. It is helpful to employ a structured exercise.

One of the most basic, yet important, exercises is the one-rein stop. I teach every single horse I work with on a regular basis this exercise. The one-rein stop will increase your safety in the saddle, and most likely your confidence. You can use it to stop your horse, whether he is going too quickly, spooking, or misbehaving. Another fantastic benefit of the one-rein stop is that it will help your horse become much more supple, as it isolates his neck from the rest of his body.

juliane dykiel natural horsemanship

Juliane and 4 year old Morab mare MTS Jets Royal Envii.

There are many ways to do the one-rein stop, but I tend to follow a fairly specific and structured method.

The most straightforward way to share this method, I realized, would be on video, so I put together a video of me teaching a horse the one-rein stop for the first time. I’ll explain the exercise below, as well, to give you the clearest idea possible.


Remember that it’s very helpful to teach your horse to flex on the ground before teaching this exercise.

natural horsemanship

Mercedes flexing

This way, your horse will understand that he has to give to pressure, and if he reacts dangerously to you asking him to give for the first time, you can be safe on the ground. Here is a video that explains this.

Step-by-step Instructions for the Mounted One-Rein-Stop:

1) First, hold the reins on the buckle with one hand. Then, raise your hand so that you can slide your other hand down the rein without having to lean forward and putting yourself off balance.

juliane dykiel natural horsemanship

Juliane raising and sliding on Envii.

Then, pull your hand to your hip, and wait for two things: for your horse to stop moving his feet, as many will walk in a circle at first, and for your horse to give to the pressure. As soon as both of those things happen, drop the rein like it’s burning. Timing is very important. This will encourage him to do the right thing.

2) Practice this a lot on both sides. You will know that you are ready to move on to the next step when your horse is light and gives completely, turning his head all the way around and practically turning your head, without moving his feet at all. It’s all right if he moves around a bit at first, but this should stop once he understands that you will give as soon as he stops. It’s a good idea to make sure he understands that this is a stopping exercise, not just flexing, before moving on to the next step.

3) The next step is to do it from the walk. First, ask your horse to walk off. When you’re ready to ask him for the one-rein stop, ask him first with your body, not the reins. Make yourself a little bit heavier in the saddle, put your toes up, and maybe use a vocal command…I like “Woah” or “Hoe.” Most likely, your horse won’t respond to this at all the first time, so often people give up on this step, but I find it very important. Whether or not your horse stops, then, do the one-rein stop. If you do this often and consistently, your horse will learn to stop simply from your body language, and you won’t even need reins. Kira, in the video, begins to do this. Now that we have practiced more, we can be cantering around in the big arena, and I’ll say “Hoe” and make myself heavy in the saddle, and she’ll stop right away. I always do the one-rein stop after, though, to clarify this to Kira.

4) When your horse is listening to your body language successfully at the walk, move on to the trot. When the trot has become very good, eventually the canter. Make sure that your horse is listening to your body.

Use caution when doing the one-rein at a full gallop if your horse is running away with you so as not to pull your horse off-balance. If his canter is too quick and he’s not listening to you, it helps to circle him a bit first, which will force him to slow down, before doing the one-rein stop. Pay attention to leads as well; it’s better to do a one-rein stop to the left if your horse is on the left lead, and vice versa.

5) When you do a one-rein from the walk, trot, or canter, always mix up how many you do. Only doing one might cause some horses to anticipate and walk off after the first one, so I usually do between two and four.

I always do between two and four one-rein stops right after I get on a horse. This keeps a horse from walking off as soon as I’ve mounted, as he’ll anticipate the one-rein stop instead of walking off.

Happy training, and e-mail me at or comment on this blog with any questions!

For more videos and articles, visit

Riding the Unpredictable Horse

By Juliane Dykiel

Working in the horse training business, I’ve seen a number of good riders lose confidence because their horse has reacted unpredictably. Whether the horse has spooked, run away with their rider, bucked, bolted, or reared, these 1000 lb animals can intimidate us in a heartbeat.

There are three main ways to prevent unpredictable behavior: 1) Desensitizing, which means exposing your horse to a scary object such as a tarp, plastic bag, umbrella, or scary noise early on 2) Establishing your role of herd leader and gaining your horse’s respect, which prevents rude and rebellious behavior such as bucking and rearing, and 3) Knowing what to do, and being prepared for, when your horse becomes unpredictable.

Horse Desensitizing

Juliane and Zip

Desensitizing is about teaching your horse to become accustomed to scary things. The goal is to teach our horses to think instead of react when confronted with new and unfamiliar objects and noises. My horse would bolt every time someone opened an umbrella, so I took the time to desensitize her to umbrellas. Now, I don’t need to worry when it rains!

As for establishing your role as herd leader, start on the ground by getting control of your horse’s feet. This will gain you their respect. A good way to start is by teaching your horse to back up. Getting a horse to respect your personal space is one of the best ways to gain respect.

The one-rein stop is a great way to stop your horse if it begins to run off with you and doesn’t listen to stop aids, or if it just stops listening to you over-all. It is important to prepare the one-rein stop at home from the stand still, then walk, then trot, and then canter, so that the horse understands what it’s supposed to do when you pick up the rein.

To learn more about how to desensitize safely and effectively, gain respect with groundwork exercises, and learn tricks like the one rein stop in case of emergencies, I would recommend the help of a good trainer. You can also sign up for our blog or “Like” us on Facebook to stay up to date with our free training videos.

No matter how much preparation you do, however, there will always be a risk of unpredictability in horses. So, in addition to the one rein stop, what else can you do when a horse becomes unpredictable?

Well, I was riding a green horse the other day, a quarter horse who was rescued from slaughter by Ainslie Sheridan, and has been through a lot of misery. Perhaps these experiences have taught her to be unpredictable in incredibly specific situations, as well as how to use her head – she is one of the smartest horses that I have worked with. In many ways, however, she is also one of the easiest. She is a quick learner, and she will go days without any resentment, leading to us being able to do things beyond her training level, such as leading trail rides with students and going to the beach.

Because of the fact that she had been so easygoing, I let my guard down with this green girl and she bucked me off in a single time at the beach, with what seemed like no warning. We had barely any problem in rides prior to this one, and the beginning of the ride, in which she got introduced to the ocean, went flawlessly. After being bucked off, I got back on. Several weeks passed with no sign of rebellion or disrespect from this horse, and it seemed like our problems were over.

I’d learned my lesson at the beach, however. From now on, I was sure to not let my guard down. The other day, I was riding her on the trails behind the barn with Ainslie and she said to me, “Wow, Dolly hasn’t bucked in a while, has she?” I acknowledged that she hadn’t, but this reminded me to be on my guard.

Horse at the Beach

Dolly at the Beach

So what does “being on your guard” mean? Well, I started listening to and paying attention to what she was telling me. When she was happy, her ears would face forward, and her stride energetic. However, I saw that she was irritated when I felt her sucking back, her back tightened, tail flicked, and she started tossing her head slightly. This led to a shortening of my reins. After all, horses have to have their heads down to buck, and keeping her head up at the stage was sure to help. Also, I sat deeply in the saddle and looked up, so that a single disturbance wouldn’t get me off (Working on your seat via lunge lessons and sit-ups is also a great way to prevent falling off…), yet tried to remain relaxed and confident.

Sure enough, Ainslie had saved me by mentioning the bucking. Two minutes later, I noticed the now-familiar warning signs. Dolly was annoyed about something. I wasn’t sure what, but I knew what was to come from it: she began sunfishing: huge, uncontrollable bucks designed to get the source of annoyance, me, out of the saddle.

So if once you’ve done everything that you can to prevent it, and done everything that you can to ensure that the horse doesn’t succeed in getting you off, how do you actually deal with the bucks when they happen?

Well, the first thing to do to prevent bucking is to get the horse’s head up, which is easier to do with shorter reins. Then, what most people don’t realize is that it’s very important to drive the horse forward. It might be scary for people to ask a horse to move faster when all they want to do is stop their horse and have it calm down, but horses absolutely can’t buck when running in a straight line. Then, once the horse is going normally forward again, a one-rein stop is possible, then you have the option of getting off and doing some ground work with the horse to establish respect.

However, I was on terrible terrain and had another horse in front of me when this happened. This proves that driving a horse forward is not always a safe option. Also, if I had been taking a student out on a trail ride, running off with the lead horse would have been sure to scare them. Therefore, I chose the second option: to do a one-rein stop directly. This helped me re-gain control of Dolly’s hindquarters and I put my leg back and made her spin around in a circle, pivoting on her inside front foot. Dolly soon learned that going around and around in a circle was much more difficult than trying to buck and that standing quietly was the better option. Here is a video that trainer Hadrien Dykiel made that shows this exercise.

Preparing for these exercises ahead of time is key. I had prepared for this at home by teaching Dolly to yield her hindquarters in response to my leg moving back, which helped quite a bit. Asking your horse to spin around will help stop most negative reactions. Since it is such a helpful safety net, however, it sometimes encourages one to skip steps. I once hopped on a horse I had never prepared with groundwork before, and since he did not know to “give” like the one-rein stop requires, or yield around my inside leg, I was unable to stop him from bucking and crow hopping and had to do an emergency dismount. Therefore, despite this safety net, please learn from my mistakes and do your homework: prepare the horse for a safe ride by desensitizing, teaching him the one-rein stop, and doing the proper ground work.

However, what happens if the horse ends up getting you off, despite all of this? No one has the perfect reaction time or seat, so there is no guarantee that a horse won’t succeed in bucking you off. If this happens, and if your state allows you to, make sure that you, or someone, has the horse work after the accident, so that the horse does not learn that bucking off his rider results in the end of a work session. You do not want to reward your horse for his behavior. This happens all the time when a horse bucks a rider off, and the rider is too scared to get back on. In that case, ground work or round penning is a great alternative to getting back on that lets the horse know that he is not the winner.

I hope that this “yielding-the-hindquarters” method will help some of your problems and make you a more confident rider! Remember that even if you do all of your homework, a horse is an animal, not a machine, and can always be unpredictable. My experience with Dolly left me nervous – I found it scarier with her than with a horse who does this all the time, because of the sheer unpredictability. Remember to always be on your guard, do your homework, and stay tuned for more training videos!

Why Should a Horse Always Have a Companion?

By guest blogger Juliane Dykiel

When most of us think about why our horses need companions, we think of the obvious…horses are herd animals, right? It seems like isolating one would be similar to isolating a human. As attached as we feel to our horses, most of us understand that our company is not enough for them (and, as often as I insist that I love horses more than people, I understand that it works vice versa as well).

However, when I dug into Margit Zeitler-Feicht’s Horse Behavior Explained once again, I found some facts about horse companionship that I would never have guessed simply from observing their behavior.

Who would have guessed that isolation actually impairs a horse’s ability to rest? In Zeitler-Feicht’s words, “In domestic horses, individual animals staying awake while others sleep” is very common. Horses actually feel more secure sleeping while others keep watch. Can you imagine the life of a solitary prey animal, such as the horse, lacking sleep because it always feels like it has to be on its guard? This seems so unpleasant. Zeitler-Feicht goes on to say that “It can therefore be concluded that management of horses without sufficient visual, olfactory, and auditory contact with other companions will impair their ability to relax and reinvigorate”(72).

Horses Mutual Grooming

Photo by Anna Spach

Another surprise is that in Germany, it is actually a violation of the Animal Welfare Act to keep “a horse without companions of the same species”( 42).

Who knew that some horses can also bond to goats and dogs when they lack a partner of the same species? To me, this is proof of how dependent they are on having a companion other than a human, with whom “the daily contact is typically very short” as opposed to “full members of a horse group” who spend “day and night united with their band”(43). Zeitler-Feicht believes that “keeping a horse with animals of a different species,” while helpful, “must only be considered as a temporary solution”(42).

How about the common excuse, “I’m afraid that a companion horse might hurt mine”? Well, it’s a fairly valid one: I ride a horse that was, at her old barn, turned out with another horse that beat her up, causing two breaks in her hind leg. While we were lucky and she’s doing well now, it’s definitely a risk. However, all herds have a set rank order, and this must be established when a horse is first turned out with others. Scuffles are usually short and limited to first exposure to a new horse. After all, “as soon as a hierarchy is established, it remains relatively stable”(32). If this is performed under supervision, further risk is low. This behavior is also extremely natural.

While some risk remains, I suppose that we have to pick our battles, and at least the horse is happier. The longer a horse has been turned out with another, the more solid the hierarchy and the less likely it is that one will hurt the other, so if you can find one horse that yours gets along with, you could create a long-lasting bond!

To Stall or Not to Stall a Horse?

By guest blogger Juliane Dykiel

Upon reading Margit H. Zeitler-Feicht’s Horse Behavior Explained, I came across some important information that I believe every horse person should know, yet not many seem to.

While I already knew how important it was both psychologically and physically for a horse to get out of its stall or turn out, I was not aware of the specific facts that prove that keeping a horse stalled all day is detrimental.

A 1998 survey “confirm[s] that more than 95% of horses are ridden or driven for less than 1 hour a day.” It may now be 2012, but can’t we all think of many horses that don’t get out enough?

So I decided to attempt to share this important information with the rest of the horse world. Horse Behavior Explained is a fairly dense book but its importance can’t be missed, so I’ll summarize some of it here.

In the wild, horses walk between 3.7 – 10.6 miles a day. A horse that remains stalled all day travels 0.1 miles per day. In Margit’s words, “the ‘day off,’ a day on which the horse never leaves the stall, is designed exclusively for human benefit. It offers nothing but disadvantages for the horse’s health and psyche…days off should rather include a quieter form of exercise such as pasture turnout or a trail ride at walking speed”(77).

Margit also explains that in the wild, the walk is the primary gait used by horses. They walk long distances with rare occurrences of trot and canter. However, stalled horses “spend most of their time standing and exercise is often limited to 1 hour but proportionally faster…highly concentrated exercise in this manner cannot compensate for a lack of slow movement spread out over a long period of time”(77). This clarifies the importance of trail rides, especially walks: after all, horses are nomadic creatures, and moving through woods is a psychological necessity.

A way to help satisfy the exercise requirement for horses that are not ridden enough, Margit explains on page 74, is to turn out horses at least several hours a day.

Another way to help is to “motivate horses to walk” by spreading out the “areas designed to meet the horse’s varying needs”(74) – for example, putting the water bucket on one side of the pasture or paddock, shelter on the opposite, and feeding them in a completely different corner. This will bring the amount of ground the horse covers a day when turned out for 12 hours from 1.8 miles to 3 miles, almost double.

Once the exercise requirement has been satisfied, and I have found this to be true from first-hand experience, a horse will usually be less prone to behavioral problems. After all, “Lack of exercise is a well-known cause of problems arising during handling”(77). Other physical aspects of the horse such as its musculoskeletal, digestive, cardiac, and circulatory systems will be healthier, and your horse, like any human who takes care of their body and exercises enough, will last longer.

Reading all of this, I found that I’m guilty myself – many of my projects don’t get out as much as they should. I feel like I’ve been subconsciously aware of this, yet always justified it by the fact that “I don’t have enough time” to ride all of the horses I’m charged with adequately. Well, today, instead of just riding my client’s horse hard for a half hour, I also squeezed in a half hour walk. Tomorrow, I’m going on a trail ride, and I’m going to pony one of the other horses along, since she’s been trained to pony students for years. Consider leasing a horse out to a quiet or experienced rider. Take your horses on trail rides; it’ll be therapeutic for the both of you. But most of all, pick up Margit Zeitler-Feicht’s Horse Behavior Explained for even more mind-blowing horse truths that most people need to be, yet are not aware of…or just wait for my next summary to come out: “Why A Horse Should Always Have A Companion.”

Running Horses

Photo by Anne Dykiel

How to Bathe a Horse in the Winter

I’ve always wondered if there was a quick and easy way to wash my horse in the winter. I was told about a waterless shampoo that worked really well, so I decided to buy a bottle and try it out myself. Here’s how it went:

It does a nice job removing stains and dirt from horses’ coats, so it’s a good replacement to bathing when it’s cold out. It’s also convenient before a horse show or anytime you need to get your horse clean, quickly. I was very pleased with the results, so we’ve decided to carry this shampoo in our store. You can check it out here: BestShot Waterless Shampoo

How do you keep your horses clean in the winter?

How to Groom a Horse

The girls from my barn explained to me yesterday how to use different brushes while grooming a horse. Watch the video to hear from them the differences between a curry comb, hard brush, soft brush, and hair brush.


What’s an Indian Hackamore?

A hackamore is like a bridle with no bit, but what’s an Indian Hackamore? First, let’s understand how hackamores work. Since there is no bit, the pressure from pulling on the reins of a hackamore goes elsewhere. Different hackamores are designed differently, but it is typical for the pressure to be applied on the noseband.

An Indian Hackamore has reins connected to it on both sides. When you pull on both reins, the noseband presses down on your horse’s nose, signaling them to slow down or stop. In addition, it tightens the chin strap, causing discomfort if ignored.

Watch our video to see how an Indian Hackamore works in action:

Happy Thanksgiving everybody!


Rescue Visit

Just this weekend we paid a visit to the Brewster branch of the Animal Rescue League of Boston. We looked at their two horses, Amaretto and Mojito.
Mojito is a 3 and a half year old Arab Quarter Horse cross and seems to be in good health. We took some videos of him and made a little youtube video:

We are looking into fostering Mojito so we can help find him a good home where he can lead a safe and fulfilling life after he receives some training.

From my first impression, Mojito appeared to be a friendly, curious, and lively horse. I am looking forward to getting to know him better!


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