Researchers Neveux, Ferard, Dickel, Bouet, Petit and Valenchon of the Universities of Caen and Strasbourg carried out a study in which they tested the effect of classical music during stress episodes in transport and farriery. They found that playing music reduced stress during transport, which could lead to safer management practices and better welfare.
Sometimes I wonder if people really know what is important. Of course not everyone places the same importance on the same things, but regardless of what you want in life, there are times when you have to take a step back and make sense of it all.
Researchers Ellisand Greening of The Horse Trust conducted an interesting study on whether scratching a horse is an effective reward while training horses. Riders and handlers are often observed to scratch their horse on the withers following successful completion of a desired behaviour. However the results of their study suggest that this does not necessarily translate across to a training scenario. Food appears to be a more effective reward than a scratch on the withers for horses.
When Ingrid Klimke took center stage on a frosty, but beautiful sunny Saturday morning on 12 November 2016, 1700 attendants in the completely sold out indoor arena of the Westfalian Horse Center in Münster-Handorf paused for a moment. The main protagonist of the day kicked off her symposium with reminding them of the "one place which remains empty here today." Her mentor and a ong-time friend of the Klimke-family, major Paul Stecken, passed away just a few weeks earlier at the grand age of 100. His simple, but so true sentence "Correct riding is enough "would run like a red thread through the day.
I was giving a lesson recently and I was surprised to learn that a rider who had trained with some of the best in the world had not been given or advised on what tools to use in order to maintain or get back the control. We all have those days when we come out onto the arena and the horse feels ‘prickly’. I say that Batialo feels like he has his hackles up, like dogs do when they are ready for action.
I have seen riders start daily ride getting straight into the work. I recently questioned someone about this and the person replied, "I am starting the warm-up." I couldn't help but wonder, before you begin warming up a horse don't you have to first see if he is responding to the very basic stop-go button? It’s not just a case of walking out and doing some loose rein walk and then trotting off into a rising trot stretch. Every single day is a new day, a new ride, and you must start every single lesson from square one.