Jenny Pearce

Questions for Jenny

You can ask any horse question that you like, on any subject, horse health or horse riding, training or problems with your horse and if I know the answer I am happy to oblige.

Leave your questions in the comments below.

For those of you on my on line courses, if somehow I miss your point or you don’t think your question has been covered, then don’t forget to take advantage of the question and answer section of the monthly webinars that are part of the Fast Track to Brilliant Riding program.

Put your questions in the comments below…   cheers!  jenny

 

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287 Comments

  1. Valerie Lacey 07/22/2017, 12:21 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny, I have two aged horses I’m their early to mid 20’s with arthritis (as well as me!). I am wondering if you can add borax (pure food grade) to their water rather than in there feed. I am not really wanting to give them and hard feed. Also, can you recommend a seaweed meal? cheers

    • jennyp 07/22/2017, 10:03 pm Reply

      I’ve never thought or experienced adding borax to water. It is used as a TINY, TINY trace element in Pat Coleby’s arthritis remedy – just a few grains per day. With other things like magnesium, I put that into a SECOND source of water, so they can have it or leave it if they want. I don’t know if that would work with borax but the big deal part of that would be the teensiest, teensiest amount and then how would you know if they got it or not?
      There’s quite a few articles on arthritis in horses on my website here – the MAJOR part of fixing arthritis is Releasing the old emotional stresses that are in the way of good posture and flowing happy movement as normal. When the joints are being used “correctly” the body can dissolve that calcium that it built up to protect the joint. So get the 9 Keys to Happiness with your horse – top right hand side of almost every page. It gives you the foundation understanding behind the Release work that we do here and then if that suits, then Fast Track will give you the rest. 🙂
      Any Aussie seaweed meal is OK, I’m not fussed about the brand just that it’s a seaweed MEAL, not liquid.

  2. Ashley Botha 07/11/2017, 6:06 pm Reply

    Hi there,

    I’ve just come across your website and I wonder if you can help me. I have a problem travelling my horse.

    His name is Dylan he’s a 6 year old ex race horse. I think he may have been one of the unlucky race horses to get a cattle prod on his butt in the starting gates because he’s very sensitive with his back legs. When I started float training him I had the help of an experienced horseman and we started from the beginning and just started getting comfortable in our float, which was a straight loader. He was nervous to start off with but by the end he was perfect. He self loads and stood happily for as long as you left him. That was until he had the back of the float done up. As soon as he touched the bum bar he lit up like a Christmas tree. He managed to tear the float apart in his panic but lucky he wasn’t hurt. That was when we realised he had a real issue around his back legs so we started training with that. He is fine with thing touching his back legs at any time except when he’s in the float. So we upgraded and got him an angle loader so it wouldn’t quite feel like he’s in the starting gates but more like a truck. He starting floating in that and he was good. He went out to a couple of shows and despite a few kicks in the back he was an angel. After a few more powerful kicks he dented the side that managed to open the divider in the float. Which started to hit him in the back, making him kick more. So we got that fixed but his kicking just got worse. Until one day he managed to get his leg over the divider. Unfortunately he did this on a high way so we felt him tussling around but we couldn’t do anything. When we did open the back up he’d actually managed to turn him self around in the float. He was very sweaty and worked up and had skinned his legs. After recovering from that his floating was okay for a couple more trips but we noticed he was always slightly worse on the way home. We checked his back and everything making sure it wasn’t pain related. It’s now at the point that this very talent horse isn’t getting out to the shows he deserves to be at because of his travelling. He floats to the venues quietly but when you load him back up he starts dropping in sweat, the whites of his eyes are showing, he’s really distressed. I have no idea what’s bothering him or how to fix it for him. Vets have suggested a course of drugs to calm him down while we retrain him but I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to help him.

    • jennyp 07/15/2017, 7:38 am Reply

      Oh dear… Bless you Ashley for the effort that you’re putting in to helping Dylan. Fear is cumulative, in both horses and people. Each time the horse isn’t able to make himself safe (usually by running away) then that suppressed fear adds on to the next one until you have a bunch of small fears and big ones adding up to a gigantic terror. The key is to systematically help him to feel safe in ALL those scarey situations in his life and then the float scarey leg thing will be more easy to figure out and get rid of. And yes it IS possible to help him Release that terror of something around his back legs in the float and yes you can do that with confidence between the two of you and the kind of trust that grows when someone helps them to feel safe in all kinds of situations. Start with our free lessons the 9 Keys to Happiness. That will give you a basic understanding of how a horse’s fear works and how you can manage it differently. If the first and fourth keys are not REALLY clear to you, then come back to me and we’ll do a quickie 15 minute free Skype to help you get it. The second and third keys are also important to understanding Dylan’s fear and the 7th Key is a really big one – a simple way to help him release the fear. These keys are the FOUNDATION understanding that you’ll need to help him. They do not specifically address the actual issue that you are talking about. Yes you CAN help him. Yes this CAN be fixed. And yes YOU can do it. 🙂

  3. Kate 08/22/2016, 10:50 pm Reply

    Dear Jenny,
    I have ridden my whole life, and at age 58, (2010) I had a bad riding accident and ended up hospitalized for a month. I got back on a horse yesterday for the first time in years with a trainer to try to build my confidence back. I was almost paralyzed with fear. I put my half chap on the wrong leg, grabbed the reigns backwards, and dismounted on the wrong side. I was embarrassed. Are these signs of PTSD? The ride went well, (only walked on the trails)…but I am still in fear of another fall. Any suggestions for the next ride to now look so foolish?

    • jennyp 08/24/2016, 7:45 am Reply

      Like so many horse riders who have had a bad fall Kate, you are experiencing what I call a “fright imprint”, that was locked into your body at the moment of impact in that fall you describe. In my experience, it’s simply a survival mechanism, a message from your mind/body/spirit to do things differently. You can use that experience to actually REDUCE the risk of a fall and hey – you and I both are too … “old” is not the right word 🙂 … to be hitting the ground. It’s not fun for anyone, but as we get older it’s simply unacceptable! 🙂
      I can’t tell from your description whether it’s a full blown PTSD experience (which typically involves flashbacks) or just a big old nasty fright imprint. Either of these conditions is absolutely fixable with what we do here – so thoroughly fixable that sometimes people can’t even remember why they were afraid.
      There are 2 programs here that contain lessons that will address fright imprints – Fast Track to Brilliant Riding – this program will take both you AND your horse to a whole new place of confidence and well being. If your horse is contributing to those nerves then this is the right program for you.
      The there’s Foundation for Riding Excellence a shorter program that just for the rider. If you haven’t had our free lessons yet, The 9 Keys to Happiness with Your Horse, then you’ll find them on the Training page

  4. Donna-Marie 07/17/2016, 6:55 am Reply

    Hi Jenny, I have just come across your website and hope you might be able to help me. I have been riding on and off since I was a teenager, I am now 50. About 18 months ago I fell of my horse and landed on my knees. Since then I have had pain in my knee and cannot kneel on it anymore. Scans showed I have developed some arthritis in it. Since the fall, I can no longer enjoy riding. It hurts my knee after a while, though I can put up with it. My main concern is that I have this fear of falling again and again sustaining a permanent injury. I have had broken ribs and had other injuries over the years but I was younger then and healed. I am reluctant to ride because of this fear. Then when I do ride, I cannot enjoy it as I am constantly fearful. I am sure my horse can feel my fear, as he has also become more jumpy at any bird or puddle and this only makes my fear grow as well. Thanks, Donna

    • jennyp 07/18/2016, 6:31 pm Reply

      What you are experiencing from that fall Donna-Marie, and maybe from other falls or accidents before it as well, is called a “fright imprint” and yes I expect that you are right – you and your horse will be escalating each other into more nervousness. I am happy to tell you that it is absolutely fixable. 🙂 Start off with the free lessons The 9 Keys to Happiness with Your Horse – by the end of those you’ll know whether our approach and philosophy appeals to you. There are two programs that contain the fright imprint removal – Foundation for Riding Excellence – the riding seat program that has been extracted from Fast Track to Brilliant Riding. Fast Track itself contains all the riding seat lessons plus all the lessons to systematically help your horse to release all his old stresses and tensions and find a deep sense of well being mentally emotionally and physically. Click here to read about those.
      If you thought that the accident has triggered some deeper problem, more like post traumatic stress, then another option is to have a private session with me. You can read about those at this link.
      And arthritis is absolutely fixable too – you can read about that on A Path to Excellence that lists all our programs here.

  5. Joanne 07/06/2016, 7:29 pm Reply

    Hi
    I have a 8 yo riding pony mare that has been the worlds best floater until the last 3 times. She has traveled Victoria to adelaide to canberra and Melbourne regularly. She has just started to lean against the partition to the extent that she scrambles. She even does it when we aren’t moving. I noticed tonight she had herself worked up that she was sweating with a 5 minute float ride.
    Would love any ideas that I could try please

    • jennyp 07/06/2016, 9:53 pm Reply

      Well that is certainly an indication that there is a serious problem developing. Has there been any incidents on the trips? Or ill effects from the long distances? The distances that you are describing are long enough for some travel sickness if not managed carefully. I know you might think she is too young, but I have also seen what you describe when a horse develops arthritis AND I have seen some very young horses – younger than her – develop it. Is she dragging her toes? Feeling a bit stiff for the farrier in picking up one or more of her legs?

      • Joanne 07/07/2016, 6:13 pm Reply

        Ok thank you. She has regular massages and Bowen therapy as she has always suffered after a paddock accident years ago. When I arrived home last night she was hooking in when I pulled up then when I opened the partition I made her stay there for at least 20 minutes and she didn’t move and she seemed happy.

        • jennyp 07/07/2016, 7:25 pm Reply

          Bowen is an excellent muscular-skeletal technique. Please answer each of these questions: How does she show you “she has always suffered after a paddock accident years ago”? What is she doing that makes you think that something is wrong and she needs muscular therapy? How is she at holding her feet for the farrier/feet trimmer? Happy and relaxed or tense and reluctant? How deep is the partition? i.e. Where does the bottom edge of it come up to on her body? I’m trying to nail down a bit more of what could be going on. 🙂

  6. Jo 04/17/2016, 9:35 pm Reply

    Hi,

    I have been reading through many of your previous posts in regards to stringhalt. I currently have a mare suffering with severe Australian stringhalt and everyone has nothing against what I’m feeding her except a few people disagree with feeding Lucerne. I feed it as chaff because she’s still in a mixed paddock and I’m not made of money! Everyone who says no Lucerne doesn’t give reasons why they are against it that I can find so far. Would you be able to provide me some clarity on the issue?!?

    Thanks Jo x

    • jennya 04/17/2016, 11:16 pm Reply

      It’s because lucerne is high in calcium which throws the calcium magnesium ration out even further into magnesium deficiency. So if you wanted to keep feeding lucerne chaff you would need to balance it out with some additional magnesium to what you would already have to be doing to treat the stringhalt. What do you mean mixed paddock? What about good plain grass hay instead of lucerne?

    • Lee Anton-Hem 06/21/2016, 7:42 pm Reply

      Hi Jenny,
      I have a friesian who has a beautiful mane. Unfortunately He has had a case of Pinworm and has scratched quite a bit of volume out of it. I have successfully treated the pinworm issue and have purchased some Neem oil to try to combat any re-infestation. I was wondering if you can suggest any topical or feed related option that may assist the regrowth of the mane volume. He has such a beautiful mane I would like to restore it as best I can. PS like you I am really into natural and organic ways to best promote the health of my boys. Thanks so much Regards Lee

      • jennyp 06/23/2016, 6:28 am Reply

        Sorry Lee, I have no magic potion to re-grow manes! 🙂 Try one of the show people maybe??? I did raise my eyebrows a little at him rubbing his MANE out with a pinworm infestation – in my experience it has usually been just the tail. The cause of neck itching being the neck too hot for too long from a neck rug or maybe even some other parasite. My experience in this regard is not vast though! 🙂 Did you get those free lessons The 9 Keys to Happiness with Your Horse while you were here? http://www.jennypearce.com.au/the-nine-keys-to-happiness-with-your-horse-4/

  7. Felicity 04/13/2016, 4:24 pm Reply

    Hello Jenny! I had a bad fall off my horse three years ago which left me in Intensive Care. I haven’t ridden him much since. He wouldn’t come near me for a month after I got out of hospital and in fact would walk away and turn his bottom to me. Then once he would come up to me he wouldn’t look at me for another three months. The odd time I have ridden him since he is reluctant to step up to the mounting block and will quietly take a step backwards if I try to get on. I have the distinct feeling he does not want me to ride him again and yet I also feel he does. Does this make sense? I would love to ride him again and regain what we used to have but even better.

    • jennya 04/13/2016, 4:58 pm Reply

      That has some very big energy around it Felicity. I see from my emails that you’ve bought some books and I’ve just sent you the link to 21 Days to a Quiet Mind. I am sure that it will help you reconnect with your horse. Really bad falls can have PTSD type symptoms leaving us with a tension that is simply too big to ignore. I have melded my work as a “healer” with my horse work and come up with a couple of lessons that release the fright imprint that such a bad fall leaves us with. Some super serious ones need one on one attention. What I CAN PROMISE you though, is that it is 100% possible to release that tension, get rid of that fright that has been seared into your body, understand it, understand your horse and bond together even better than before. I look forward to working with you.

    • Felicity 04/13/2016, 6:44 pm Reply

      Thank you so much Jenny for your understanding- I feel absolutely relieved – PHEW! And I feel quietly optimistic that I am about to embark on a wonderful journey at many different levels.

  8. June 04/06/2016, 10:43 am Reply

    Question: What do horses think about being gelded?

    • jennya 04/07/2016, 9:44 am Reply

      That’s a big question June and I don’t know a general answer. I’ve come across horses who seem to be “resigned” to it being the best and others that opposed it. Bobby had lots of testosterone (as much as most serving stallions according to the vet) even though he was gelded properly and I had that unwanted testosterone balanced homeopathically. After i started listening to him I “got” that he was upset about that removal and I re-balanced him to have HIS natural amount of testosterone. We might ask Narel to do one of her “communicate with the spirit of The Horse generally” and see what comes up about it. 🙂

  9. June 03/17/2016, 10:29 am Reply

    Hi, Jenny – I’ve enjoyed the 9 Keys and am in the very beginning stages of Fast Track.

    My question involves riding, or more specifically mounting, or maybe the question goes back further in the process. My little mare Bridget just started being ridden a few months ago – she has been enjoying the process, and I’ve always avoided pushing her out of her comfort zone. Recently there has been a change of pasture, and our gelding is no longer pastured with our mares. Since this changeover, Bridget has become less keen (reluctant even) to leave the pasture. From being #2 in the hierarchy, kept in her place by a VERY stern #1, she finds herself in the top spot – the youngest horse in the pasture and now the boss too. She has three mares and sometimes an elderly gelding in her herd. She used to stand at the gate, banging on it to be let out. But yesterday I resorted to tricking her to get her to come out (sorry!) – I opened the gate and she came through, and then I put the halter on. I put her in the round pen, and although she was quite “up” about what was going on outside, she settled and became connected with me. She allowed me to saddle her at liberty, but when time came to mount, she just kept turning out of position by the mounting block. She just would turn her tail away and stand with her head next to me – very quietly and sweetly, but each time quite clear that mounting was not something she agreed to. So I ended up taking the saddle off and leading her back to her pasture – she was keen to get there, whereas in the past she really couldn’t care less about getting back. I’m thinking that mounting is not really the issue, but taking her out of the pasture is. I don’t know if she feels anxious about leaving now that she’s is charge, or if she feels insecure now that Bossy George isn’t there any more. Or what. Do you think I should just not try to take her out at all until she gets back to her old enthusiasm and lets me know that she wants to come out?

    • June 03/17/2016, 10:42 am Reply

      Oh, I forgot to say that ever since changing to a more non-coercive way of being with horses a few years ago, the thing which has always felt most Not Quite Right is mounting. It always seemed like the moment where one’s good intentions were in danger of going out the window. And I think the reason I felt this was that somehow at the bottom of my heart I felt that no horse would ever actually freely consent to being mounted. So now I’m looking for real consent – there are horses who are trained to stand still at the mounting block on a loose rein – but I want the horse to stand still on a loose rein just because I asked politely and they’re happy to have me aboard. I don’t mind asking a few times in a row – but after that, I have to assume that the horse is really against the idea.

      • June 03/17/2016, 10:45 am Reply

        Except for little Chloe, all 11:2 hands of her, and me 5′ 10″, who occasionally would walk up beside me and say, “All right, up you go.” and stand like an angel while I clambered up.

      • jennya 03/18/2016, 5:27 am Reply

        June you have identified one of the major causes of unaddressed tension between horse and rider. And if that tension is left there, people actually have TENSION as a foundation of their riding – ugh! Mounting is the the single biggest bit of ignored Not Quite Rights among riders – i.e. riders ignoring their safety and/or their horse’s fears. Of all the hundreds of riders I have watched mount up in person, I have only seen two who mounted up safely and one of them was an absolute beginner who was very in tune with her body. There is a vulnerability in the way people get on, where if anything went wrong, they’d be in trouble. So in my experience that Not Quite Right you are feeling will no doubt be that safety issue. We address it in Fast Track, which I know you have recently started, June – so skip ahead and have a look at Lesson 68 to address the human side of the mounting Not Quite Rights.
        THEN you can address the horse’s side which we also do in Fast Track. Having the horse singing with happiness about having a person on their back is the goal and with the help of my horses I’ve come up with some innovative ways to do that easily.

        • June 03/18/2016, 7:07 am Reply

          Yes, vulnerability is a good word here. There’s that feeling that gotta-get-up-quick-before-the-horse-moves-or-changes-its-mind. It’s like the conversation disappears for a moment. It’s there before you start to mount, and it reappears after you’re safely aboard – but during the transition it vanishes. I feel that was something Chloe was teaching me. Despite my height and her size, there was almost a moment (several!) where I would be sprawled over her back in an ungainly and vulnerable position. And my first mental instinct was to focus on oh-my-goodness-gotta-get-in-place-quick! But then if I allowed myself to quiet down, I realized that Chloe was standing completely still WAITING kindly for me to finish flailing. And I could recover our conversation during this awkward transition. Too bad she got too old and I got too fat before the lesson was completed!

          • jennya 03/18/2016, 8:12 am

            You’ve nailed it!

    • jennya 03/18/2016, 5:36 am Reply

      I’ve seen this before – separation anxiety actually being an overwhelming sense of responsibility for their herd rather than their own fear of leaving their herd. We dealt with it with the same techniques as the Fast Track lessons on separation anxiety – using a mixture of Fast Track Lessons 37 and 38. We started by leaving this horse in the herd and took one of the others away from her, never allowing her to be out of comfort zone for very long, never pushing the issue further than the Not Too Sure Zone – listening to both the horse who was leaving AND her that was left behind. When she realised that the horses that she felt responsibility for were being looked after as well, she relaxed and that was the end of that.

      • June 03/25/2016, 1:24 am Reply

        Day before yesterday, I went in with the halter – Bridget came over to say hello, and then didn’t want the halter, so I put it on Rose, who was quite happy to have it. We walked to the gate, but Bridget got there first and started pushing on it with her nose. I took the halter off Rose and offered it to Bridget, who again refused. So I went back to poor Rose who was standing behind us patiently waiting for me to put the halter back on her! Rose and I proceeded to do a little riding-in-our-comfort-zones, which consisted of her eating a patch of clover and me asking her every now and then for “heads up” and then graduating to asking her for a step to one side and for a step forward. It went well.
        Yesterday, I went in with the halter with the intention of just hanging out in the pasture. Bridget came over and spent over an hour with me under the trees. She left a couple of times to check something out, both times returning. Every now and then I picked up the halter for approach and retreat, and she did a lot of yawning and licking and chewing. In between times I left the halter on the ground, and she started going over to check it out. Then she graduated to not bothering to lick or chew when I picked the halter up – she’d just walk right over to me.
        The barn manager/trainer has been an ANGEL about my preferred way of interacting with the horses. She’s a little more traditional, but one thing I like about this barn is that the horses are all curious and friendly and confident – speaks volumes for her treatment of them. But sometimes when it seems like I’m going too over the edge, she’ll say something like, “But she’s a horse, and we’re humans, and she has to have respect and be able to be handled.” I don’t think this fear is based on any actual negative experiences with Bridget, but a residual fear of losing control or something. But during that hour in the pasture, Bridget was so soft and sweet and respectful – and it was the RESULT of letting her “get away with something.” The four year old boy came to join us near the end, and she was just as soft and sweet with him – even stepping backwards when he pushed her.

        • June 03/25/2016, 1:26 am Reply

          I might take Rose and Bridget out together sometime.

    • June McIntosh 07/08/2016, 11:59 pm Reply

      I think the horses and I have made progress in this area of mounting since I first asked the question. I’ve developed the confidence that they actually want to help me mount, and I’ve become more consistent in never trying to hold them in position by the mounting block or correct them if they move off. Also, your advice to look forward at the horse’s head while you mount really helps.

      • jennyp 07/09/2016, 6:54 am Reply

        Re “not correcting them when they walk off” from the mounting block. Being open to understanding WHY they are walking off will determine what action you take. And I know that you understand that very beautifully already June, I am writing like this because this is a public forum and I like to make sure that people understand. 🙂

        Depending on the horse, sometimes it will be because they don’t understand how to stand still – in which case the answer is to explain that in ways that they understand. And in other cases, it might be because they are scared and we have to be open to understanding what they are scared about and how to help them release that fear – because if we bulldoze through that fear we can make the fear worse for next time. And other times the horse may be resisting for some reason and for that too we need to be open to understanding what the problem is and what to do about it without adding pressure to the resistance and causing it to get bigger.

        And I know you get this because you’ve had the lesson, but for people who haven’t seen that lesson, it’s not just looking at the horse’s head when you mount, it’s your whole body being turned to look forwards to the horses head. Even more importantly, is stopping the saddle and the horses back from being pulled to the side when you get on. In all the years that I have taught people beautiful riding seat work, I have seen maybe three people get on properly for the horse and safely for them. It’s quite surprising really, that mounting up is not taught well, because for many people it’s the first source of nerves as they get on and it’s so simply fixed!

  10. Denise 02/28/2016, 5:31 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny, could you possibly give me more info on DE as a wormer? How to use? It has been bothering me for some time dosing my lovely boys with commercial wormers. Also copper pipe in their water? I have two chestnuts with sensitive skin and a bay with white socks. We periodically get greasy heel and a little rain scald. I treat with a antibacterial wash, then a mixture of Vaseline and tea tree oil that I mix myself.

    Thank you for all your words of love and wisdom, x

    • jennya 02/29/2016, 10:57 am Reply

      I’ll get back to this question in a couple of days Denise, I am not at the computer much today and tomorrow. I’ll make a note for Corey if she would, to come in and share her experience with DE as a wormer. I know she uses higher quantities than me, but it works for both of us… 🙂

    • Corey 02/29/2016, 2:15 pm Reply

      Hi Denise! If you just Google Diatomaceous Earth for horses you’ll have access to SO much information as to how to use it as a wormer. Once you read as much as you can (or want to), you’ll notice that it’s going to require a bit of trial and error and experimentation for a bit until you find the right dosage and the way both you AND your horse are most comfortable using it. There are methods that involve daily dosing and others that suggest monthly dosing using the full moon cycle and everything in between. So do some research and feel into what feels right for you and your horse. It does involve getting fecal counts done with your vet, and not to lose patience in the beginning if your horse is starting off with a very high shedding situation. After perhaps a year of following the DE program, I felt confident enough getting only 2 fecal counts/year rather than the initial 4. One of the things I might suggest, depending on your vet, is that you don’t need to mention to him/her WHY you’re getting fecal counts done: my experience has been that the minute you mention DE for a worming program you’ll instantly be the recipient of a vociferous lecture as to not only why it won’t work but why it’s “dangerous” . It’s ONLY dangerous if you don’t do the fecal counts which will tell you if it’s being effective or not.

      • jennya 02/29/2016, 10:51 pm Reply

        Thanks Corey! I once had a VERY naughty vet who on hearing that I wormed with DE and other alternatives, told my worker (I was away) that the horse’s colic was due to worms after a worm count of just over 200 and something which is in the normal range! Clear bias since the horse had little to no teeth which was MUCH more likely to be the thing that made him more vulnerable.

  11. Julie 01/31/2016, 10:32 am Reply

    Hi Jenny, I’ve just purchased (4 weeks ago) a 7 year old WB/TB who has been diagnosed with stage 2 wobblers. Do you have any idea if this can be healed? I’ve been searching all of the internet and can’t find any cases of this being healed and I have been told by a vet and a vet/chiro not to ride him. The guy I purchased him from had his own back and let problems, walked with a limp. Could this be surrogation? Is there anything that you think could help?

    Thanks
    Julie

    • jennya 02/05/2016, 7:02 am Reply

      I haven’t specifically worked with wobblers, no – but we’ve certainly worked successfully with a number of things that were considered impossible by the veterinary community, so in my experience anything’s possible. Have a look at these videos for some of the healing that that happens around here. As to your question about the horse surrogating for the human – anything is possible. The horse would have had to have loved the human a lot, to do do that and that doesn’t really gell with the idea of getting sold on.
      You’d want a broad approach I think – getting rid of the blockages to healing BEHIND the body not healing the way it is designed. Anything to do with damage to the spine is going to have self carriage, self carriage and more SELF CARRIAGE as at least part of the solution. Because it is in beautiful rhythmic way of carrying their bodies with ease and strength, such that their POSTURE has their bones and muscles in place where it is possible to heal from.
      You’ve landed here to ask these questions and I don’t think it’s coincidence that I have a PASSION for bringing horses into self carriage, not only while they are working, but because self carriage comes from self confidence and being in their deep comfort zone over the broad routine of their lives, then the self carriage carries through into their routine movement in the pasture too – and THAT is what creates those wonderful healing opportunities.
      There is some suggestion that nutrition may play a part in wobblers and kinesiology is great at working out what’s missing and how much of what particular mineral or trace element is needed over how long, to bring the body back into balance.
      So I guess you have to think about what’s best for YOU and this horse. Certainly you’re not going to be riding this horse in the near term or maybe even not ever. I believe everything happens for a reason – so what is he bringing you in this experience? Is he bringing YOU a wonderful healing journey of your own, like Pye brought Melanie in the video at that link above? And AUS brought Sue? Has a journey as a “healer” interested you in the past? Is it perhaps about building him up for some beautiful classical in hand work or spectacular trick work? Or is he bringing you a gift of knowledge as you pass him respectfully and gently on to death and his next life? I don’t know sunshine – only you can answer those questions. But I’m here to help whatever your decision or process.

  12. jennya 12/22/2015, 6:03 pm Reply

    I got a question from Susan who wanted to know what else she could do to help her little grey Arab Ca Feugo, now a 9 year old. He has been diagnosed with Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) in the last 4 months, after a nasty bout of oedema and hives.
    I decided to write an article in answer to this question as it’s a classic case of looking at what is behind the problem and how incredible healing can be stimulated by attending to the emotional side of things – here’s my answer EMS – Why the standard treatment doesn’t fix it.

  13. nina 12/21/2015, 10:52 pm Reply

    I have used the pendulum with varying degrees of success. I use muscle checking with Body Code, Dr. Brad Nelson’s computer program with good results but not always conclusive (for me). What I felt yesterday checking in with the Not Quite Right response was a more immediate “gut” feel. I tend to be in my head so the feeling was clear. Thank you!

    • jennya 12/22/2015, 5:48 am Reply

      “In the head” is just a different kind of feel and just as valuable as the other kinds when we learn how to use it. 🙂 Clearly, as you are working more on your own unique feel using the early warning signal that we call Not Quite Right, you are expanding your awareness, which is excellent!

  14. nina 12/21/2015, 10:41 am Reply

    On the 1st lesson in connecting with your horse, I did connected
    on the heart level with 3 horses. With one mare it was with my
    head. This mare reads my mind more than any other. With a new pony it was with the throat. How do you interpret that?

    • jennya 12/21/2015, 11:19 am Reply

      About your mare Nina – won’t it be fabulous when you read her mind as well as she reads yours? 🙂
      About the new pony – it is possible that he (?) had something going on with his throat and you were feeling that. We will usually feel whatever is most important for us to know or even do something about, when we connect with them. There are some lymph glands around the throat area, where a little swelling as they fight a bit of an infection or virus could be felt in the throat. Most often it is not a big deal – maybe think about giving him some fresh garlic or rosehips in his feed to boost his immune system a little? And keep an eye on it.

      • nina 12/21/2015, 2:03 pm Reply

        Brilliant about the pony! He’s new coming about 6 weeks ago from another barn. I thought he had seemed almost too quiet. It turns out he was sick. He developed a cough and white mucus. I gave him 10 days of oral antibiotics ending roughly two weeks ago. Today I noticed a little bit of grey snot. I’ll try the fresh garlic and/or rosehips in his feed.
        Thank you very much for this excellent tip. There is also a baby horse that developed similar symptoms as the pony. I’ve been keeping an eye on her but haven’t given her antibiotics. When I did the connection exercise with her, it also went to my throat.

        The mare is very aware of her surroundings and her behavior.
        Yesterday she accidentally looped her lead around a post snubbing herself with about a foot of lead. She struggled at first. When I yelled to stop, she did and allowed me to get to her and slip off the halter since the rope was too tight to loosen. I was grateful and impressed with her intelligence.

        • jennya 12/21/2015, 3:38 pm Reply

          The excellence was in you feeling your connection to him Nina… 🙂 Clearly your physical feel was very strong in these instances. Antibiotics don’t work on virus’s and only make it more difficult for them to work when you need them the most. And yet coughs in a horse can be quite serious. So look at all your options not just my throw away remarks of something that would boost the immune system. 🙂 You could use that physical feel that you are so clearly developing, as a Not Quite Right – just as in exercise in The 4th Key to Happiness with Your Horse – to figure out what course of action is best.

          • nina 12/21/2015, 3:48 pm

            Thank you, Jenny, for the cautionary remarks. I got to give him flax seed. What a great idea to use the Not Quite Right approach to finding the right remedies! Right now rose hips feels better than garlic but liposomal vitamin C feels the best. I’ll let you know how it goes.

          • jennya 12/21/2015, 4:28 pm

            Wow your feel is excellent to use it for practical purposes so easily like that – sure you haven’t done this work before?

  15. Ros 12/05/2015, 12:42 am Reply

    What techniques do you use to catch a horse that does not want to be caught? ??

    • jennya 12/05/2015, 7:03 am Reply

      Because that’s an issue for so many horses and people Ros, there is a whole lesson on that in the 9 Keys to Happiness with Your Horse that works excellently. Those lessons up on the top right hand side of this page. It’s Key number 4. The lesson works better when you bring in the connection and understanding of the other keys first. If you have any trouble after that, I would be happy to help! 🙂

  16. Eva Staiger 11/07/2015, 4:56 am Reply

    How do I know the difference between the horse being “afraid” of something or being a bit stubborn (if there is such a thing with horses).

    What are the body signals showing me that we are in that zone?

    Example Eveen: I was long-reining her and noticed she studiously avoided stepping into any sort of puddle, turned round in the rein-harness, etc.. My pride was challenged. So I got to her front and lead her through puddles (she was pretty reluctant but I did praise her any time she dipped one toe into the shallow water) and when I thought she was ok with that, I went back to the long-reining position. She would not step into puddles. I increased my pressure (voice +waving stick) she displayed, what I call her stubborn bottom lip (whenever she sort of pushes her bottom lip tightly against top lip) and again, would not step into the puddles. I led again from the front and it sort of worked and then I did manage (with great reluctance on her side) to sort of half-long-rein her through 2 more puddles and left it there…

    I had trouble in the past getting her (leading from the front) through a shallow stream – despite her mates having all gone through without issue, so my plan was to use our wet winter weather to playfully (hopefully) get her following me through the same shallow stream and hopefully decreasing her fear/suspicion of reflective water surfaces – but I aim to start the process with me in front so that “lead mare” Eva can show that water does not pose a danger zone per se and can be quite fun, rather than forcing her to do the first step with me behind at the long-rein.

    • jennya 11/09/2015, 6:03 am Reply

      It doesn’t matter whether it’s resistance or fear – when you add pressure to it , it gets bigger. You MAY win if you’re hard enough or manipulative enough or even if you just tire her out so she gives in – but at what price to the relationship? Does that make sense? Our way of dealing with resistance is to (mostly) melt off it and wait for The Chew, i.e retreat at the early warning signal that something is Not Quite Right and wait for The Chew. You hear about some of that in the 4th Key and it’s dramatically expanded on in Fast Track. That INCREASES her willingness and softness and increases the bond at the same time. Horses WANT to do what we want, we just have to give them a good reason to stay connected with us and do it by … feeling good. Does that make sense?

  17. Nadia 10/12/2015, 8:41 am Reply

    How can you treat ventral odema which has spread to the front legs
    It started from mud fever which is still bad. I have seen your treatment suggestions for that and will try it. My horse is a 33 year old gelding. He was in good health but is now struggling to even move. He is on very high doses of diuretics but they have taken fluid from every where else. I have spent so much money and time and I don’t want this to be the end for him. It doesn’t feel like we are doing all the right things.

    • jennya 10/12/2015, 8:51 am Reply

      Tell more about the circumstances in which you keep him Nadia – paddocked, stabled? By himself, with other horses? What is he fed? Don’t tell me the proprietary brand names, because they probably won’t mean anything to me – tell me what in them. Most importantly tell me what minerals he has access to.

      • Nadia 10/12/2015, 1:19 pm Reply

        Hi Jenny. He is paddocked on his own. It has good grass. I feed him a general maintenance feed and some pellets designed for older horses. They list calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A & E.

        • jennya 10/14/2015, 9:32 am Reply

          OK, is the country around you copper deficient? Because mineral deficiencies will add to mud fever. I had a bit of mud fever this year (the mud was just terrible, even where we had heaps of gravel down), but I think the mud fever was because I was slow to get some copper pipe into the water trough in their new paddock when they asked for it. Copper is a big deal in our area. As is available sulphur in the soil. And during certain times of the year, magnesium can be a big problem for us depending on the season and the paddock that they happen to be in. Fresh garlic has sulphur in it – maybe try some fresh garlic or garlic in a jar for a week or two? Don’t use it all the time though, it loses its effectiveness.

          Is there any chance that you can give him some horse company? Maybe arrange with someone else to bring their horse into your paddock and shift paddocks to their paddock equally? There are two reasons for this. It REALLY helps them emotionally to have a friend – they are a herd animal. Even just to sleep completely relaxed they need someone standing watch over them. So a friend is instant stress relief. And with a heart problem you are looking for that.

          AND a friend means more movement, even if it’s just two oldies following each other around a bit. I know it’s his heart, but a fluid build up like that suggests to me that he is not moving enough…

          Now, under the circumstances of a heart problem, we are looking for GENTLE exercise – so don’t just dump a friend in the paddock and expect that to go well – it might, it might not.

          Have or create a yard for the new horse to be in while they say hello and get used to each other- feeling safe in their own areas while they get to know each other. And then when you feel good that they feel good, you can move them in together into the big paddock. The Nine Keys to Happiness, those free lessons on the top right hand side of almost very page on my website, will help you with the tools you need, to know WHEN it’s the right time to move them in together.

          It might be nice for you to know that old Peppi who is agisted here (who says “not so much of the old please” ) has had a very serious heart problem for at least 4 years that I know of – you can actually hear the whoosh of his heart beating through his breath, very weird – he is full of otherwise good health – shiny, active, bright in the eye. He is constantly rejuvenated by having a job to do.

          He loves being used in a clinic or teaching me some new level of sensitivity. It seems to me to add “life” to him. So working through The Nine Keys to Happiness with Your Horse might just give him the opportunity to be a teacher again and put some life back in his eyes and his body… 🙂

  18. Sue 10/04/2015, 2:52 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny,

    I’m trying to find the My Grass lesson/video that I think was in one of the Fast Track Cameo lessons, but I can’t track it down. Could you please tell me which lesson it was in? Thanks

    • jennya 10/04/2015, 5:16 pm Reply

      The My Grass Game is the Fifth Key to Happiness, Sue. Here is the link The new Nine Keys to Happiness, a $47 lesson set that is still free, are in that big yellow box on the top right hand side of the page here.

  19. Cheryl 09/21/2015, 8:48 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny,
    I recently bought a 16 yr old thoroughbred from a rescue group in Victoria. Previously he was at the Echuca sales in the ‘ridden’ section. He was used as a stock horse ( so his story goes).
    However, he is very underweight , has been diagnosed with strangles and also has , what seems to be strinhaltt. It is mild as it only shows when he begins to walk. We are treating him medically and with herbs. At the moment I am feeding 1. Tablespoon of magnesium flakes but was told that magnesium orate was better. What is your opinion please? We live in the wimmera, poor rainfall and very hot summer. The weeds are going wild, especially the flat weed and marshmellow. I would like to improve the soils organically, would it be alright if I mowed the weeds and then spread manure? Can I turn the weeds over and leave them on the soil.? We have made the mistake of ‘overgrazing’ (we have two other horses and four alpacas). We own 30 acres, lifestyle and the area was quite heavily mined years ago.
    Thanking you,
    Cheryl Parker

    • jennya 09/21/2015, 9:43 pm Reply

      Gosh that’s SUCH a big question Cheryl, with a whole lot of maybes and approximately’s. This is an important question. What kind of magnesium flakes are you using? Magnesium oxide or magnesium chloride or Epsom salts? You can get high quality magnesium chloride from the Barefoot Blacksmith in Victoria, good quality and cheaper than magnesium orotate, although Magnesium orotate works excellently. Some Vitamin C would also help him under the circumstances.

      What herbs is he getting and who prescribed them?

      Improving the soils – excellent idea – I would put some lime and dolomite on it and not worry about fertilising with anything else so much except maybe harrowing in your manure if you can rotate your paddocks and rest them so the horses aren’t eating the manure trying to get to a pick of grass. Although you can mow the weeds as well, although I wouldn’t so that too much as nature has a way of sending us nastier weeds when we kill one lot and the more we mow, the shallower the grass roots get and the more the grass will get killed all the way down to the roots in the heat of summer. And then the earth will cover the bare patches with something stronger (usually nastier) because is determined to cover herself with SOMETHING. Does this make sense?

      I would recommend that you do some reading on regenerating native pastures by grazing management. If that 30 acres was here, you would definitely have more than enough land to do that properly, though I am not sure in the Wimmera. It’s an EXCELLENT way to graze horses and excellent for the environment too, as it regenerates the pasture with almost no outlay at all – not even lie and dolomite if you took on that way of managing it, because the land would come back by itself. I wrote one article on that management on my website somewhere.
      http://www.jennypearce.com.au/general/horses-can-contribute-to-the-reversal-of-climate-change/

      Here are the other links minus their www’s so that your email program doesn’t dump this email as spam…
      http://www.jennypearce.com.au/horse-health/capeweed-has-a-bad-rap-with-horses/
      http://www.jennypearce.com.au/horse-health/a-brilliant-article-on-horse-feeding-from-dr-getty/

  20. Haruko 09/03/2015, 11:54 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny, I just have finished to read your second mail of nine keys. It seems to increase more and more, doesn’t it !?
    I wonder how I should have handle my case of yesterday. Maru was standing about 2m away from me and showing me her butt. We were holding space. All of sudden she turned her neck ,looked behind and jumped sideways. If I were on her, I ended up on the ground. I checked but didn’t find anything wrong. As you know she is pretty much content and a quiet horse. Will you give me some instruction for this case ? I think this does not fit to your solution, or at least I can not see how to apply. Thanks, Haruko

    • jennya 09/04/2015, 9:53 am Reply

      I think I would need to be there to be sure of my answer Haruko, but here are some suggestions of things to look at and think about.
      1. Keep doing the riding seat lessons in Fast Track and the new Foundation program that I just sent you. A good riding seat CAN stay there quite easily when your horse jumps.
      2. Also in the Foundation to Riding Excellence course that you already have, you will increase your ability to listen inside yourself, which will give you better warning of when something is going to happen and you can take steps to help Maru and yourself before she even jumps by getting her attention back onto you, so repeating those spine and pelvis riding seat lessons will help with that inner awareness too.
      3. Get your pendulum out and check her feed balance. Not enough magnesium can cause a horse to be jumpy like that. Not enough Vitamin B and not enough Vitamin D from the sun can also cause them to more reactive than is their normal nature – it affects the absorption of other minerals. So get her outside the stables and into the sunshine as often as you can. Too much protein for the amount of their exercise can also cause them to be more reactive than is their normal nature.
      4. Do the “pay attention to me please” lessons out of the Fast Track program – that will help her to always be aware of you and where you are so that you can keep each other safe. I am away at the moment, so I don’t have my list of lessons and their numbers with me but they are in the first 1/2 of the program, maybe in the 20’s???
      Come back and let us know how you go with that. 🙂

  21. tina warren 07/17/2015, 11:25 am Reply

    We have a pacer that is 8 years old that has always floated without any problem whatsoever. Nothing has been changed. A little while ago he simply sat down in the float and then lay down while travelling. Since then he has been checked over, chiro etc and they think he had a pinched nerve. Today we got 10 yards down the road slowly and he leads heavily against the centre pole and sits down. I have never seen this before. we walked him home and lunged him and I cannot see any weakness anywhere in his movement. Could it be physicological now or what else do I look for. I have seen it in a horse that has always floated very well and does it every day. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    • jennya 07/18/2015, 4:07 pm Reply

      Sorry Tina, you’ve caught me in the middle of a massive (and happy!) workload. I’m thinking that you need a bit more help with this one than I can give at the moment. It appears that something really HAS changed somewhere – whether that’s in the float or at the track or in training. Our Caroline is an equine behaviour specialist, who is brilliant at figuring out what’s specifically going on with a horse. A one-off consultation right now (July 2015) is free, but she may recommend some follow up that there might be a small charge for. By then you will know if you suit each other. She is very talented. 🙂 Email me through the contact form at the top of the page and let me know if that suits.

  22. Autum 07/08/2015, 9:24 pm Reply

    Hi there, I was just reading a post on FaceBook about pin worms in horses. So I googled pin worms and your info sheet came up. Which I found to be excellent. In regards to the neem oil and spaying it around the rump to break the cycle can you spray it on a mare in foal ? Because when I looked it up on ebay it said not to be used when pregnant ? and I know they were talking about humans but I just wanted to check if it was the same for horses ? thanks

    • jennya 07/09/2015, 6:41 am Reply

      Thanks for the heads up about that article. I have never seen any kind of research about Neem affecting a pregnancy, but it stops the lifecycle of the insect by changing its hormones, so its worth making a cautionary note. Which I have now, so thanks!

  23. shelley dunkin 06/25/2015, 11:42 am Reply

    jennie, i have another question, i hope i am not being a bother. my horse goloso who i got from spain about 1.5 years ago was fairly well trained in dressage and also hacking out. he had HUGE adjustments to make with coming to his new home. he did not know how to be a horse or be with other horses or be in a big open space at liberty even. before today i had only been on him once and just for a short walk. i have had a custom saddle made for him and have been getting him used to it. when i first got him he was not even in his comfort zone having the saddle cinched or me even laying across him so we have spent lots of time together.
    so today i finally got on him and he was like a young horse who had never been ridden. he just stood there not walking, then took a couple steps back and had his back legs kind of spread out. so i got off and then back on and sat there and we finally walked a short ways. then i remembered you having said something about horses changing so much that they forgot what they had learned previously. could you tell me more about that and have you seen the horse start to remember again?
    the good news is he was calm and even blew out his nostrils and put his head down and thats when i decided to stop for the day. how do you suggest i proceed from here? i so appreciate any advice you have. thank you, shelley

    • jennya 06/25/2015, 11:08 pm Reply

      Damn my first reply got lost in cyberspace – isn’t that annoying?! You dealt with what happened excellently – well done. Oliver did something similar recently – I forget the trigger now, but I think I captured it on film. He stood there with a very confused look on his face and it was like he forgot how to balance himself wioth a rider on top (Steve) . After allowing him to think and feel his way through, I ended up very gently and with connection, leading him off for a couple of steps like you might do for a horse who was first learning how to carry a rider. Getting off (comfort zone) and on again (stretching the comfort zone with the not too sure zone for a short length of time) was also a perfect technique to use. Oliver remembered or found his balance very quickly and was moving better than before, but then I haven’t ever thought that Oliver was traumatized – there was just some “wiring” that was not useful to him and some BIG body damage. I have seen with horses who were traumatically broken in, almost all in their “Oh Shit I’m Dead Zone”, that the healing work you have done in within the program here, has caused them to go back to being untraumatized baby horses that you can start all over again with the “right” training. Which most horse people consider is impossible, but hey I see it happen often in this program. So how fast he comes through this, I suspect, will tell you which end of the scale he was on. Either way, clearly you have done some spectacular work in clearing up old behavior patterns / reactions /trauma / resistances tensions / whatever, that were not useful to him or to you. So a big high five to you!

      • shelley dunkin 06/27/2015, 12:26 am Reply

        thanks jennie! i am soooo glad i was introduced to your program!
        he was alittle better the next short ride and we will see where this takes us! boy i can tell you he has a huge walk and his barrel can really rotate. i have to be sure to keep my back released and my hips, well everything! haha i can tell you without your program and carolines help he and i would be in a place i would not like to be. the place we are in now is really rewarding!

        • jennya 06/27/2015, 7:09 am Reply

          I am glad Shelley and you’re welcome. Re a little better next short ride – you will often find a small improvement and then a BIIIGGG ahhaaaa moment that completely changes the whole picture. By going slowly you are creating the opportunity for the big ahhhaaa moment – that will have extraordinary physical repercussions as well as mental and emotional. Does that make sense? I hope you are having someone take photos or video, cos I would love to see!

  24. shelley dunkin 05/05/2015, 10:44 am Reply

    jenny, i have decided to invest some time in my horses comfort during trimming and in the health of my back! so they wanted their foot back i would give it to them and then wait for the chew. however it has been taking 2-3 hours to do 2 feet. i did see some big yawns at times and the sleepy eye and twitching lips so i knpw they did some big releasing. actually, there was some really cool bonding stuff like my gelding putting his lips on my face and head and holding his head very close to mine. but he was the one that took almost 3 hours. do you think he could have been releasing more than just his feet anxiety? we fell together once when i tried to do an emergency one rein stop and he lost his balance. i had a thought that maybe he was releasing that also and then maybe he was asking me to release too. is that likely? my biggest question to you is do i have to wait for the chew each time i give them their foot back? one more question is one of my geldings wont stand still so i tie him to do his feet, but i dont think he is in his comfort zone when tied and how would i get him in his comfort zone while being tied? he is very anxious when my husband is holding him because he is biting the rope and cant stand still and jumnps up or almost falls over when i try to do his front feet. its almost like he says to himself i am going to fall and then he does. should i just try and hold him instead of tying him and how can i help him balance himself? anyway, i remeber you telling about a mare who had big trouble getting her feet done and with your help it made all the difference to her. so this seems really big to me and im committed to follow this thru. just need some advice from you. i just love love love your way. thanks! shelley

    • jennya 05/06/2015, 8:19 am Reply

      Shelley I am in the middle of teaching a clinic here at Rokeby – the 8 day Horse Retreat, so I cannot spend as much time on your answer as I might normally. It sounds like the big key for you IS waiting for The Chew and that would normally get quicker and quicker rather than staying the same. Bobby was good with his feet, well mannered and just had some tension when I determined that I wanted him to have no tension about it at all and that first day took 3 hours for one foot. The good news was that all the other horses released with him (11 others in the herd) so it cut down my work phenomenally to NOT have to spend the time to get 12 horses altogether feeling really happy with their feet.
      I am going to ask Caroline to come in and answer this in a bit more depth. She had BIG “work” to do with her horse Star that I am sure she would love to share with you.
      By the way, congratulations for having the “heart” to go to these lengths for your horses well being. I believe it’s sooo… important that these routine things be very much in their comfort zone – what is life like to be so tense about something that has to be done so frequently hey?

      • Caroline in Portugal 05/06/2015, 11:51 pm Reply

        Hi Shelley, it’s so good to hear from you again, and I’m right there with you about taking care of your back… me too. And time with your horse’s comfort is the best investment you’ll ever make… in my humble opinion  For this time spent is when I really get to KNOW who they are individually.

        I just wanted to check in with you that you had taken your own steps to get clarity with your connection… you know, that arrrrhhh feeling of softness and smiles, before you went to pick up a foot? Connecting through your breathing is a gentle way for us to find this place, and once we can really feel it for ourselves, our horse will automatically synchronise with us.

        I’m sensing that you’re talking about all your horses here, and I’m guided to ask if you are able to focus, at least for the moment, on just one horse. Your gelding (sorry can’t remember his name), feels like the perfect start point, because of the beautiful experience you had bonding with him. And yes it is very likely that he was releasing on other underlying anxieties. The details and events are not so important, just the fact that you picked up on it, on something that he is bringing to you in this space of bonding, bringing your awareness to something else, is validation of your connection in that space. It is something Jenny talks about, and something I have experienced many times, that when a horse takes a longer time to show signs of release, then the thing they’ve been releasing is bigger. And maybe it’s just a big layer, and there’s still more to work on. I also sense that you are spot on, and there’s something in there for you to work on too.

        I agree with Jenny that the big key for you is waiting for the chew… there is an underlying sense of clarity about this…. it is the key for YOU. Waiting for the chew, gives YOU the time and space to really experience that wonderful connection and receive those quiet messages that float up to you. It gives you the time for your inner wisdom to be heard. It’s not so much about focusing on waiting for the chew, but rather staying in that space of connection, allowing your thoughts and emotions to flow in and out, and see what draws your awareness…. you have already experienced this and it is a powerful place to help you and your horse release anxieties, or bring awareness to something that you need to know and do.

        Regarding your other gelding who won’t stand still… have a think about what you would like to work on… standing still or being tied. It makes sense to me to work on the standing still first, because that comes before being tied and standing still. Are you happy to be with him in your school at liberty and find the yummy things that he enjoys and will be happy to stand still for. I use scratching itchy spots with mine, my friend uses brushing her horse’s tail and it might be something else for you. I got a feeling you already know what this is 
        And then you can be imaginative finding ways to approach his feet, while he is in his comfort zone with the yummy thing. Keep the approach to tiny amounts of time to start with, doing it in steps, (not sneakily ), but with soft eyed intention, and follow your emotions about how it’s going. If you feel anything NQR, then that will be your sign to back off or slow down, or think of smaller steps. How is he with lifting his feet without your intention to trim? You are right… this is really big for him, falling over could be a learnt behaviour or it could be that he’s just feeling helpless, but either way, it’s not a safe and happy place to be for you or him.

        I had a similar problem with my mare Star, who found it impossible to hold her foot up for trimming. It took a lot of time, a lot of thoughts and emotions about how best I could help her be happy with trimming, lots of trying different things, listening to her tell me what she could cope with, my commitment to bring her into her comfort zone with it, and layering all this was the worry that I had to get the job done.

        From way out of left field, and against all ‘expert’ advice/opinion, I started rasping around her toes while her foot was on the ground, just so the chips and splits could at least be smoothed out. I would make in indent around her toe in the dirt so that the rasp was at an angle to attempt to roll the edges of the hoof. She came completely into her comfort zone with this, and would doze off. Then I would layer this with lifting her foot first, just briefly, and then rasp around the toe with her foot on the ground. Then another layer… picking out her foot first, then rasping with it on the ground…. then gradually, picking out her foot, doing a little quick rasp on the toe and continuing with it on the ground. These steps and layers continued until she was happy and in her comfort zone doing the rasping with her foot in the air, but at all times staying connected, venturing into her not too sure zone for only brief moments along the way. More layers. Part of helping her was to find the right height, angle, position that she was most comfortable holding her foot at, because of her physical issues. So, for me and Star there were many things to consider and discover, and finding the courage to work through this my way, through my connection with this particular horse resulted in me and her being relaxed and comfortable with the trimming process.

        In fact I am still discovering more layers each time I trim and each time I learn something new. There are still days occasionally, when she finds it difficult to hold her foot because she is sore in her shoulder for instance from running around with the babies, but that’s ok…. we can get the job done quietly and comfortably 

        Good luck Shelley, and keep us posted. Much love xxx Caroline

        • shelley dunkin 05/13/2015, 11:30 pm Reply

          caroline, thanks so much. i will give alittle more info to clarify. shaz is my gelding who fell with me when trying to do an emergency 1 rein stop. btw i have learned to either go with him or do a 2 rein stop, 1 rein up and 1 down which works and maintains balance. so the good news is it took half as much time to do his other 2 feet. goloso, my spanish guy, is the guy who doesnt like being tied or standing still. its funny how we assume things. i assumed he would be fine with his feet since he wore shoes for years before i got him. and that he would be fine tied up because he spent so much time being tied in spain. so i am going to tkae your advice and make sure i have a qm and have a calm quiet happiness during the process. i also have decided that his yummy spot will be a full tummy, sunshine and hanging with me in my square pen with the other horses hanging around. i will not tie him and he probably wont want to eat the little bit of grass in there, but i will let him eat until hes had his fill and then start the process. he will lift his front foot easy enough but then he pulls it away quickly and slams it down, so in the meantime while he is eating hay i take the foot that has the least weight on it and pick it up, praise him and then and try and set it down my self before he snatches it. i plan to also experiment with seeing if he is more comfortable with his foot forward on the hoofjack and try to do most of the work that way at first. one thing i noticed when working thru this with my cute little guy, shimmer, is that while he was processing, sleepy eyes, twitching lips, head low., my lead gelding,blu(very wise horse) put his head down by shimmers on the other side of the pen and just stood there. i thought maybe he was trying to encourage him, but now i am wondering if he was releasing with him. the cool thing is that it seems as though i am bonding more to the whole herd as i go thru this with each individual even tho’ i have not done this with them all yet. i will admit with shaz when it took 3 hours, twice i felt anger/frustration and had to walk away and just breathe. i think eckhart tolle would say this is my spiritual practice for now. cool.

          • June 03/04/2016, 4:36 am

            A bit late to this conversation, but I only just now found it. Very interesting! As a barefoot hoof trimmer, I’ve found that a powerful tool to use with anxious horses is to first teach them that it’s ok to refuse to pick their foot up. Some of these anxious horses are over-obliging, as well as fearful from previous experiences – they’ll give their foot and then snatch it away, or wave it crazily in the air, or hop away on 3 legs, or (usually this would be a pony) kick. So I’ll tell the horse that I DON”T want him (for some reason it’s usually a him in these cases) to pick his foot up. I’ll rest my hand on his leg or foot and praise him for not picking up his foot. Then I’ll give a slight ‘ask’ with my hand for the foot to come up and again lavishly congratulate any refusal. After the horse is completely confident that he has the right to refuse to pick his foot up, I’ll ask again if he’d like to pick it up, and usually he will. If not, then because I’m trimming professionally, I can’t take 2-3 hours per horse, but what I CAN do is to get the owner to agree that it’s better to create a good experience than to actually get the feet completed. It doesn’t take long for the anxiety to disappear. Because the horse is allowed to refuse, he is able to think down into his foot and have a conversation with you about his foot. Whereas if you’re just telling him he has to pick his foot up, all you’ll get is pure reaction.

          • jennya 03/04/2016, 8:50 am

            June I absolutely LOVE your approach! There’s so many important points in here.
            1. That if they are allowed to NOT pick up their foot that they can then actually start THINKING instead of reacting and reacting almost always ends up badly for us.
            2. That it’s better to create a good experience than to just get the job done. Just getting the job done would have added to and reinforced the old trauma and the good experience is there forever.
            I bet there’s a lot of people reading this who wish you were THEIR trimmer!

      • shelley dunkin 05/07/2015, 7:52 am Reply

        jenny, thanks so much for letting me know how long it took for bobby, that will help me be even more patient. how cool are horses that the whole herd could release with bobby!!! one of my horses put their head right by the horse i was working on and i wondered what was going on. horses are just so amazing and thank you for helping me to see it!!!! i always knew they were amazing but it hasnt been until the last couple years that i am seeing the depth of it i look forward to hearing caroline’s story.

        • Caroline 05/14/2015, 9:21 pm Reply

          Got it now… it was Shaz who you had the beautiful bonding experience with 🙂 and Goloso you beautiful Spanish guy, it was him whose name I couldn’t remember 🙂

          Doesn’t it just show you, how brilliant horses are when it comes to ‘putting up with stuff’, but given a chance to let us know how they really feel, we can see how unhappy they’ve previously been. I’m so glad he’s come to you, and now you can help him find comfort with those things he’s previously just put up with. What a guy 🙂 It sounds perfect what you’re thinking about his yummy spot, and how you’ve picked up on how working with one horse has an effect on the whole herd. Just brilliant.

          Your ideas about working with Goloso and the hoof jack also sounds perfect. Remember whatever thoughts you have about anything you want to do, follow the good feelings. If the idea and the visual you play out in your mind feels good, relaxed, happy, easy, then it will be perfect to help build the layers. If you have feelings that have any kind of NQR, then back off the idea, do a QM, and see what else floats up that feels better, clearer, happier.

          Don’t worry about the anger/frustration, it sneaks up on us at times.. the brilliant bit was, you felt it, and did the perfect thing with it… you walked away and gave yourself space to let it go. It’s a perfect place to find your message behind the anger or frustration, and will help you layer a new understanding about how to do the thing. It’s just a message… no biggy 🙂

          Have a great time exploring your relationship with feet and standing still, and we’d love to hear how things go for you when you get a break through. It helps everyone to hear us share our experiences.

          I recently had a chat with Jenny about us all getting together for a catch up, a chat, share our daily experiences or thoughts on Facebook, and it would be great to see you there too. And anyone else reading this… please say Hi on Facebook, so we can all keep more in touch with each other. With lots of love xx Caroline xx

          • shelley dunkin 05/24/2015, 1:18 am

            update: i did blu’s feet. he is the leader of the herd and i think a caretaker horse and if you know klaus’s horse characterizations i think he would be a minister. i think he has been very, very shut down. he doesnt really enjoy scratches and not very expressive, but he his friendly. the first day i spent 2 hours and didnt get any feet done, but i tell you he came in the pen and immediately started releasing and did alot of yawning and i have never seen him yawn before. he and i did not get along when we first got him because he i think had a nervous breakdown and was viciously attacking my horses except for my mare who he was trying to breed. i thought this was who he was, but he never tried breeding my mare again after those first few days and he is alittle aggressive towars the other horses, but not vicious. now he tells me he loves me and “shows” me picutes of his previous life that are not good andhe is the only horse i get these kind of things from. but i think we had some things to release and it took 3 hours to do his front feet. i didnt think it went that well because i had to give him grain to get finished and i had trouble staying in the happy mind place. however it only took 1 hour to do his hind feet (i let him eat hay and some grass during the process which seems like cheating since i dont see the releasing.) however, he comes up to me more showing a happy face and today he started showing me where he itched and started enjoying the scratching and did some more big yawns, so yippee!!! goloso is next!

          • shelley dunkin 05/25/2015, 7:16 am

            so i have had 2 2hour sessions with goloso and i took your idea and just picked out his feet, but mostly just picked up his foot and he would want it right back, but i would praise him for picking it up. experimented with where the best spot isfor these sessions and boy is he doing alot of sleeping and yawning and for awhile today he stood over me ( i sit on a little milk crate) and rested his chin on my head. the thoughts that came to me were that he is afraid and afraid he is going to die. i dont know if these thoughts are coming from him or me. but i do think that this is a huge way for us to build trust. i am just hoping for a break thru soon before his feet get way too long!

          • jennya 05/25/2015, 8:56 am

            I know Caroline is coming back to continue to answer your main question and continue the conversation. But I say Shelley, I couldn’t not answer (even though in haste) because I sooo wanted to validate you on what you picked up with Goloso. What you are doing with him is creating an opportunity for him to release old trauma around his feet and all that sleeping and yawning is him processing that old trauma. So bless you, bless you, bless you for creating such a wonderful opportunity for mental, emotional and physical well being for your horse. And believe me – what you are doing will have positive PHYSICAL health repercussions as well as the mental and emotional!
            And as for your wonderful connection and bond that you are building with him – being afraid that he is going to die is EXACTLY what many many MANY horses feel who have had trauma around picking their feet up. Take away their foot with force and they cannot run away and then their flight animal brain tells them they are going to die. I have no doubt that those thoughts are from him, but hey, it doesn’t matter really, so long as you get them and act on them for his and your benefit.
            Well done you and Goloso and Blu all!

          • shelley dunkin 05/25/2015, 9:19 am

            bless YOU jenny for teaching me about this process and continuing to encourage me. all this is just sooooo amazing to me and i am happy you are so very commited to sharing with the world what you know and thanks to bobby, too!!

          • jennya 05/25/2015, 10:21 am

            You’re welcome and yes he’s a pretty special boy! 🙂

          • Caroline 05/25/2015, 7:02 pm

            Hi Shelley
            First off, I just want to say… WELL DONE ! and draw your attention to the progress you’ve made.
            “Now he tells me he loves me”… from not getting along when you first got him, to feeling that he loves you, is worlds apart  A totally different relationship altogether, and doesn’t it just feel wonderful. That is validation for you right there, the emotion is a message of how you are feeling and how Blu is feeling and whether you are going along the right path, doing things that are right for your unique relationship together. So really well done for changing this around 
            And incredibly well done for allowing the time it takes, spending the time with him, to support him through releasing whatever he needs to release. There is something I’ve discovered over the last few years, that we don’t do our horses any favours if we hold an energy of… let’s say ‘pity’ for want of a better word, because of their previous life experiences. I have learnt this personally with my mare Star, and it makes a huge difference to how she turns up each day, once I’d let go of the ‘rescued horse’ label, and saw her as the amazing, powerful and perfect horse that she is to me. This is still a work in progress for me, but she kind of shows me with a look, if I ever have that kind of ‘rescued’ energy.
            And well done for feeling into that thing you needed to do to help you to get finished with his feet. I suspect you might not have felt so good about it, because it wasn’t as per the plan in your head, or perhaps because of what others might have suggested or advised. However, if you feel back into that experience, how smooth, how easy and soft was that experience, to get the job finished? There is no right or wrong way to do something, there is only finding the way for you and your horse. Just check that out for yourself and see if your feelings about the grain to finish the job was ok for you, based on your experience with Blu… did he relax, did he feel softer, did it go more smoothly etc? Remember you are at the start of this, and it might just be a stepping stone to help release something for him, and it might be a stepping stone for your mind to open out into all that is available for you and him uniquely. And as you go along, you might find that the grain is no longer needed, and grass or hay is the thing that makes trimming feet a lovely experience. And then he might show you that trimming is quite relaxing for him, and he doesn’t want to eat the hay before him…. and so the layers build… does that make sense ?
            However, you do have another validation in that “he comes up to me more showing a happy face”, and another validation, in that he is opening to communicating where he wants to be scratched, and then bingo… he is in that place to release with big yawns. Crikey Shelley, so much wonderful stuff happening for Blue, from what you described as “very very shut down”. Really well done…. smile now  xxx hugs… Caroline
            PS. I’ve followed Klaus’s work quite a lot in the past, and initially I thought the characteristics as he describes would be helpful, but for me personally, I found that by labelling my horse in a particular way, blocked who they really are, and the potential of our relationship. It might be different for you, it might be that it really helps you, but just something to check out for yourself.

            PPS. I’ve just read your experience with Goloso, and ditto everything Jenny said. You have stepped into something so utterly beautiful and transformative with him… Hats off kiddo !

          • shelley dunkin 05/29/2015, 12:19 pm

            caroline, thanks so much for your words of encouragement. it really means alot. i feel pretty lonely in my way of being with horses here in northern michigan. the encouragement i get from you and jenny and the RESULTS i see in the increased bonding and trust with my horses makes it all so rewarding!!!! i am so grateful for you both, love, shelley.

          • jennya 05/29/2015, 2:26 pm

            We don’t have to feel alone anymore hey? Between that immutable connection with our horse and our on line community – even if we don’t have anything else that is sooo… much more than before. In our little on line circle of the four teachers, Caroline, Narel, Holly and I, – we are so close that we generally know when something is “wrong” with another, without even being told. It’s priceless!

          • Caroline 05/30/2015, 5:57 am

            Aww thank you Shelley, that is so nice of you to say so. It is the same for us too, when we see the results with you, and the incredible and beautiful changes that happen for you and your horse. It’s a full circle thing, a connection thing for all of us together… so a big thank you too for being part of US. Lots of love xxx

  25. Jacquie 04/19/2015, 12:36 pm Reply

    Hi jenny . I have 37 yo old cushings pony . Zero sugar feed on meds Pergolide . What should I be feeding her differently (herbs)etc do maybe being able to get her off the meds ? Or should I be taking a different approach ,,, thanks Jacquie

    • jennya 04/22/2015, 9:04 am Reply

      I have a quite passionate point of view about horses with Cushings and yes it is fixable Jacqui. 37 years old is pretty old to be unwinding the causes of Cushings, but hey – it will be enjoyable for her and enjoyable for you too. Here’s the link to an article that I wrote about what I believe are the causes and it has some great tips on where you can start, to fix it. And hmmm… you have given me a brilliant idea for one of our new Pocket Lessons that we are going to release soon – a mini series fixing Cushings. Thanks!
      Click here for that article on Cushings in horses

  26. Rachel Hardy 04/08/2015, 1:31 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny

    I have a 7yo thoroughbred which I rescued two weeks ago. He has severe stringhalt.

    I have him on 10ml Vitaman B Complex injections once per week and Konke’s Mag E supplement daily. He gets a biscuit of lucerne in the morning and at night a chaff, pellet and copra mix.

    This is my first horse so I’ve jumped in the deep end, but I really want to do the best by him to get him better as soon as possible (despite the vet saying he won’t).

    Can you provide advice on a supplement program for him, if what I’m currently doing isn’t enough?

    Of course im happy to pay for your consultation.

    • jennya 04/08/2015, 4:27 pm Reply

      OK sunshine, let’s see how much change we can get in your lucky new horse before you spend any money…
      The lucerne is high in calcium which is increasing the calcium component of his calcium-magnesium ratio. Any increase in the calcium side of the calcium-magnesium ratio has the potential to be making things more difficult in the stringhalt department, given that stringhalt is caused by a magnesium deficiency. So – how much magnesium are you giving him?
      Have you got The Six Keys to Happiness with Your Horse? I say that because the relationship with you is an important part of his recovery. Stress and anxiety will increase his stringhalt symptoms, so learning how to help him to live free from as much stress and anxiety as possible, is a significant part of me being able to say so categorically that stringhalt is a recoverable condition. The Six Keys will get you started on the right path for that. Apart from dozens of other horses that have recovered from stringhalt under my supervision, my own horse Bobby had it bad once and hasn’t had a sign of it since that first week.
      If he has had it for a long time it will require commitment, minerals, the right kind of handling and when the time comes even riding with your unselfish desire to see him feeling a deep sense of well being. And the good news is, that feeling the deep sense of well being is contagious to us too! With all that in place, even long term cases can recover. He’s a lucky boy who sounds like he’s in the right place with you.
      You told me his feed, but what type of pasture is he on? How long is it (as in length)? And does it have much cape weed or flat weed in it?

      • Rachel Hardy 04/08/2015, 7:11 pm Reply

        Thanks Jenny, for a more detailed picture, his feeding is follows:

        Morning
        1 biscuit of Lucerne
        60 grams of BetaCalm

        Evening
        60 grams of BetaCalm
        1 x scoop of copra soaked in warm water for ten minutes
        2 x scoop chaff
        2 x scoop of hygain pellets
        (All those scoops are using a 1kg scoop – not to be confused with being fed 1kg of each! Lol)
        50 grams of TuffRock joint support

        I’m about to swap out the BetaCalm for Kohnke’s Mag E, with 3 x 15gram scoops daily for a week and then 2 scoops a day for a month as recommended for Australian stringhalt on their website. I am trying to reduce his stress and anxiety by just keeping him at rest in the paddock – no exercise and lots of brushing which seems to relax him.

        The paddock is ok, summer grass around hock height but it does have some thistle starting to come through – very little flatweed or Cape weed.

        • jennya 04/08/2015, 8:00 pm Reply

          Excellent news about the pasture and thistle can be good for cleansing the liver, although you don’t want too much in the paddock. 🙂 The only problem I see in there, intellectually speaking (I usually test up a horse’s requirements), is the lucerne which because of its high calcium content, will be increasing the need for magnesium. So I would up the Mag E to 4 scoops to compensate for the lucerne. I love Tuffrock, it’s an excellent product and coincidentally, a friend of mine owns part of the company! G’day Geoff!
          Your horse being at rest is good at this stage and how lovely that you are using this time to connect with him mentally and emotionally. In The Six Keys you’ll find out about the ability to release OLD stress and trauma. So quietly achieving that at every opportunity would be excellent and very healing to his mind, body and spirit.

          • Rachel Hardy 04/09/2015, 9:20 am

            Great, thanks so much Jenny, your support is so reassuring 🙂

  27. Dawn 03/15/2015, 9:27 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny, I am after some advice with my horse who “rushes” home. I have recently moved Cash to a 3acre paddock with 2 other smaller horses. Cash is my parelli levels horse who I ride bitless. On two occasions we have ridden out with one of the other horses from the paddock. The horse is smaller than Cash and needs to lead out or be right up Cash’s butt. My problem is that Cash is an introverted horses so asking him to “go slower” or “do less” actually brings his life and impulsion up. As such but the time we are heading home he is jig jogging, tossing his head even though he is on a VERY loose rein. When I rode out on my own yesterday he had a very NQR moments but if I felt him manageable from the saddle we played with a few maneuvers such as backing up, shoulder in/out, sideways, partial disengagement etc until he became mentally connected and relaxed again and then we’d move on. We ended up walking and trotting almost 3km’s but once we turned to head for home the jig jogging escalated in to walk-jig jog – working trot-extended trot all with tension rather than rhythm and relaxation. I used the earlier exercises making sure to release the moment he softened and transitioned down. Within a kilometre of the paddock there is a roadway I needed to cross so I dismounted before getting there and played online to make sure I had a responsive connected horse before I had to contend with traffic. I did lso dismount one other time on the ride when I had a nqr feeling too before it turn into an OH SHITE moment. Once we crossed the roadway is stayed on the ground and we played some more where I would send him to grassy areas to graze or to back up between bollards etc etc to try and keep his mind active and distracted from the “rush home” Both on the way out and way home I waited for the chew or for him to blow out and lower his head. This is only his fifth ride out with me except for clinics so I do understand he has some emotional stuff going on. I just want to help him become the horse that can walk home on the buckle without making him feel wrong.
    I’d appreciate any advice/criticisms as I just want to be the best partner I can be for my precious boy.
    Cheers
    Dawn

    • jennya 03/16/2015, 7:42 am Reply

      First of all, good on you for wanting to be the best partner that you can be for your horse Dawn. That kind of unselfishness and heart for your horse will stand you ikn mgood stead to get what you want.

      I would address the problem waaayyy earlier than you think, when you are first leaving the paddock, on those TINY Not Quite Rights that I read between the lines are happening as you first leave. The clue was in your comment about introverted horses. They don’t show their fear/anxiety/confusion etc that they are feeling until they are looonnnggg into feeling a problem – by the time they are behaving the way that you described they are in real trouble internally.
      So, the next time that you go out to your horse, sit somewhere close by where you can see him and do the Connected Quiet Mind of The First Key to Happiness with Your Horse, then when you are in that deeply connected place, re-do that approach and retreat work of The Fourth Key, noticing the smaller Not Quite Rights – noticing the buzzes of beautiful emotion and stopping for a while and soaking those up in appreciation. Follow every feel good moment and use every Not Quite Right for change through the saddling process and as you ride out – stopping and waiting where you need to, turning around and going back towards the paddock until you feel the tension leave his and your body (it will be in your body too in that lovely connection I suspect) wait for The Chew and then ride back out again and repeat as often as necessary.
      If you were to somehow still get into trouble when you were out, then the things that you did were a good deal. The trouble with using those techniques to control him as a GENERAL rule, is that it teaches an already introverted horse to shut up – THAT’s why I am suggesting that you look for the problem waaay earlier when it is MUCH smaller. Does that make sense? I also LOVE that “not making him feel wrong” is a priority for you – that is sooo… important. Well done you.

      • Dawn 03/16/2015, 7:40 pm Reply

        Thanks Jenny. I have been the meditation and bubble exercises with Cash and I’m usually pretty good at listening. We had “several conversations” prior to moving him from his old paddock. He was quite happy saddling and walking out the gate it was when we got to the rail trail and one of the other horses called out that the tension came up. I’m getting better at reading him and noticed the little more “prick” in his ear’s, the longer time between him blinking, (he rarely completely glazes over anymore except when new people approach him too quickly or approach him with high energy). When he became uncomfortable and was jig-jogging I did use “approach and retreat” and a little “tit for tat” until he relaxed more and was happy to walk away. Coming home was the main issue as he was wanting to rush home. He was quite happy to walk out on a loose rein (on the “buckle”) and he was also happy to trot out but he had rhythm and was relaxed through the body. He had a few moments where he saw “new” things such as people playing tennis etc where I allowed him to stop and watch what was going on. he’d watch for a moment and then he’d soften and chew and he was ready to move on. His hips were swinging and there was lovely cadence to the trot. He would “call out” as we were approaching paddocks where he has previously seen other horses but I never had to “push or drive” him to keep walking out. Literally from the moment we turned around to head home I suddenly had a different horse. His gait shortened, his head lifted, he became bracey and wanted to rush back to the paddock. I will continue to pay more attention to the NQR moments and see if I can ascertain if it’s something I’m causing. We are usually really well connected and we often have people remark at how much we mirror each other and what a great relationship we have with each other. I’ve even had very experienced natural horsewomen comment that my horse would “die for me” and how special the connection we have is. He has released so much baggage since I first started using your program almost 12 months ago. I think that’s why I am struggling to understand the change in him from heading out to heading back (especially when he was alone) I’ll try and make sure that my mind is clear and uncluttered if this happens again as it may be about me and not him after all. I do love the way that horses can make you look further inside yourself too as it may not be their issue but rather them mirroring an emotion/action/tension that we humans are carrying within ourselves too. I really thank you for both your program and you prompt reply. I will definitely be trying to stay “in the moment” with him and acting appropriately. Thanks Jen.

        • jennya 03/16/2015, 10:13 pm Reply

          Hmmm… more food for thought then. I keep getting some kind of follow and focus on soaking up the good feelings in appreciation of them. Once you’re skilled at noticing Not Quite Right, the next step is to follow the good feelings more and more, deepening those feelings of well being for longer and longer. And I too love the way that they cause us to look deeper inside ourselves and grow more and more, bless them!
          On a technique level (and technique is no substitute for feel…) If you turn back around as if to ride out again does he soften again? Maybe it’s something happened going home maybe even before you got him and he needs to release the stress and tension of that??? So in that case, you would do your approach and retreat from the opposite direction from most people. Does that make sense?

  28. Lucy w 11/21/2014, 7:33 am Reply

    I loved listing to your lesson and I will test it out on my new mini pony’s. the both pony’s have really bad founder and I wanted to ask you what you think to do about it?
    thanks! Lucy (I am 10)

    • jennya 11/24/2014, 6:55 am Reply

      Gosh Lucy that is SUCH a big subject! Using and refining your sense of feel so as to KNOW how best to help them is perhaps the biggest deal because, like just about everything else, they are all individuals and need some treatment individually. And when they feel that we are listening to them, it almost seems to automatically lighten their misery a little.
      Feet trim is critical to get right and we do THAT by feel too. Have you looked at those blogs about developing your own unique fee yet? Click here for those articles.
      We had one of our tiny guys founder (for long involved reasons that I won’t bother going into here) and Kristina (my working student) took tiny little bits off his feet every few days to make him visibly more comfortable.
      Knowing whether to walk them or when to leave them alone is another big deal. We call it “happy walking” – they have to be happy about it, either playing with another horse like one of my clients last week has put the foundering pony on with a foal and they are running all over the place or being happy to get out and about with you. But again, FEEL is how you know whether the poor little buggers should be allowed to lay in the shade without interference from us.
      I’ve got articles on my blog about feeding a foundering pony, so I won’t go into that again – but I have some VERY strong views about that. The starving thing that we were taught how to do sucks and causes long term chronic problems. I use grazing muzzles so that they can still have food but not too much. There’s an article on my blog click here for that.
      Magnesium and maybe other minerals can be a big deal in these cases too. Look up magnesium information by clicking here.
      I just noticed your note that you are ten years old Lucy and I may have worded my answer a bit differently if I had noticed before. Ahh well… if you’re old enough and well written enough to write your question so well, you’re old enough to get a good answer!

      • jennya 11/24/2014, 7:03 am Reply

        Oh yeah… and Lucy – when you’ve done the lesson about noticing the way that YOU feel for your horse, come back here on the website and tell us how you do it. If we can educate children to sue their own feel, the world will pretty quickly become a better place! 🙂

  29. Alyth 10/29/2014, 4:42 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny – I love your lessons, I have them printed out so I can access them easily….I think I read somewhere on your pages about position when riding down hills…..but I can’t find it 🙂 I know ‘leaning back’ is bad as it causes the cantle to dig in, but leaning forward puts weight on forehand surely? What are your guidelines for the easiest way for human and horse to ride downhill? Thank you.

    • jennya 10/30/2014, 6:42 am Reply

      I think you have the Cameo riding seat lessons don’t you Alyth? It’s in there in the form of a lesson to really get your pelvis and legs acting like a lovely flowing giant spring as you walk down downhill and then for your pelvis and legs to just about effortlessly power you up hill. Crikey, our bodies in the right place, being used in the right way, is a freaking awesome feeling. And freaking awesome to feel on a horse too. You’re right, you’re not leaning forward either – you are best in perfect balance – upright to the centre of the earth rather than to the hill. Do you understand what I am saying there? The walking lesson on this in Cameo is a perfect way to get that all happening rather than practicing on our horse and straining our horses back trying to carry us when we are riding out of balance and practicing getting it right. I am shaking my head as I write – I see some bloody awful injuries to horses backs who ride a lot of hills with unbalanced riders. I have no judgement there – sadly I used to be an unbalanced rider too, but I have worked my butt off to change that – for me and for others! 🙂

  30. Marlies 09/03/2014, 7:43 pm Reply

    Dear Jenny, I’m in the Cameo lessons, and I think this is just a new start with education in communication with horses! I love this stuff!! But I really try to finde a solution to get over my problem, with my frisian horse, which is quite full of energy! I’m doing Straightness Training (Marijeke de Jongh) since
    1 1/2 year. I know the right hind legs of Ebony is weak and this might be the reason, why she does everything not like so much do on the right side. Ebony is left bended. Hier is my big problem: If I ask her to go in the canter to the right, she bucks, she leans to the inside shoulder, or she is running a way out of the arena! I had a time I could do it with out saddle last summer, quite nice, but suddenly she got bad again. If I don’t canter any more to the right it get worse too. If I force her she get mad. If I just ask 3 steps She does it, with 2 steps bucking! This horse is otherwise nice to ride, well I have to be soft and gentle in my seat not to make her hot. If I ride canter on a hack, she is much better. I also do liberty stuff, and we have a really good relationship. But the canter to the right got worse instead better! Ebony’s previous owner was very very heavy! I own this horse since
    2 1/2 years. Before she had a foal. Can you give any Idea what I have to do? I really appreciate your opinion. Thank you for give me the opportunity to ask you:) Regards, Marlies

    • jennya 09/04/2014, 6:54 am Reply

      Gosh that is a big question Marlies with a lot of different possible answers and solutions. I think that in your new riding position that you are developing on Cameo, that enables a lot more sensitive feel for your horse, I think that you will notice a brace or blockage or resistance to the right at a WALK. It may not be as evident in her behaviour, but I bet it’s there, so I would solve it there, waaayyy before the canter. So when you’ve done those releases on your own spine and pelvis (and hey, the brace or blockage or resistance might actually be yours for all we know right now! 🙂 ) you can very gently as you are ever so slowly turning your own body for a gentle turn, feel at what point she can’t come with you and melt your body off that. We talk a lot about this kind of thing in the full Fast Track program. Don’t keep turning past her ability to come with you – we call that “over riding” – it disconnects your seat and you lose your feel for your horse. And your horse can’t come back to you, if you have lost your “feel” for her. Does that make sense?
      As of last week, I started to do these new interactive video lessons – where you put up a video of your problem and then we get on Skype and share the computer screen together and talk through the specific things that you can change to support your horse to solve that problem. It works very well, I am quite excited about how effective it is. The cost is $110 per lesson. I have also bundled three lessons together for $75 each – that’s $105 off, which is a huge saving. And you can have those other lessons anytime in the next year or so.
      This sounds like its just the kind of problem that would benefit from this technology, because I am then able to be a LOT more specific in my answer and my support. I’ll be able to see whether its a horse problem or a human problem and give you specific support to overcome it. I am VERY excited about it and I am going to be talking about all that on the live seminar today.

      • Marlies 09/04/2014, 8:25 pm Reply

        Thank you Jenny for your quick feedback! I know is a complex question. But your answer does help me! I try to feel and solve the problem in walk. She is usually very relaxed in walk, and I haven’t thought to feel the problem there. I did also work on the lunge on the ride canter with just one round and then ask and wait for the chewing and licking. I did it also in walk, and in trot. It tok me 2 hours because of waiting. But I think it is really interesting what different it does. Thank you so much Jenny, I will see what option I’m gonna choose after the 12 Cameo:) I live since 6 years in South Africa, but sorry my english is still not so good. I looking forward to learn more of you:) Marlies

        • jennya 09/04/2014, 10:10 pm Reply

          Well done you for such great instincts then! With English not your first language, how are you finding my Aussie accent on the audio lessons? Does it help to have the written version there too or is my accent easily understood?

          • Marlies 09/05/2014, 6:41 am

            Haha, I appreciate your leveley accent as an Aussie! I can understand it very good and it is not to compare to the difficult american accent!! And by the way, I love your voice too! Very pleasant!

          • jennya 09/05/2014, 10:22 am

            I am glad about that! 🙂

  31. Lauren Hutton 08/21/2014, 3:30 pm Reply

    Hello my name is Lauren Hutton.

    I am currently attending Faith Lutheran College in Tanunda, SA.
    I am completing the Research project at the moment and I am researching the effect Hippotherapy has on Veterans.

    I was wondering if you have any knowledge on Equine Assisted therapies. If so I would love to hear your opinion on it!

    I would really appreciate you time.

    Thankyou
    Lauren Hutton
    Faith Lutheran College

    • jennya 08/21/2014, 3:49 pm Reply

      G’day Lauren. I don’t have the answer to that first hand You would do better trying the Epona people, if you haven’t tried them already. And maybe Franklin Levinson? I know there has some specific work been done because I read about it somewhere. I am also sure that it would benefit them greatly. I have worked with horse owners who have been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder from various sources, who have experienced healing with the support of their horses, so I am sure that the veterans would get a benefit too. Actually I told my brother in law that I would do some research about for him, he’s a Vietnam vet who supports and mentors soldiers back from some of the current “wars” or whatever we should call them. So I must get moving and do that!
      Maybe I should contact you again later when you have received some of your replies! 🙂

  32. shelley dunkin 06/21/2014, 6:18 am Reply

    jenny, is it ok to do the fast track lesson #11, the riding seat lesson on a big ball instead of a chair? maybe have the chairback in front of the ball? it is a lesson i for sure need to repeat because i keep squeezing my butt, especially when i am sliding my tail bone lower to the ground or maybe just when im trying to keep my tail bone down. maybe i need to allow it to slip back up and then on a breath out slide it back down again? this is so cool because i have been struggling with this tight butt for a long time. first it took a long time to even know i was tightening my butt! now i have hope! and i dont need to struggle anymore! cool!

    • jennya 06/21/2014, 11:23 pm Reply

      Yeeessss… you would get some benefit – only you won’t get the elastic, spongey reins feel with that beautiful flexion of your spine and pelvis when you are in the perfect riding seat, because the ball will roll instead… So I don’t think that it’s the best way of doing the lesson.

      • shelley dunkin 06/22/2014, 12:24 am Reply

        good point!

  33. Alison 06/15/2014, 8:55 am Reply

    Hi Jenny,

    I have a 30 year old Thoroughbred gelding, we’ve been together for 23 years. He has chronic string halt and I’ve tried many things for it, back on the magnesium now. He’s pretty healthy apart from the string halt, but I feel he needs healing and perhaps he is carrying my stuff, too!

    Kind regards,

    Alison Clark

    • jennya 06/18/2014, 10:53 am Reply

      Jenny’s reply: I can travel if I need to Alison, although I don’t too often these days! 🙂 I see you got The Six Keys to Happiness with Your Horse – that’s a great start too. Stringhalt is a nervous system problem caused by lack of magnesium BUT most people pay little to no attention to the other part of the nervous system which in my experience plays a vital part in their recovery – and that is the relationship with their rider. So what you read on the Six Keys about horse’s nerves and the early warning signal that something is Not Quite Right, is going to be important to you.
      How much magnesium are you giving him? What feed is he on? And how much grass is in the paddock?

      Alison’s reply to me:
      I’m feeding him 4 scoops of chaff, 1 of Hygain Senior and 2-3 of TruCare, plus some lucerne hay. He’s in a private paddock, but it’s still pretty weedy. I just moved him to the paddock next to his old one and there was a lot of grass in there, but a fair bit of flat weed, too. When he first got string halt about 9 years ago, I tried the vet to no avail and my farrier said to give him magnesium, which I did and it helped more than anything the vets tried, but it didn’t get rid of it. (The farrier told me to give him 1/3 pack of epsom salts for a couple of days and then cut it back). I was puzzled when my horse got the string halt as the paddock he was in then had very few weeds and wasn’t overgrazed (it’s since been sold off the developers). I just started him on it again, I tbsp of Epsom salts and one of magnesium oxide. There have been times when it nearly went away and I rode him, but now he’s touching his belly, but only i one leg. He had it in 2 legs for a little while, but one got better and hasn’t returned so he still has it in one leg.

      Cheers
      Alison

      • jennya 06/18/2014, 11:15 am Reply

        OK, stop feeding Epsom Salts. It’s a good short term quick “what have I got in the cupboard that can help my horse straight away” but I have heard that it can damage the kidneys in the long term.

        I too have been using magnesium oxide over the last year, as a magnesium supplement for those difficult times of the year when the grass is short but growing, i.e. stressed – which is the most vulnerable time for stringhalt. Sometimes they are looking for a lot sometimes a little, so I put it in a separate water source next to the plain water and allow them to drink as much of that magnesium water as they want/need. Horses are very good at self regulating if they are kept under relatively natural conditions – .e. happily out on pasture.

        For example early spring and late summer when those first autumn rains hit seems to be the most dangerous time of the year and that’s when I have the most magnesium in the water. For my herd of 12 horses at those crucial times, (notice that’s TWELVE horses) I have been known to put 200 grams in a big tub next to the water trough and have added more every couple of days. That was for a very short period of time though, just a few weeks.

        I am a kinesiologist so I can test for the quantities, but you could also just increase it in the that second water source gradually and be guided by their behaviour and stop when they have settled down from that excessive nervousness.

        An important word of caution – more minerals is not better. So if you have any doubts about the quantities of minerals at all, refer to your vet or competent alternative therapist.

        Prior to using magnesium oxide I stuck to Pat Colby’s recommendation of magnesium orotate and had consistently good results with that too. You can buy magnesium orotate at the local chemist shop in an emergency which makes that a good option, although In Australia a mail order company called Golden Glow has the cheapest magnesium orotate I found, even cheaper than buying it in bulk.

        Lucerne hay is high in calcium and can cause an imbalance in the magnesium because of that. That’s why a lot of horses seem “hot” on lucerne – it’s the effect on the nervous system of not having enough magnesium to balance all that calcium.

        Doing a lot of calcium supplementation can cause exactly the same problem and if the calcium is high enough it could be a significant contribution to causing stringhalt. I doubt if it’s the only cause though, otherwise there would be a lot more horses with stringhalt.

        Getting some muscle work, like Bowen and some of the more powerful massage techniques like Shiatsu, even acupuncture will help. So yes since you are close enough for me to travel, we can arrange that. I can also work effectively by distance and that cuts out the traveling fees! 🙂

  34. Susan Lund 06/03/2014, 3:27 am Reply

    I have a horse who seems to be gentle in nature, but I believe she has been handled far too roughly. I had a chiropractor out who confirmed she had back pain, as I tried to mount her bareback and she tried to get me off by rearing. Rearing seems to be her reaction to so many things….putting in a bit (I now have decided to be bitless), trimming her feet, even on the ground doing ground work. I am afraid to get on her again. The chiropractor gave me some things to do for two weeks, then said to try riding again. What can I do to make myself feel calmer and more confident and to keep her from rearing on me? Thank you.

    • jennya 06/03/2014, 5:10 am Reply

      It sounds like someone has helped her to develop rearing as her way of saying”no’. You could consider it misplaced forward energy. The fact that she seems gentle in nature and yes I would agree with you, probably rough (even traumatic) handling – and the fact that the chiropractor said she had a sore back, seems to me to indicate to me that a systematic approach would be successful.

      This systematic approach, with my programs, would help her RELEASE her old fears, RE-LEARN a new way of behavior and RE-PROGRAM that new way of behaving into auto pilot.

      I raise my eyebrows at your chiropractor telling you to get on again on two weeks. Please don’t!

      There’s quite a bit of stuff to change before I would even consider putting my leg over this horse. Crikey – clearly they are not your chiropractor’s bones at risk! Your nerves are a VERY sensible expression of wanting to survive the experience! 🙂

      I would be doing a very gentle re-start, getting all kinds of routine things into this girls comfort zone before I would even think about it – RE-LEASING all her old trauma and RE-LEARNING to keep her four feet on the ground and having a happy, co-operative way of dealing with you.

      There is no quick fix for this one Susan, but this could be the most rewarding work you have ever undertaken if you are prepared to do the work. I can give you the step by guidance that will unfold your own skills and abilities at the same time. You would though, have to make a serious commitment to keeping yourself safe for me to support you on this one.

      I have personally discovered that horses other people considered difficult have been the most gobsmackingly rewarding. My precious Bobby was one of them – he was bucking higher than my head in his refusal to go forward. Oliver, my giant 18 hand Warmblood, was given to me last year as a bad boy and turns out to be sooo… special and sooo… precious, turning himself inside out in his desire to be a good boy for us..

      Get the free lessons The Six Keys to Happiness with Your Horse and if my approach appeals to you, then you are going to need the full program Fast Track to Brilliant Riding, with its systematic and step by step approach to a gentle re-start with her and a step by step development of your own skills. It’s a well supported program too. Start with The Six Keys, have a look at Fact Track and come back to me if you like our way of doing things.

  35. SHARON 05/28/2014, 12:25 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny
    read you article very interesting.. My daughters horse has always floated well she never seemed to move until we floated with a horse that we were trying out, he stomped the whole time in the float, I would travel slow. the last time I floated her with him when we got to PC her float boot was shredded and she was dripping. I didnt float him again. The next time we put her on the float she went on great as soon as we took off she start to scramble rear climb the walls. I was terrified i have never had a horse do that before. we stopped calmed her down and started again, same..
    so we got her off calmed her down and spent the next 3 hours getting her on and off leaving on to settle, so then we took her a small drive still climbing the walls.. we now have taken the centre bar out and have got her on a few times but we havent moved the car (to frightened too). I am not sure what to do once we have got her on! as we still have the bump bars on the back. Do we take them off completely and just close the tail gate. so we dont tie her up until we have shut the tail gate? should we go out the back of the float or the door then shut the tail gate. I dont think she would run off as we have to push her to get off. I just dont want to frighten her any more. as it was my idea to try out the other horse.
    your opinion would be appreciated
    thanks
    sharon

    • jennya 05/28/2014, 5:54 pm Reply

      It sounds like you did all the right things, Sharon, getting her on and off and allowing time for her to settle. I suspect that what you have is a horse who had been being brave and the upset caused by the strange horse carrying on that day, emptied out her bucket of bravery.
      Now let’s pause for a moment and think what that would mean.
      That would mean that you have a very generous little soul, who is busting her heart out trying for you – which is seriously lovely – and the only reason she isn’t OK about travelling at the moment is that she just can’t dig that deep. When we are being brave, it’s like it’s a fake kind of confidence – which is why my description of an empty bravery bucket. We can only fake it while nothing goes wrong, hey? Does that make sense to you?
      What you would need to do is help her to find her REAL confidence in the float.
      I have just filmed my big 18hh Warmblood Oliver being float trained after a very nasty accident (that he caused when his bravery bucket ran out) and am not too far off editing that and getting it uploaded onto the website – at least part of that will be a freebie too. So subscribe to the website so that you get an email notification of that blog when is it comes out. It could take me weeks to get that done though.
      In the meantime, re-listen to the first 5 lessons in The Six Keys to Happiness with Your Horse series – those freebies at the top of every webpage.
      If you do the connection exercise in The First Key, with the recognition that we can be sensitive to our horses fear that I talk about in The Third Key – I bet you will notice that the fear that you are feeling that is stopping you from driving off, is HER fear. So congratulations on that sensitivity Sharon. You can use that feeling on purpose now, to help you float train her again.
      Practice first with the haltering lesson in The Fourth Key – and when you feel confident that you are noticing that early warning signal that I call Not Quite Right, then you can start to apply that to approaching and retreating from the float.
      Approach the float while she feels good to you, then on the first feeling that something is Not Quite Right, stop and back her away from the float gently then stop and wait for her to lick and chew and yawn. (The Seventh Key will tell you WHY that is so valuable – it will help you to release the fright that she got with the horse that was playing up in the float with her.) Then when she has licked and chewed, you can go forwards towards the float again.
      Let me know how you go.

  36. Lisa Summers 04/23/2014, 5:13 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny

    Last year i bought my first horse who was soon after diagnosed with PPID from a ACTH test. She is currently agisted on her own in a large 18 acre forrest paddock that has been overgrazed by a few sheep over the years. It is probably about 60% CAPE WEED (the rest is mostly braken and rye grass) She also currently has 24/7 access to dried native grass low sugar hay. This paddock is just down the road from me and i can visit her daily to check on her.

    My dilemma is that i know cape weed is not a good forage so i have been thinking of moving her to another agistment centre 20 mins away where the paddocks (about 60 square metres in size) are filled with lush green kikuyu grass. I wouldnt be able to get to her every day to spend a few hours with her like I currently do and give her all her minerals/herbs etc, but if that lush green grass would be healthier for her then i must do what is best for her. That is where i need your help as I am not sure what to do.

    I currently exercise her for about an hour most days and take her to a place where there is some green grass after her exercise. If i do keep her where she is currently, I can get a paddock buddy so she is not on her own. I would also be able to mow the paddock regularly to keep the cape weed at bay. But don’t want to buy a second horse if you think she is much better off moving to the agistment centre where there is lush green grass in the paddocks. Obviously being down the road is easier for me, but need to do the right thing for her.

    I will still be able to exercise her but probably only 3-4 times per week.

    Please could you help by giving my your opinion Jenny – i love her so much and want what is best for her.
    Thank you

    Lisa

    • Jenny 04/25/2014, 5:24 pm Reply

      It sounds like you are doing most of the things necessary Lisa, except to add a buddy – which is critical for all horses and specially Cushings horses. I would make giving him a buddy a very high priority. From a spiritual point of view Cushings is about quality of life, about something missing in the sweetness of life and since you are already doing hay 24/7, that could well be about having a companion horse. Both my minis came in with the beginnings of it and both don’t have it any more so it IS fixable with a -holistic mental, emotional and physical approach.

      Also minerals can be deceptive – too much is even worse than not enough – so adding them in a way that the horse can choose what they need is important.

      Get a few bags of dolomite from the garden centre (quite cheap) and sprinkle your cape weed – LIGHTLY – with it. That will change the earth and reduce the capeweed – plus the fact that you now have one horse (soon two) on 18 acres of grazing forest instead of a mob of sheep – that should by itself give the composition of the earth a chance to change in a way that will reduce the capeweed.

      I personally wouldn’t be going to small kikyu grass paddocks. Although I have no firsthand experience of kikuyu, I have heard of many people having mineral problems with horses on it. Logic says that any paddock with only one grass is going to have mineral problems with the stock on it, since it is by a mixture of many species that animals get all their needs.

      Having said that, if someone found themselves in the situation of having their horse on a single two or three or even four measly species of grass, then grazing by a safe, quiet road side daily, on the lead, could be a nice experience for both of you (provided you have done the safe with traffic and flapping things from a further distance away first! ) Nature strips usually have many species because farmers haven’t dug them up and re-sown them to supposedly more efficient species. Ahh if we only knew then what we know now…

      Another big plus of where you are now, is the sheer size of it. It is MUCH, even MEGA better to have lots of room for walking around with a buddy, than being confined to a small paddock by themselves. I am not familiar with all the circumstances at your specific paddock, , but I am VERY sure of that a big area is better than a small area and a buddy is critical.

      You could ask your horse that question yourself though, with those free lessons The Six Keys to Happiness with Your Horse that are on my website.

      And lastly the sweetness of life thing again, from an emotional point of view… You – we – indeed, ALL of us (even me) – can have the best intentions in the world, for the best care – and if we don’t actually listen to OUR HORSE, then we have missed the mark of what will bring them a deep and satisfying life – mentally, emotionally and physically. Does that make sense?

      Again The Six Keys will get you started on the road of being able to consistently listen to them, so that you can actually involve them themselves in their own care – which is just perfect!

      Lisa if you copy and paste your question into Questions for Jenny on my website or onto the article about Cushings disease, I’ll put this answer up in public too, so that others in your situation can get the benefit of my answer. There is a LOT of Cushings out there – more and more of it happening, so the more the information is out on the web, the better.

      Good luck with your baby and I look forward to hearing how you go…

  37. Amanda Bottomley 04/04/2014, 4:21 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny
    I’ve started on the six keys and I think they are great. I have a silly question though. I’m not sure how to get my first and newish (have had him a few months) horse back into his comfort zone. He is a warmblood dressage horse who I was told prefers trail riding. He is all keen when we head out but reacts and spooks to things along the way. It can be anything and sometimes he’s fine and sometimes he reacts (a person, a truck). I’m very much a (mature age) novice, have only been riding a year, and I came off him a couple of weeks ago when he bucked. It hurt!
    He spooks 1-2x each hour or so and I don’t have enough experience to know if that is a lot or normal. The feedback I have been getting from the other couple of riders we go with (although they ride spooky arabs!) is that I need to get a better seat so I can stay on when he leaps about.
    I found your info when I was trying to work out how to improve my seat but I wonder if he is always in the `not too sure’ zone. Yesterday when we rode I tried just talking to him and stroking him for the whole hour and he only had one little spook- but by doing that are my (newly acquired) nerves coming through to him?
    Your thoughts would be much appreciated (sorry about the novel).

    • Jenny 04/05/2014, 8:41 am Reply

      No worries about the novel Amanda – it all helps me to help you better… At our more mature age the ground is too hard for falling off hey?

      Your friends are right about the better seat, but in my way of thinking, not for the reason that they think. It’s just that we can have a lovely confidence when we know our riding seat is seriously secure. A secure riding seat has has two beings in it though – the human AND the horse and both of them want attention for a really good, very confident riding seat.

      Some people might consider one or two spooks ab hour out on the trail as normal (I’ve ridden with them and it’s not fun!) – but to me it would be simply unacceptable for my horse to be that nervous. Even at my level of experience that would take a lot of the fun out of it for me.

      It sounds like you are absolutely right about him being in the Not Too Sure Zone for most of the time and each time he spooks he is momentarily in the oh shit zone. I personally like to stay out of there! 🙂

      You are also right about your newly acquired nerves being contagious to your horse. Some of those nerves are actually his and you are no doubt nicely and sensitively picking up on them. Good on you. I know you don’t think so at the moment, because no one has shown you how to sue those feelings to help you and your horse feel safe – but they are VERY useful feelings. From that very useful state, it’s only a matter of learning how to help him to NOT be nervous.

      And when you have a scarey fall, even a little one, it leaves us with a tension that I call a fright imprint that increases our nervousness the next time we get on. So with you and your horse both nervous, you are escalating each other. And bucking is seriously not OK, so we will want to change that quite quickly.

      The good news is that you are in the right place for change and that slightly different perspective in The Six Keys, which are are a broad picture of my philosophy, are a great place to start. By the time that you finish those, you will know if the more specific work in my home study programs would appeal to you.

      Re your question. how do you help your horse find his comfort zone. Find a safe and happy way of doing everything – starting right back at the beginning of walking into the paddock and then step by step identify where it is that he starts to come out of his comfort zone and help him to find it again with whatever that first problem turns out to be. And then identify the next one and clean that up and the next and clean that up and so on, until you have a wonderful, steady, calm and trusting partner.

      It takes a little work, but the work itself is fun and it is sooo… worth it.

      Enjoy the Six Keys Amanda and if the idea of enjoying that journey to a calm and steady partner appeals to you, then I may look forward to seeing you on one of our home study programs some time. 🙂

  38. Bev Bell 01/08/2014, 10:01 am Reply

    Jenny, I started the lesson about keeping your horse calm if caught in a rope or fence. I’m wondering, does a blow count the same as a lick and chew? My Icelandic horse takes a long time to decide anything. I stood for at least 20 mins. waiting then I accepted the blow. As soon as I took off the rope Konni licked and chewed.

    • Jenny 01/09/2014, 7:46 am Reply

      Was there a big sense of relaxation after the blow? A sense of release and change? I am not personally familiar with Icelandics, but I have the impression from somewhere that they are pretty much a Caretaker breed, which could mean that they are looking for a good amount of time to work their way through and process and release.
      I wasn’t quite sure from what you said, what you were doing while you were waiting. Had you backed off, i.e. released the pressure?
      If it turns out that his blow is his version of the lick and chew, then he will be the first horse to not lick and chew as the signal. That is not to say that he can’t be the first though! The proof will be in the outcome Bev – if the blow for this horse was his signal that he had finished, then the next time you do the same thing it will be dramatically easier. If you’re not sure, then grab a seat and wait for however long it takes for The Chew itself and that will get faster every time.
      If this answer doesn’t feel like the whole picture to you Bev, then catch up with me on the next live seminar and we’ll talk in person about it – that way we can ask questions

  39. Rachael Spinks 12/07/2013, 7:30 am Reply

    Hi Jenny,
    I’ve just taken on a mare who has got into some bad habits with a previous rider. Everytime I mount her she spins and runs backwards at quite a speed (have had her back, tack and teeth checked and all appears fine) I believe that she is napping and trying to get back to her friends on the yard, as this is what she has been allowed to get away with previously. if I can get her to move forward she does eventually settle but always feels like she is slightly on edge. Can you give me any advice on how to tackle this problem?

    • Jenny 12/08/2013, 8:36 am Reply

      In my experience Rachael, napping is more like a “won’t go forwards” more in the line of The Caretaker horse that I have talked quite a bit about both on this blog and in those free lessons The Six Keys to Happiness. Have you got those yet? There are that yellow box on the right hand side of every page on my website.

      And if you hadn’t talked about having her back, saddle and teeth checked, they would have been my first suggestions for elimination.

      The bit itself is another possibility. What is considered fine by many experts is not fine by me. For example, I do not like to see wrinkles in a horse’s mouth made by the bit. How can we ask them for the lightness and joyfulness that comes from that if the bit is already jammed up too tight in their mouth? It’s like the force thing is already happening before we even start.

      And I must say I prefer a bitless bridle for almost everything. Cynthia Cooper has designed a great one that gives you a lot of control, yet is clear and direct in its communication. Here’s a link for her website to go have a look. Tell her I sent you, she contributes to our scholarship fund!

      One thing you can be sure of, she is not doing it because she is a bad horse – so good on you for looking for a solution.

      The biggest clue though, is in what you said ” If I can get her to move forwards she does eventually settle but always feels like she is slightly on edge”. That sounds like she has some anxiety and because fear (and anxiety) is cumulative (each fear adding on to the next) it could be coming from a variety of different past experiences – each bad experience making the next one harder to deal with, until she is coping in the only way that she knows how – even though that is not useful to you or to her either.

      The good news is, that anxiety in our horse is simply fixed and you could have a whole heap of fun helping her to fix it too.

      And if no one has ever taught her HOW to co-operate with a rider (and sooo… many horses have not been taught HOW), then that is simply fixed too.

      And if the anxiety issue is made worse by separation anxiety from her paddock mates, then that too is simply fixed. I have two lessons in Fast Track to Brilliant Riding that I would be happy to share with you on how to fix just that issue. I must say, that the way horses are weaned is such a contributing factor to horses experiencing separation anxiety, which is soooo… common.

      So – are you up for doing things a bit differently?

      Start with The Six Keys to Happiness, because that will tell you whether my approach is going to appeal to you and then come back to me.

  40. Sandra 09/10/2013, 7:26 am Reply

    Hi Jenny is the zinc n casteroil cream edible by horses if they do ingest it through licking???

    • Jenny 09/10/2013, 9:12 am Reply

      I have never had any trouble with it although it actually didn’t occur to me, either Sandra because it’s the same zinc used in zinc sunscreens that you put on your lips.
      Bobby is a pretty good gauge I think – he had a lot of trouble at one stage, that had me slathering zinc and caster oil cream all over his legs every day for weeks. It was itchy so he would have rubbed it on his mouth occasionally no doubt and no ill effects that I noticed. And I am a pretty noticing kind of person!
      I have also used it for sore sunburn on horses noses because it is softer than pure zinc cream and goes on more easily and consequently hurts less when we put it on a sore sunburnt nose.

  41. Shani 07/27/2013, 12:12 am Reply

    Don’t worry Jenny, just after I posted the last question I found the answer.

  42. Shani 07/27/2013, 12:09 am Reply

    Hi Jenny,

    I can’t find the lessons you told me to have a look at. I would love to be able to try some of them out this weekend. Especially the magnetic seat. It’s exactly what I need.

    Cheers Shani

  43. shelley dunkin 07/23/2013, 11:20 pm Reply

    jenny how do suggest going thru the fasttrack lessons?

    • Jenny 07/24/2013, 6:04 am Reply

      You can start at lesson one and work your way through, Shelley. The first 13 lessons are for you, with 9 of those developing your riding seat to that perfect place for you. You could if you have the time, while you are working your way through those seat lessons, also start at Lesson 14 on the lessons for your horse at the same time and work your way through them one by one too.
      People will use those lessons differently. Some will actually do each lesson with their horse and absorb it and then move on. Others will look at /listen to each lesson and then do the bits with their horses that they think apply to them. It’s a choice! 🙂
      I know some people who went through the whole course have gone back and deepened things even further, using Fast Track as revision.
      Give a yell if you want a hand with anything. And the discussion group is awesome with some great discussions going on amidst the chit chat! 🙂

  44. shelley dunkin 07/18/2013, 5:39 am Reply

    jenny, i am going thru the brilliant riding lessons and i have a question about comfort zone. i have a high spirited arab gelding who swithces to right brain(parelli) very fast especially when away from the herd. he loses connection with me and looks far off and tenses in his body. i almost always bring the alpha horse into the arena with us which helps alot. he will have some long moments of calmness when he is sometimes connected to me. we have a strong bond and feel very comfortable together. so how do i make the comfort zone bigger and how do i minimize these quick switches to right brain?

    • Jenny 07/18/2013, 6:03 am Reply

      Shelley, you just joined the Fast Track class didn’t you? I remember seeing your name somewhere recently. 🙂 You are going to love the horse side of the Fast Track lessons with your high spirited Arab.
      You will remember from The Six Keys to Happiness that nerves and anxiety are cumulative, i.e. each thing that they are unable to act on to make themselves feel safe adds on to the next one, so that what might be a small fear is intensified into a big one by all the other small fears and big that they might be carrying.
      So systematically working your way through your horse’s environment releasing each source of old fears and then re-programming happy new reactions is going to be worth its weight in gold to you – so ALL the horse lessons are going to be valuable for your guy.
      Specific help will come from Fast Track lessons 37 and 38 for helping the herd bound horse and Fast Track Lessons 30 about “Pay attention to me please so that we can keep each other safe” at liberty and then gradually increasing that into the halter with Lesson 34 and then into the saddle with Lesson 66.
      I just had a bit of a smile to myself, there are so many lessons there to help your guy that I may as well list the whole course! 🙂
      It is tempting when you have a specific problem, to skip over to the lesson about that specific problem – but again, because nerves and anxiety is cumulative – the earlier lessons could take so much pressure off both of you, that it makes the problem area significantly smaller. Does that make sense?
      You are going to love this course. Enjoy!

  45. Michelle 07/04/2013, 5:15 pm Reply

    My horse and I are tight. No concerns, we got it goin’ on. Until tonight. His massive trust account with me was depleted in a totally unexpected, shocking instant. He’s 9 (Paint gelding) and he’s known as the least spooky horse in the barn…but tonight, a chicken (mind you, chickens are not new to him) flew up while we were just walking around in the arena. This spooked the flightiest TB in the barn to run out into his paddock. No big deal. That TB is always doing that. But tonight, my horse (aka “Stoner” on the trail) decided it was a good enough excuse to bust a new dance move, starting with your basic shoulder-dipping, sideways spook. I rode out the spook, but then he launched into a never-before under-saddle bucking spree that didn’t stop until I was flying over his head for a full-on face plant.

    You know how certain moments in life go into some kind of slow-mo effect in which you’re conscious of your entire thought while havoc wreaks? Mine was, “Damn, I am definitely doing something wrong because I have no idea how to stop this!” However, my first thought after my unscheduled landing, was my realization that up until that point, we’d had a perfect 6-year record and I trusted him fully *never* to buck me off. But tonight, he proved me wrong, and he did it with gusto!

    So here’s my question: How do you convince a horse he spent every last penny in his trust account, and do it in such a way that he’d wish he could sell this year’s carrot supply just to have a decent balance in it once again? Truly, I did *nothing* wrong here. We were having fun. Until we weren’t.

    I let this horse have a say in when he wants me off when we ride. He knows all he has to do is walk over to the mounting block and position it just so on his right side and I’ll get off. So getting me off is a non-issue. This time he decided to get me off the hard way. And that sucks because now I don’t trust him.

    How do we rebuild that? After he took a victory lap around the arena, he slowed down to come over and sniff and lick me as I was brushing off the dirt. What do you say to *that* horse?

    • Jenny 07/04/2013, 9:17 pm Reply

      Oh my goodness Michelle – that IS crappy… Well there is at least one thing I can help you with right off the top of my head, making it (in this respect at least) your lucky day.
      I have just tonight released the first 14 lessons of my new on line lesson program Fast Track to Brilliant Riding, as a free TRIAL for the 80 lesson program.
      In those free Lessons, is Fast Track Lesson 8, which is about releasing the fright imprint from falls off your horse – that will at least go some way to figuring out what was going on that day and releasing some of what is in the way of being able to trust your horse again.
      Once you have done those lessons, Michelle, and if my approach appeals to you, come back to me by email and we’ll have a live chat to see how else I can help you with this issue.

  46. Samia Faruque 04/24/2013, 4:33 am Reply

    Dear Jenny
    just read your website and my God was waiting for this All my Life. I Love and Live Horses do Own One Lovely Mare and already am treating her with Homeopathy and i am firm believer in Holistic Medicine and Ways. Also for myself and my kids. Thankyou ever so much for the Homeopathy Medicine You so Kindly and Generously have displayed on your Website. I will be Making it and giving to my Horse and Others for the Recurring Influenza. Will Post the results.
    God Bless you and my prayers for you an your loved ones.\
    warm regards
    samia faruque

    • Jenny 04/24/2013, 5:39 am Reply

      You are welcome Samia. And yes please do come back with the results that you get – it’s always good for the next person to see. And while you were here did you get the freebie lessons The Six Keys to Happiness with Your Horse? They are excellent!

  47. Peg 03/30/2013, 12:51 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny, In your video on biting horses, I saw the handler hand-treat her horse. This brings to mind a recent problem; I’ve had to give up my half-draft horse because he started to break through board fences. The first time he did it was when I had my riding horse out at a friend’s house for a group riding lesson. We were gone three hours, and the draft horse’s separation anxiety got the better of him, and he leaned on the fence boards, broke them, and pushed his way out. A few weeks later he broke several boards, even when his companion horse was in the pasture with him. At this point we asked his former owner to help find a new home for him (hopefully with stronger fences.) His former owner accused us of “creating a monster” because I hand-treat my horses (I use alfalfa cubes.) I had had this horse on my property for two years before the board breaking behavior started, and I had ridden my riding horse out regularly without the draft horse breaking a fence. He didn’t like being left behind, but he would eventually just stand and wait for us to come home. This horse has very good ground manners, he does Parelli exercises willingly, and with attention. He seemed to enjoy the interaction, and enjoyed being praised for doing the exercises well. He was really a very intelligent and gentle horse; just very strong. I didn’t treat while we were working, but only after we were done. I would also treat when got a horse out of the pasture, when I put his halter on. I don’t think this is excessive. I was very sad to have to give this horse up, and I feel very bad that the horse’s former owner thinks that I was the cause of the problem. Do you think that hand treating could have been the cause of the board breaking behavior?

    • Jenny 03/31/2013, 6:29 am Reply

      It doesn’t sound like treats had anything to do with it at all. It sounds more likely that she was expressing her frustration at the whole situation, 1 tonne of habitually board breaking Clydesdale would be a big issue!
      Separation anxiety is highly unlikely to have any relationship to food treats. We have a series of lessons in the From Your Horse’s Heart course that gives you tools to deal with separation anxiety that I expect would have avoided the board breaking incidents. What you learn in the lessons certainly creates change around that kind of intense anxiety in horses.
      If it was just one lesson, I would have put the link to it up here as a freebie – but there are too many lessons that you would need to understand to really address the issue effectively.
      Fear is cumulative – each fear that your horse is unable to act on to make themselves feel safe, adds to the next, intensifying the next fear until you can have a small trigger causing a major anxiety melt down. So to deal with a horse who has developed major separation anxiety, it is easier and quicker to systematically deal with ALL their fears not just their fear of their friend leaving.
      If you were to get a problem with separation anxiety again, then I would suggest that you get the free lessons The Six Keys to Happiness with Your Horse and see if you like my style and if you do, join the From Your Horse’s Heart online course, knowing that during that course you will be able to successfully address separation anxiety.
      As far as treats go, our horse’s behaviour around them will often reflect where we are in our leadership. So it is very much an individual decision.
      I know some of the top trainers in the world who give treats to their horses very happily – as do I. Although it takes a bit sometimes to get a good handle on them, I enjoy working with food oriented horses.
      I also like to make sure that I am not covering up any fear issues by using treats either.
      I think I’ve covered all aspects of your questions!

      • Peg 04/01/2013, 2:12 am Reply

        Hi Jenny, Thank you so much for your reply. You’ve set my mind at more at ease about the hand-treating issue. I am already enrolled in the “Horse’s Heart” online course, and loving it; unfortunately, the separation anxiety lessons came too late for my big draft horse. Actually, the draft horse was dealing pretty well with the separation issues for two years until the fated day that I took his companion away for three hours and he broke the boards. There were several other factors in play on that day, as well, that I think pushed him into breaking the boards. It was really a very unlucky constellation of circumstances. You can be sure that I have been doing the separation anxiety lessons with the new companion horse. And, on the good side, my riding horse has improved very much with your course, and has become an attentive, willing partner. Thank you so much!

        • Jenny 04/01/2013, 10:43 am Reply

          Ahhh I thought your email address looked familiar. I am glad that you are enjoying the course!

  48. Pauline 03/27/2013, 5:44 am Reply

    Hi Jenny thank you for your advice I shall pass it all on that’s great thanks

  49. Pauline 03/25/2013, 8:16 am Reply

    Hi Jenny got a question for you regarding biting horses I did look at the biting section but the horse in question was being more playful. I’ve always been in a different situation to most people taking this course in that the horses I work on I don’t see everyday and the two I’m going to work on next week I haven’t seen for over a year but both of them are very aggressive biters will try to kick you and strike too. The gelding Corrie I really worked on myself before I did the bodywork session on him last year and for a great part of the session he went into a hypnogogic state and really enjoyed the work so I will prepare myself again like that before I start on him. The mare however Comanche has had some very big traumas in her life especially regarding being treated with injections and medication etc. She does worry me and whilst I’m writing this an answer has just come into my head….get a picture of her quiet my mind first and them look at the picture of her and see what pops up now I’m smiling 🙂
    This mare does suffer a great deal with her skin (I know it must be stress and gastro problems) so she’s continually being treated which then stresses her more. She’s an RDA horse and the group who own her are just doing what they feel is best for her problems but often like most horse owners if the horse doesn’t comply when being treated then it will be forced and so the vicious circle continues! It doesn’t make my job easy though when I’m trying to offer a holistic bodywork session ….got another answer:) just going to work on areas she feels she can relax (as she has had brief moments with me in the past) and move away on not quite rights which I think will be much more conducive for her than trying to do total body. The other thing that concerns me (and don’t get me wrong the people involved in the group are lovely and just doing what they feel is the right thing by their horses) are all advocates of Monty Roberts methods all the horses are in “be nice” head collars (which I personally don’t like) and use this negative jerk on the head collar if the horse misbehaves or starts to try move off or sometimes just move it’s head, they all are very quick to yank this head collar. Which again I know is soooo counter productive and must drive them crazy. It would be interesting to see how all these guys reacted when being shown their head collars? The other factor is that nearly all but one of these RDA horses bites and kicks so something is going wrong here. I want to help and also I want to keep myself safe too:) any suggestions that I could mention to Sue the organiser to do with these two horses before I go out next week? I don’t really know how they will respond to this approach although they do have m out to their horses regularly which is a good thing. Thanks Jenny:)

    • Jenny 03/26/2013, 4:37 pm Reply

      Well Pauline, it is fascinating how the act of writing something out can be sooo… productive in terms of finding the answers for ourselves and I see that you got some good ones here – so well done!
      As to suggestions for Sue the organiser, I am have on my wall, a to do list that includes making a series of lessons that are particularly pertinent for RDA people who have sooo much to offer and do so much for the people they work with and bring so much joy to.
      It could be a while before I get to that. In the mean time, recommend The Six Keys to Happiness with Your Horse to her as it will help her understand a bit about why feelings fly so high around the RDA arenas sometimes (Particularly the third key.) I would be happy to gift her a book of mine called Pathway to Heaven on Earth, which will help her to understand more about the emotions flying around the RDA arena, which also are reflected in the horses’s behaviour as you describe.
      This same understanding will be of great benefit to her clients too, as I have taught the horse connection work to mothers of disabled children to great success – it would help the volunteers understand the clients better as well as the horses.
      Also if she is interested, I would be happy to follow up with a chat to her about all of the above and how we – me and you too by the sound of it – might be able to help! So give her my email address to contact me if she is interested.
      As to keeping yourself safe in these circumstances, it sounds like your own insights might have cleared that up – come back to me if it hasn’t been resolved safely!

  50. Margaret Flatt 03/08/2013, 6:24 am Reply

    How do I find the replay of the recent seminar? Thanks, margaret

    • Jenny 03/08/2013, 6:46 am Reply

      Morning Margaret! It is exactly the same link as the webcast. Click on that link and it will take you to the recording, whihc yu can right mouse click on and download and record to your computer or just listen to it… The recording is up for a month. If oyu can’t find the original email , then email me jenny@jennypearce.com.au and I will resend you the link…

  51. Kathy Cavanah 02/26/2013, 10:51 am Reply

    Hi Jenny,

    This is a follow up to my question about my Charlie moving my Elmo off his hay.

    First thing I did was to get a bigger stick. I took out with me a lunge “whip” and that made all the difference. I used it like Holly did in her “Peaceful Feeding Time” video rotating the string around above my head like a helicopter. My energy was low and Charlie easily and calmly moved. Doing a little dance here!

    The second thing I did was to put out four piles of hay. With this many piles, Charlie moved himself among three of the piles and he let Elmo alone at his own pile. Elmo moved himself between two of the piles, but mostly he stayed put at one of them.

    Lastly, you were right, Elmo is really liking me for taking him to his food. For years I have been doing things to try to get Elmo to companion walk with me down through a forested area that is in our yard. Well, drum roll please, a few days ago Elmo came up to me, and I just went with it. I started walking and he came right along with me while we walked to that path and into the woods.

    Woo Hoo!

    Kathy

    • Jenny 02/26/2013, 12:46 pm Reply

      Well done Kathy. What a great result for Elmo. And for Charlie too. It’s not good for him to be aggressive, so dropping his energy down is also a good deal. I look forward to hearing how you drop his feeding time energy down even lower with less effort from you as a later step. Great first step! It could well be one of those balance of yin and yang things – but you have to amke yourself safe first before you can help him!

  52. Kathy Cavanah 02/22/2013, 4:55 pm Reply

    Hello Jenny,

    My question is about a more dominate horse moving the more submissive horse off his hay. I don’t like it, but should I really care? I have a NQR about it happening and I realize that NQR is all mine. I would prefer the horses were able to eat side-by-side. So, at times I intervene on behalf of the horse who is getting moved. (Charlie is the mover and Elmo is the movee.) In the morning Elmo gets to his hay pile before Charlie comes out and gets to his. After eating for a minute or two, Charlie will leave his hay and with pinned ears come up to Elmo. Elmo quickly learned to move and Elmo just calmly wonders over to Charlie’s vacated hay pile. I just don’t like the way Charlie moves Elmo. Today I stood by Elmo while he ate and soon Charlie was making his way on over. With a lot of energy I swooshed Charlie away from Elmo’s hay. Poor Elmo didn’t know what to think and just stood there looking in disbelief. Charlie tried several times to get to the hay but I kept him from it. After a few seconds Charlie went to calmly grazing on the grass just a bit away from the hay pile. For what ever reason I had, and I now don’t know what that was, I decided I didn’t want Charlie in the area at all and I told him to move. He did not like that one bit. He wanted to charge me, he bared his teeth and made a small rear. After about 15 seconds of this, and that was a long 15 seconds, Charlie calmly walked back to his first hay pile, moved Elmo off, and proceeded to eat. Elmo didn’t know what to do, so I went to him and walked him back to his original hay pile.

    Charlie has no manners around food. While haltered I have done with him the My Grass game and with that he was rather easy to ask to stop eating, but at liberty he is manner-less. He is not a cooperative community eater. I was thinking that my continuing to keep Charlie from moving Elmo, at least for the short time I am actually around them eating, would help Charlie learn to mind his own hay. But, I may need a bigger stick. After the events of this morning and Charlie wanting to charge me I have a NQR about doing this. But if I don’t do it Charlie will continue this behavior and I have a NQR about that, too. I would feel like I was just standing by letting Charlie get away with this and then he would never learn good manners around food..

    So, there you have it.

    Kathy

    • Jenny 02/22/2013, 6:57 pm Reply

      What an interesting question Kathy, with so many levels to it.
      I usually have the hay piles far enough apart so that everyone gets their fill of as much as they want even if they are switching piles as they go. And having as MUCH hay as they wantt to eat could be part of what is going on here. I know Charlie is new to you, so maybe in the past HE had to go without food for too long and has developed some very understandable behaviourable problems because of it.
      If my grass is short and/or it’s cold I like them to have as much as they can eat in plain grass hay, all day and night – so they should never be actually hungry. A horses digestive system can develop some pretty serious problems including pain if they run out of food for longer than four hours. At the four hour mark they can start developing stomach ulcers. I have an article explaining that here on the website somewhere – put stomach ulcers in the “search”.
      Having said that, how nice for Elmo that you protected him and his food pile. I am sure that would increase your bond with Elmo.
      As for Charlie and the Not Quite Right about keeping him off his food. I don’t like the sound of him wanting to charge you, but that is easily fixed with a good long reach stick and string and some high energy with it if necessary – but ONLY after LOW and polite energy asking him to stay away from further away – it’s kind of like “be the energy that you want your horse to be”, “have the energy that you want your horse to have” and if you do have to get high energy banging that stick around – try and do it from as far away as possible – because you are NOT trying to scare him away.
      Another option is to start from the other side of the gate – that might help the Not Quite Rights about your safety. Put the hay next to the gate on the other side and you gently send him away from the hay from the safe side of the gate with a long stick, gently and low energy. That would give you the opportunity to step way backwards and start again coming in with higher energy if he ignored you. And when THAT is going smoothly on his side, then you could start doing it in the paddock.
      NOW, having said all that – it may be the complete opposite that will be successful for you. Our dominant horse mellowed to not quite a pussy cat, but MUCH more mellow, when I protected HIS food and kept everyone else clear of it for him. He was stunned and then mega relaxed while he was eating for the first time like this, because he didn’t feel that he had to compete because I was protecting him. Some very big personality changes happened for him during that period.
      As you can see, there are no rules. Do the quiet mind exercise Lesson 2 or Lesson 35 the deeper technique for problem solving and see which option fits best, by which option has you feeling good, keeping in mind that I may not have thought of everything.
      Come back and let us know whch option you worked with and how it went.

  53. Pauline 02/12/2013, 8:55 am Reply

    Hi Jenny thanks for your reply…I’m on to it 🙂

  54. Pauline 02/11/2013, 12:54 am Reply

    Just wanted to give you a quick update to where Iam so far in the course and if
    I’m on track. I went over lessons 1 and 2 with one of my RDA horses yesterday. I
    found it difficult to feel everyhing in my body but just went throughit anyway.
    I then looked at Murphywhilst he was eating his hay in the stable the feeling of
    happiness just welled up inside me and I couldn’t stop smiling. I have always
    got a smiley feeling whatever horse I’m with but paying attention really
    emphasised it. Anyway I did the quiet mind and as I was feeling really
    comfortable and he seemed very happy too. I took him into the indoor arena to do
    the mirror game. Well he just rested and fell asleep so I just mirrored all the
    little movemnts he was doing with his ears eyes nostrils and breath and when he
    shifted his weight Again what I felt was a much more deeper connection with him
    as I really paid attention to him and noticed movements in his body that I just
    would not have noticed before. I spent about half an hour just standing next to
    him. How long do you spend mirroring him before you move on to seeing if he will
    mirror you? How do you know? I did try shiftingmy own weight to the other leg
    and whilst he didn’t shift his immediately he did after about a minute. So don’t
    know if e ws mirroring me or just shifting weight??
    It was then feeding time so hiis whole focus was just head high at the door
    looking longingly at is stable, I did try mirroring again his head and neck
    moments but felt that he was now too distracted to carry on so I took him back
    to his stable and food. The other question was when I tried to lead him out of
    his stable he was reluctant to leave his haynet I did take some hay in my hand
    to encorage him to come with me but he wouldn’t move. I didn’t want to resort to
    pulling so just went alongside him and tapped him over the rump with the lead
    rope and he walked out. Is that ok I don’t want to be seen as forcing him I want
    him to WANT to be with me.
    One last question woule like your advice with the other orse William has a very
    bad habit (he came with it) of being extremly pushy with his head if you try to
    lead him close by his chin, when you put him on a long rope he pulls back really
    hard, he also will shove you real hard if you get in his personal space. How can
    I help him and my volunteers who have to lead him move away from this
    behaviour??

    • Jenny 02/12/2013, 4:45 am Reply

      Excellent work with the connection with Murphy and with the Mirror Game Pauline – just what you want to be doing with it at the beginning. As for the length of time before asdking them to mirror you, that is an individual thing on the day and no rules. 🙂 Like most of this work! Given that he was dozing, although thta was lovely in terms of you deepening the connection with him, it did make it more difficult for you to get him to mirror you. Maybe advancing the mirror game might work better when there is a bit more energy happening! 🙂
      Re leaving his haynet – can you play the “my Grass game with him? The 5th Key to Happiness? You could play it with some mouthfuls of hay dropped around the arena if you need to. You can use that kind of motivation to to start to change things gradually and that will help avoid the tap on the rump.
      If you felt completely Ok about the tap on the rump then it would have been Ok – but since you didn’t by the sounds of it, then coming at it from another direction might be better for you both.
      There are some lessons coming up that will take the my Grass game further, as a gradual increase in co-operation around food.
      Your circumstances are different from almost everyone else’s, because working exclusively with Riding for the Disabled’s Horses with this approach, you are not necessarily looking for the kind of soul mate bond that other people are looking for. It is lovely to hear you increasing your connection with these horses and I look forward to hearing how using your connection and ability to listen and taking action on that, will improve the practical day to day issues around these horses who spend their lives giving to people.
      Re Williams bad head habits. Leading close by the chin adds power to poor behaviour and annoys the dickens out of them to have us hanging off their head like that too. It sounds like he will be pretty easily fixed with the lessons that are coming up for you, but you could go do a quiet mind exercise (lesson 2) with him in the mean time and see what else pops up into your mind. Now THERE is a horse who will benefit from the My Grass Game and the Mirror game at liberty!

  55. Jenny 01/15/2013, 6:42 am Reply

    I am posting this for Jeannie who had just got The Second Key to Happiness.
    This (Second Key to Happiness with Your Horse) is VERY interesting to me because this “Oh Shit I’m Dead” zone does just occasionally crop up with my little horse! Trouble is it is so rare that when it does it is truly out of the blue and I am completely unable to explain why it happens! It would appear to be “something in the air” and can happen around other horses or when we have been out by ourselves, one minute picking blackberries, the next minute in that Oh shit zone. The only thing I can possibly link it to is when I, myself, have felt cross or disapointed, not necessarily with the horse, but because of other outside circumstances, is she feeling that???

    Getting back to the comfort zone can be difficult too, one time I had to get my OH to bring the trailer out to rescue me,she had become very upset by the screams of an anxious riggy gelding nearby, pony jumped straight in trailer and was calmed down quite quickly once we got home. another time we were thwarted by a fallen tree on a circular bridle path, I dismounted to try to get through a gate, no luck, so rather CROSS, I turned back and pony suddenly went bananas! Took me a while to calm her enough to jump on from a bank and then get her back to my parked up trailer! A very public time was after having done the cross country/obstacles phase of a Trec competition. We had finished the course and, as always i jump off to say “thank you”. It had not been the best round ever, (she is usually BRILLIANT at this phase) so I was feeling a little down. As we walked back up the field towards the corralling field she just became a rampant stallion, breathing fire, snorting, tail over back, legs up by her chest until she stood up on end at which moment I had to let go, she high tailed it to the gate and then walked like an old nag back to the corrall, was PERFECT the next day!!

    When this happens she is truly on another planet, FOOD is her big love and she will not even think of putting her head down to eat. I am a great believer in lowering the head lowers the heart rate. If she has little impatient strops I just ask her to back up, stand, walk on, stand, etc until she is listening and its all over in a minute.

    So what have I missed out on in training that this can happen. I will add, she is now 15yrs old, I have had her since she was 3yrs. We have done sooo much and she has been mega successfull and easy in all aspects of her life with me.

    Interested in your thoughts.

    Jeannie

    • Jenny 01/15/2013, 7:02 am Reply

      I suspect that the answer will be about releasing old fears, maybe even trauma – waiting for The Chew – working your way through her whole handling routine looking for what things bring up the early warning signal for you, that something is Not Quite Right and waiting for her to process those old fears and release them.
      See, Jeannie, fear is cumulative. If our horse cannot act on their fear to make themselves safe – horses most often want to run away from something they are afraid of and very often we prevent them – then they bury the fear. And each buried fear intensifies the next one. So that you can have a horse doing a complete flip out about something that doesn’t make sense to us – something relatively small.
      The secret to fixing that, is to go back through their routine and find those fears that they had to bury and give them the opportunity to release those . Each thing released will decrease the violence of your horse flipping out.
      THEN you can re-do those activities, whatever they were, in such a way that your horse understands it and is not afraid of it.
      THEN you get to the point where when your horse is startled or worried by something, they look to you and ask “hey is this OK?”
      And from there you can develop a Cartaker Horse – that precious being who is capable of looking after you while you look after them – and THAT is a wonderful thing.
      WE systematically do all of that in the From Your Horse’s Heart course AND add the magnetic butt so that you can ride just about anything AND release all your fears and tensions that get in the way of being a good rider too. It’s a pretty cool program (Aussie understatement there!)
      Now some of what you describe, doesn’t sound like oh shit zone, though it would put me in mine… 🙂 There is also some techniques that we cover in the course that should cover those things that don’t sound like fear.
      And don’t forget my current offer to spend a freebie 15 minutes with me working out how to reach your dream. It may be your dream to eliminate the oh shit zone things and these other hissy fit things. It may be your dream to be consistently wonderful together whenever you go out anywhere – whatever!

  56. Jan 12/23/2012, 7:29 pm Reply

    Jenny, a question about my new horse being integrated into the herd. Though I am not sure what the question is! But here is the story and you will understand what I want to ask I think! Initially, put all horses into largest area to let them sort it out as I think it too dangerous to let them ‘talk’ through the fence with their feet. Herd leader very aggressive to new horse, so I re-thought that and decided to do it a bit slower. New horse Biscuit got the idea pretty quickly that all he had to do to avoid trouble was keep away from the fence when they were in adjoining paddocks. Have been playing musical paddocks allowing my two other horses, separately, to be in with new horse Biscuit, with no dramas. Basically they acknowledge each other then ignore each other. Today put Biscuit out first, with little pony Metro, into the big 8acre paddock . . . all good. The other two noticed and decided they too wanted to go, so I let one out, but kept the lead horse Digby on a halter and although not keen, he certainly listened to me when I asked him to do so. We walked right out into the middle of the paddock, past all the other horses and I let him go. He herded the other two off, then came back at Biscuit, but I challenged him, just like he was challenging Biscuit and sent him off. I did this until he just let him be. After me being back in the home paddocks a while, Biscuit came back in (just as he had the first day looking for comfort from me) and the others stayed out there.
    The question I have, it has just come to me(!!) is there anything else I could be doing, or shall I just continue this way as I am?

    During the day when I am there, I keep Digby in a different home paddock to Biscuit and just keep rotating them and everything is peaceful. I do not want any charging going on in the smaller areas as there are slopes and drops. So, as much as I love the fact that Biscuit is certainly bonded to me (he sighed I think, saying, at last I am home!) but I would love it if he felt more at home with the other horses. I know it has only been a week, so maybe I am being a bit optimistic to think it should be otherwise. It seems like Digby has threatened the other two ‘now don’t you get too friendly with that interloper’, cos they are fine when they are alone with him, just not in Digby’s company.

    I am sure you will have some ideas for me . . . thanks,
    Jan

    • Jan 12/30/2012, 12:03 am Reply

      By way of an update, it has been such an interesting exercise introducing THIS new horse into the herd. Much more difficult than when Digby came in and took over as herd leader, but I think that was more because of the lovely nature of Rocco and Metro pony. Digby too has a lovely nature, but is a much more dominant horse, so I guess he has just been exerting his authority.
      In hindsight though, I have been able to see the progression, and by ‘noticing’ and listening to my horses and inside myself, it became clear when the time was right to do certain things. Like trying again with them all in together firstly in the big paddock, then in the smaller home paddocks. I have a great photo of three big bottoms all in a row, heads down eating hay from the fantastic small hole hay nets from Cynthia Cooper.
      Then the next day, new horse Biscuit made the mistake of meeting me at the gate when I arrived with the feed (well, he didn’t know, did he that he was to go to the tyre and wait!), so I kindly explained and he took note, well, Digby told him too, but not so kindly! The following day, I have another great photo of three horses all in a row eating their feed, all having gone to their tyres to wait for it to be delivered. Smart horse huh?! So, now, I think I have my ‘herd’ back again, with just the usual pushing between themselves, but no animosity it would seem.
      So, again, listening to the horse and going to our quiet mind to listen inside ourselves is where the answers are!
      Jan

  57. Hannah Rivard 12/04/2012, 7:13 am Reply

    Hi Jenny,

    I have a question regarding bridleless and the comfort zone. Anytime I do the quiet mind, connect to Maia (my mare), and think about what makes us both really bubble with happiness, every single time it “clicks” when I get rid of any tack on Maia’s head. Over and over, she seems to be saying it’s 100% bridleless — not even whip or neckrope — that she really wants, and it’s what I really always wanted, too. I get this really light feeling in my heart and chest and suddenly feel like I can breathe again whenever I imagine that sort of pure bridleless. She’s always been happiest when I’ve ridden her that way before, too, even before I started your course.

    However, the issue is — I don’t have any real leadership when totally bridleless! I don’t have any good way of controlling speed or direction, which has always been why I HAVEN’T done much pure bridleless. Even though bridleless is where I am happiest, it’s also instantly where I get out of my comfort zone because I don’t feel safe not being able to consistently turn, do transitions, etc.

    So how do I balance this? I want to go straight to our deepest place of happiness — bridleless — but that will take both of us out of our comfort zones as I have no idea how to establish leadership (speed/direction) on top of her without even a neckrope or whip! Even when I did have a neckrope or whip, direction/speed was a little sketchy. 🙂 I’m guessing I need to start on the ground, at liberty, but am still confused about putting it under saddle. I could transfer her slowly to bridleless using tack, but I REALLY get the sense she’s definitely would love no tack at all!

    So…. I’m a little stumped. 🙂

    Thank you!
    Hannah

    • Jenny 12/04/2012, 8:00 am Reply

      Well Hannah, the reason you have so many Not Quite Rights about it is that is an unsafe thing to do right now.
      No worries though, it IS absolutely doable and almost all of the steps will be in your From Your Horse’s Heart course that you are already on.
      I am always saying that co-operation is more important than leadership. That changes a little when you ride bridle-less. You want more leadership then.
      You will get what you are looking for Hannah out of the Mirror Game and gradually expanding the mirror game until you have got such a deep connection with your horse that your horse will mirror you too. Can you see how that would work when you are bridle-less? This game came out of my desire to ride a bridle-less piaffe I think.
      The leadership aspects will come from gently expanding the “pay attention to me so that we can keep each other safe” lesson into all kinds of circumstances and expanding the “my grass” game GENTLY into gentle leadership around food and biggest of all – your meticulous attention to having you and your horse feeling a deep sense of safety.
      That is NOT how I learned to ride bridle-less, more’s the pity for Bobby and I. I was like a cat on hot bricks in those early days. But I know now that it doesn’t have to be like that AND in fact SHOULDN’T BE LIKE THAT EITHER!
      So Hannah, the short answer is – chill out sunshine, you’ve just started your course and the answers are coming! 🙂
      p.s. Oh yeah, and that wonderful feeling you describe, that you get when you think about riding bridle-less – that’s the feeling that you should be following, spending time in, soaking up, enjoying and attracting more of… Go girl!

      • Hannah Rivard 12/06/2012, 2:54 am Reply

        Hi Jenny,

        Thank you so much for that wonderful response! It makes perfect sense… And I think I’ve sensed that “mirror me” really deep in the horse, like you mentioned in the online program — not just mirroring the physical behavior, but really feeling right into the horse’s body and spirit. I called it “link” for lack of a better term at the time but have never quite known what to do with it. It was addicting to do and made me soooo happy — now I’m learning to pay attention to those feelings, and so looking back I can see I was on the right track!

        It’s just a big shift for me to move from phases of pressure and (subtle) force during bridleless. I can’t wait to keep working through this program and getting bubbly happiness while bridleless. 🙂 I’m looking forward to the leadership lessons, too, when they come up.

        Your last “P.S.” really resonated with me. It’s not so much trying to force “bubbles” of happiness in new places (for example, trying to find Comfort Zone in the Not Quite Right Zone) but expanding the single bubble of happiness to cover everything you want to do. I think I’m used to thinking about doing the former — but the latter is so much safer and happier!

        Blessings,
        Hannah

        • Jenny 12/06/2012, 7:04 am Reply

          Yes Hannah, you’ve nailed it! That “link” you describe is exactly what we are looking for with the mirror game – it’s a way of deepening the connection with each other, by first US learning how to deepen the connection with them. They already know it!

  58. Pauline 11/19/2012, 6:32 am Reply

    I did want to ask you a question regarding one of my friends horses that I have
    been working on since August 2012. She’s a 7 year old mare that was in a riding
    school for 18 months and was ridden in a saddle with a broken tree eventually
    she collapsed when they put the saddle on her(she’s 15.2 BIG cob type) so they
    gave her a month off and promptly brought her back in and put the same saddle on
    her(I know it beggars
    belief) so suprise she collapsed again! At which point the owner was sending her
    off for live meat transportation. My friend Emma couldn’t let that happen so she
    bought her and asked me to help. The muscle wastage on her back muscles was
    horrendous, but she’s coming on nicely.
    My question is every time I approach her(when she’s in her stable head over the
    door) she pins her ears back at me and if I try to stroke her she trys to bite
    me. Emma has held her during treatment and in certain areas (girth neck inner
    thigh left side) she really trys to bite. I’m aware that she is obviously VERY
    protective and sore in those areas and have been real gentle with her and in one
    session she did let go when working in those areas.
    I went out to her yesterday and worked on her in the indoor school whilst Emma
    held her when I came to the left side f her ribcage she was really bad trying to
    bite Emma and me so I just stopped.and didn’t try to touch her I just stood and
    talked to Emma saying not going to upset her. She kept turning her head to me
    with her ears pinned and then took a chunk on of my coat just around my stomach
    area! Luckily I had a lot of layers on so she didn’t break the skin. I stepped
    back and was just thinking about doing the stroke on her barrel and she just
    turned at me pinned ears again and really did look like she was going to charge
    me!
    No fun with a big horse like that! So I took her for a walk around the arena and
    just asked her to stop when I did (she just had a headcollar and long rope on)
    she did this well and let me stroke her neck as a reward. then we took her back
    to her stable.
    I remember one of your keys saying try to feel what’s going on in your body when
    you are around your horse, but I was a blank and I just kept wondering what is
    it that this horse is seeing in me that is making her behave this way(it has
    really upset me actually) as I’m on Linda Kohonov’s second book “Riding between
    the worlds” and one of the asepcts of her theapy is that the horse will see your
    true self, but I don’t know why this horse is so hostile to me and not sure wht
    to do next(other than obviously work on myself) but it has really bothered me. I
    have had other horses try bite kick me etc but they have been like that with
    everyone. This horse is fine with her owner but as soon as I go near her those
    ears go flat and she looks like she really “hates” me.
    I know it probably sounds stupid but it is concerning me as I do tend to have a
    very calming effect on horses but this one has got me stumped!
    Sorry is such a long winded reply, but I really do think your principles are
    great and I’m aware that like everything you have to work on it, I work full
    time as well as teach Riding For the Disabled so my time is so limited, but I
    can set aside a Friday afternoon most weeks to go to Emma’s horses.
    What do you think?

    • Jenny 11/19/2012, 11:00 am Reply

      Well you see Pauline, this mare has had a lifetime of people not listening to her and along comes you with the capacity to do it – so she is making bloody sure that you do! That’s what it feels like to me.

      Right now, it sounds like she needs a commitment to be listened to – ABOUT EVERYTHING, not just in your healing capacity. Why would she want to get better to go back to that kind of life? What kind of guarantee does she have that she WON’T end up back in that kind of life?

      So this is where you need to involve the owner big time, facilitating the owner to make the connection and feel her and listen to her and if she wishes, to make that commitment. That kind of commitment is a very personal thing, not really something that you can even encourage someone else to do – just set her up with the connection to her horse and let her feel it all herself…

      I would do the connection exercise with her – The first key – yourself and see if I am right – OR not! You might have to back quite a way away from her physically before she gets that you, at least, really ARE going to listen to her.

  59. Jan 11/17/2012, 1:04 am Reply

    Digby taught me something again yesterday . . . such a slow human and such a clever horse! He showed me how easy it is to lose your horse’s attention when we do not make the right call. Everything was perfect, and even though I did not have any Not Quite Right feelings, I thought I had to wait for a lick and a chew after he had given me the go ahead to actually get on his back (I was standing on a 44 gallon drum up above him and he was in the right position, in the right frame of mind). When I did not get on, he got distracted by something or another and we lost the magic. I did get on after that, but he was absolutely not paying attention. So I did something very easy for him and me, and in that space of ‘doing the comfortable thing’ I then got off and called it a day. It really showed me just how important it is to NOT ANTICIPATE a NQR, and when you do not have a feeling of NQR, just keep going. You have permission. How many times do I have to be told I wonder!?!

    • Jenny 11/17/2012, 11:51 am Reply

      Yes Jan, what a great insight for you to get! Add to that though, is that when you did lose his attention – you CAN get the magic back, you can get his attention back with “pay attention to me so that we can keep each other safe”. Do you know, since everything happens for a reason, maybe this is more about learning how to get it BACK, than it was about learning not to lose it in the first place…? Because I think that we are often going to lose “it”, the magic, but knowing how to get it back – that’s the most important thing. It’s like our magnetic riding butt – when you try to hang on to it, you stiffen up, resist a little and lose it – whereas when you get good at finding it, i.e. getting it back, you can just move softly around that perfect point. Am I making sense with this comparison?

      • Jan 11/18/2012, 8:41 pm Reply

        Ah yes! I could have got off, got the magic back (cos that is really easy for us on the ground) THEN got back on, right? And yes, that comparison makes total sense.

        An actual QUESTION this time! I get beautiful stops when I am on the ground (well, 99% of the time!) If I stop, so does Digby. Occasionally he is ‘on a mission’ which is the way he walks most places, but usually he is very good and stops. On his back, it is more difficult. Until he came to me, he was ridden in a bit – we just took it out of his mouth, checked out a few things and felt safe enough (mainly because of his good nature and willingness to try, and his knowledge that at last he was being ‘heard’) and ride in a halter. A rope halter with two loops underneath, instead of the usual one loop, so that helps him directionally. He likes the riding halter, having tried a few different options with him. I say ‘whoa’, stop riding, then ask with the reins. Sometimes he stops, other times he does not. Today I tried something different when my friend was on his back . . . with me walking beside him, I said ‘ . . .and, WHOA’ and stopped my body. I asked her at the same time this was happening, just to squeeze the reins, not ask him to stop, definitely not pull, just squeeze the reins. Waited for the lick and chew, by the third time, he licked and chewed immediately. Where to from here please? What next to help him? More to the point, get him to stop when no one is walking beside him and stopping with their body.

        • Jenny 11/19/2012, 11:42 am Reply

          Well I’ll be blowed, I have answered this twice and twice in different ways, the computer has frozen and I have lost my very long and well thought out answer!!!!
          Clearly I am not meant to answer this here, Jan! It seesm to me that Digby is very obligingly stopping because YOU stop on the ground. Which is excellent, but he also needs to learn to stop from a FEEL.
          The easiest way to do that is to teach a back up from a feel. Lesson 62, plus meet and melt, rotations to explain will help him get that.
          This lesson in the saddle is only a couple of lessons away.
          See? The computer hasn’t frozen this time!

          • Jan Dodds 11/19/2012, 11:24 pm

            I will be patient then and wait for the next lessons! So sorry for all your work and effort to have it obliterated by the computer! As you say, though, everything happens for a reason!

  60. BARBARA COOKE 10/01/2012, 11:37 am Reply

    Hi Jenny, this is not so much a question but a comment regarding your question about how people experience Not Quite Right with their horse. Well, sometimes I don’t even get a NQR feeling, but I watch my horse closely for signs that things are NQR for her. And the closer I watch and learn what to look for, the more I am amazed at what is NQR for Tosca. I have realised that I have to start not from haltering, as I first thought, but from even our first approach, and then touching her. The other day I gave her a carrot over the fence,and then went to stroke her face, above her left eye, and I saw immediately that this was NQR for her. So I stood and waited for The Chew, and after a few minutes, she gave the most enormous release, sighing, shaking her head, yawning, rolling her eyes, stretching her head down, and it went on for about five minutes, and then for the next twenty minutes or so she went into a kind of sleepy trance. I stood with her with a quiet mind and it was a great moment of peace. I then quietly left her as she was, and found myself at peace for the entire rest of the day. I think this is the first time I have managed to get it completely right for her, and now that I have finally got it once, it will be there for all time. I am not sure if I should do that particular thing again, but I am sure Tosca will let me know. The great thing is that she is beginning to be able to tell me what is OK and what is not.

    Other times I DO get a NQR feeling, and I experience it sometimes as a kind of a tension in the pit of my stomach, even sometimes when Tosca appears to be comfortable. I can’t always tell what causes this NQR, so I need to practice moving away and quieting my mind so I can hear whatever comes to me.

    We are progressing so slowly, start, stop, start again, due to the weather being so uninviting for so long, but Summer is on its way, and we will make more progress. And the great thing with the lessons is that they are available at any time it is convenient for me. regards, Barbara.

    • Jenny 10/02/2012, 4:13 pm Reply

      Great job Barbara – and you are right, now you have made this breakthrough it will be there for all time. I hear the weather in NZ has been even worse than ours – and I haven’t got much horse time in here either!

  61. Kate Scarlott 09/21/2012, 9:15 am Reply

    Hi Jenny, I’ve watched many videos of people working with their horses, including on Carolyn Resnick’s website, and almost without exception the people are in an enclosed area without any grass. So the horse has no distraction of eating and it’s clearly much, much easier to get and keep their attention because there’s nothing else for them to do. I don’t have a round pen or any enclosed area that doesn’t have grass, even if it’s just the sacrifice paddock where the grass is very short. They still want to have their head down and grubbing and it’s just so easy for them to “escape” me by putting their heads down and eating. When I watch videos of people training their horses in enclosures with just dirt or sand, it all looks so easy and it feels like it must be so much faster and easier to get and keep a horse’s attention when there is no food distraction and I feel frustrated and at a really big disadvantage not having such a space. The only way to keep their heads up is using a halter and that of course defeats the whole point of liberty work and also means I end up feeling like I’m working so much harder to keep them focused on me and keeping their interest because it’s so easy to tip into nagging and keeping them close to me against their will with the halter. Maybe others have this same issue? Thanks much.
    Kate

    • Jenny 09/21/2012, 12:37 pm Reply

      This is a great question for the live seminar next week Kate if you can wait that long? And after that seminar I will post the answer up on the blog here too? Someone may need to remind me!

      • Kate Scarlott 09/21/2012, 9:38 pm Reply

        Sure, Jenny, I’ll wait to see the answer on the blog, since I’m not able to listen to the webinars live. Thanks.

  62. Jan 09/18/2012, 6:17 pm Reply

    Jenny, one is an observation, the other is a question! First, today I had the most wonderful experience, but not with my own horse, In fact, I think that my horses and I are so used to ‘being and living’ the way we do, that I seem to have more ‘shout out louds’ with other people’s horses at the moment. Today I was with a rather dominant, standoffish paint horse who was gelded late, and one of the owner’s favourite sayings is ‘don’t touch the ‘paint-work’! His name is Chief and he comes across as a very proud boy. Until today, I had felt a little reserved about being too close to him. However, today, I was with his owner, and he looked right at me and asked for his rug to be taken off, so I suggested that to his person. Once we went in there, he made some strange sounds as if he was unwell, and ‘colic’ immediately came to mind. However, as we stood with him, it seemed that he had done that just to get our attention. I placed my hand on his shoulder and left it there and he dropped his head. A while later I was totally overcome with sadness and tears and realised it was not my own feelings, but his. I stayed with him and was explaining to his person who is really trying to be with him in a different way than previously, but is finding it difficult to find the quiet mind and looking inside (I suggested she telephone you for a consult). I was able to tell her that he didn’t like being rubbed or stroked, but just a steady contact with her hand was what he liked. She took over what I had been doing and I moved away and attended to a couple f other horses. The look on her face as Chief’s head dropped way down, with a really loose lower lip and a softness about him, was remarkable. Her face just lit up as she realised she had really connected with him. I was also able to say to her that he hated it when she called him
    ‘Chief-y’ which was to her a term of endearment/to placate him, but to him, it diminished his pride in himself. Anyway, what a wonderful experience all round!
    Now, the question . . . I have begun helping a friend feed her horse as she cannot get to him every day. I knew this horse from where we previously agisted together, where I also helped her care for him at times. He is a very tall gangly thoroughbred who has mellowed a little with age, but used to be more dominant than now. He has retained the habit of throwing his food everywhere until he settles down. I think that having his teeth done would help, and when he is not so hungry it will settle a bit, BUT it is a habit that he has always had even when he was not ‘starving hungry’. I have put an oversize plastic feed tub in a very high profile tyre to try and minimise the effect, but short of putting a halter on him, which I cannot really see helping him, I am not sure what else I can do to stop the food wastage and allow him the benefit of ALL his feed as well as the dignity of eating from the tub and not the ground. Do you have any other practical thoughts I might try please, as well as approaching him with a quiet mind?

    • Jenny 09/19/2012, 7:27 am Reply

      G’day Jan – what a great job with Chief – woohooo!
      To answer your question – I have a horse who eats like that too and I don’t think that I completely solved the problem. I tried yarding him separately for feeding, but that didn’t work.
      We did however improve the situation by giving him the confidence of not having to hurry and defend his food, by defending his food for him.
      I fed him out in the paddock for a few weeks and kept all the other horses a long way away from him while he was eating. That seemed to help my guy – it will be interesting to see what YOU come up with in discussion with him!
      Another thing the owner could try is increasing the development of the relationship by holding the bucket for him while he eats. My guys only get oats now over winter for extra warmth, because I have them in so much long grass that they don’t need the old kind of feeding so it’s easy for me to hold a bucket while they eat a pound or two of oats.
      And of course as you identified – having his teeth done could help heaps too.

      • Jan Dodds 09/19/2012, 9:51 pm Reply

        Lindy does not really see it as an issue, in fact she chuckled that I would be the only person in the world who would want to change the habit! I reckon feed belongs in the horse’s tummy, not on the ground, if it is to do any good! I worked on it today . . . picture this, he (Wally) puts his head in the bucket, takes a huge mouthful, then digs deeper til his cheeks bulge, lifts his head, drops out whatever cannot be chewed, and Jan standing there catching it and putting it back in the bucket! Oh, that is not all, I did defend him and his feed, but as there are no other horses there (sadly) it was from the COWS! Three of them came when I called Wally, and me not being all that familiar with cows and being a bit wary of them, there is me, waving arms and saying HAAA HAAA to get them to move away! One even had horns, and I wondered whether they might be like wolves and work in a pack and rush me! It was hilarious really, and dear Wally absolutely knew I was defending him and his food and paid no attention whatever to my frantic wavings! I know, I know, why am I worried about poor little cows! I will work on that one. Although I can be with my horses, sheep, alpacas and cats as well as most other animals I encounter in the positive way we so appreciate, I just couldn’t do it with the cows!
        Wally is a 17hh gangly long legged thoroughbred who has never held his weight well and the pasture does not seem to be enough for him. He is getting crushed barley soaked, crushed lupins soaked, speedibeet soaked, slosh of sunflower oil, one dipper of lucerne chaff and two of oaten chaff. I had thought to add oats too as he is retired and not being ridden, cos in the past, I think oats made him a bit frisky under saddle.

        • Jenny 09/19/2012, 10:12 pm Reply

          Ah well, it turns out that you were not the only person in the world to want to change THAT habit. I bet every horse lover who pays good money for their horse’s feed would like to change that habit too, wherever it happens! 🙂
          He certainly sounds like he is getting enough feed. One possibility is teeth. Another is worms. I have often seen horses who have been chemically wormed religiously lose huge worm burdens on a more natural regime.
          The other thing that springs to mind is that horses living by themselves cannot relax enough to actually sleep. And that subtle constant stress can have a big impact on a horse’s weight.
          I have seen a couple of horses who bonded quite strongly with a companion cow – but it was A PARTICULAR companion cow, not just any old cow being chucked in the paddock and then being sent off to market and giving them a different cow. Does that make sense? Their bond is to the INDIVIDUAL animal, not to the species generally.

          • Jan Dodds 09/19/2012, 11:29 pm

            Thank you for those thoughts Jenny. I am not in a position to change that Wally lives alone in his paddock, and as his owner cannot care for him daily, for her to get another horse would not be o.k cos then I would have TWO horses to look after as well as my own. But I do feel sad when I see horses living alone. Fortunately he can see one other horse across the road who also lives alone. I had not thought of that before, that single horses cannot sleep . . .but it makes sense, there is always a look out if other horses are asleep. I am sure that he is quite an anxious horse on the inside, cos even when he did live in a herd environment, he was the same, never able to keep weight on. Yes, I see what you are meaning about a ‘companion cow’ and I am not sure what the situation is on this property, but most people do keep cattle for the market. Hhhhmmm, worms, he was on a revisit regime of chemical worming when I previously knew him, but I bet he has not been wormed in a long time. Here is another question, maybe a subject for the blog, about natural worming. I do egg counts and then use a chemical wormer if necessary, Equest Gel plus. Recently, wanting to try natural worming, I bought one to use after egg count showed some worms, but not ‘treatable level’ according to the vet. So I thought that would be a grand opportunity to test out natural wormer. I duly gave my horse this wormer and when I repeated the egg count, he actually had MORE worms and one which the vet did not even recognize! Does this mean that the natural wormer had been clearing his system out, or that it was ineffective? Which natural wormer could you recommend? I remember you speaking about the merits of dia…earth (can never remember the name of it!) which actually dehydrates the worms. Does it work with encysted strongyles, which is the one most to be feared in Australia? How is this administered and do you add any other ingredients? Won’t I feel a dill if you already have this information on your website!?

      • Jan Dodds 09/27/2012, 9:14 pm Reply

        Jenny, I know I have said it to you before, but it is SOOO obvious that I am such a different person to a couple of years ago, because although I was wanting a different way of being with horses and heading in that direction, I just could not find it . . . til I found you. THANKYOU. Today was just another example. Wally, the horse mentioned above, that I am caring for on behalf of a friend, had his teeth done today, He was actually working WITH the dentist. He is 17hh and could have easily just put his head up out of reach, or pulled away when she was pushing the rasp, but he actually pushed INTO the rasp, helping her. Another friend and I groomed him afterwards and it is so obvious that he is so enjoying our company, care and attention. Oh, I have also solved his throwing the feed around . . . I give him a handful of oats before his bucket, then sprinkle oats on top of the other feed so that he gently nibbles the oats from the surface and forgets all about throwing the feed around! Took me days, not even weeks! As he left us today, he kept asking, is there anything else you need from me or shall I go now. Several times he did this. Guess who is just bubbling with joy?!

        • Jenny 09/30/2012, 7:37 am Reply

          Well done Jan. Well done Wally!

  63. Lisa Hill 09/18/2012, 2:13 am Reply

    Dear Jenny, one question then a problem I am having with Magnum. Do I wait for the chew every time I get in the saddle to see if Magnum likes the way I am sitting? My problem now is I can go out myself with Magnum on the trail but when I go out with another horse and it’s one he is boarder with. I have all kind of troubles with him. Spooking, backing up , circles. He doesn’t like her in front nor in back. I turned around when I felt it was going to be to much for him. I was lucky to make it back to the barn. Should I try to work with him in the arena with the other horse to get him used to another horse with us? Must be trauma from his racing days. Thanks Lisa

    • Jenny 09/18/2012, 11:04 am Reply

      I don’t think it is necessary to wait for The Chew when you get on, as feedback Lisa. You should be able to feel his whole body respond to you being in the right place in the perfect way for you and he. Listen inside yourself as you get on and get a more direct and more instant feedback than The Chew.
      Do you mind if I answer your “problem” on the live seminar next week – it’s a great one! Let me know if you feel it is more urgent than that.

  64. Lisa Hill 09/11/2012, 7:31 am Reply

    Dear Jenny, I did lesson 56 on Problem solving under saddle. Went to the barn and gave it a try. I have to say there definitely was a difference in my riding and Magnums response. Wow, I also got on and found my seat and waited for the chew. Found my seat then asked Magnum how he liked it. It took about three minutes and then the chew. With that and lesson 56 the ride went smooth. I also took him back out on the trail stayed in our comfort zone. I wasn’t confident enough to take him where we had the trouble last week. Wanted to take baby steps. He did great. And I am a happy girl! Jenny all these lessons have been invaluable to me. I don’t know how I would have gotten over this fall last week without them. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Blessings~Lisa & Magnum

    • Jenny 09/11/2012, 8:05 am Reply

      Good job Lisa – wooohooo! I LOVE it that we are able to help you find that incredibly stable and magnetised seat when you are on one side of the world and I am on the other!

  65. BARBARA COOKE 09/10/2012, 6:08 am Reply

    Hi Jenny, I have just read your lesson 17 and I think it is brilliant! For me, this feels like the place to start. I have NEVER been comfortable to have my horse approach me at liberty in the paddock, although catching has never been an issue. I am never quite certain if the discomfort that I feel belongs to me or the horse, but the fact that they are always in a hurry to get to me suggests that the discomfort is my own. I will need to combine this with your YinYang lesson, because I am one of those people who is not assertive enough with a horse, and this I will find difficult. But I am dying to get out there and try this lesson with Tosca (as soon as this week-long gale dies down) and then I will try the Mirroring Game again. I have been thinking about that one, and I think you are right that I was too abrupt in waving her away. I neglected to get a quiet mind first, and to get myself comfortable. How I love these lessons!
    Cheers,
    Barbara.

    • Jenny 09/10/2012, 7:01 am Reply

      I am glad that you are enjoying them Barbara. Re the Not Quite Right that you feel when the horse is coming up to you being yours, the one thing I have learned with this work is not to assume anything!

  66. Lisa Hill 09/06/2012, 5:27 am Reply

    Dear Jenny, I have to WOWS to report. First I went back and listened to lessons 43 and 44. But I have to tell you that about a minute into 43 I felt like Magnum was shouting at me and saying that his right foot was hurting him. And to tell you the truth his shoe was a little loose but I didn’t think it would be a bother, but it turned out that it was. Then the second thing that I wanted to say that I just got done listening to the teleseminar where you were working with Jan. And boy that really helped me find my seat. I can’t wait to try it on Magnum. A question though. Should I get on find my seat than get off and wait for a lick and chew to see if Magnum thinks I found it? Or just sit there and wait for the lick and chew.Thanks Lisa & Magnum

    • Jenny 09/08/2012, 9:54 am Reply

      Wooohooo! Lisa rocks! I guess Magnum was taking any opportunity to get his point heard – well done. In answer to your seat question, Magnum can give you The Chew signal quite happily while you are still sitting on him. The only time I get off and wait for The Chew is if I have had a Not Quite Right that is seeming to ask for the dismount for a while…

      • Lisa Hill 09/11/2012, 3:09 am Reply

        Okay, thank you. Glad to see you are up and running again!

  67. Jan Dodds 09/05/2012, 7:14 pm Reply

    re the connecting heaven and earth in the saddle, that lovely riding position, I have to tell you Jenny that I can practise it in the car when I am driving! Since beginning work on that balanced riding position, I have been able to put the back of my seat one position higher, which means I am sitting more upright. Whilst holding the steering wheel, I can find that spot where the core muscles kick in, and can play around with the push pull. I can find the level pelvis also. Not only is this helping me find the position quickly and easily, it is making for a more secure driving position too! Thank you Jenny!

    • Jenny 09/08/2012, 10:01 am Reply

      Ahh Jan you have discovered the secret – practising this powerful riding position in all kinds of different circumstances. I even find it helped the sore back that I was getting from spending vast amounts of time at the computer too!

  68. Lisa Hill 09/04/2012, 6:05 am Reply

    Dear Jenny, all my work so far with Magnum has gone great. Our arena work has gotten comfortable. I have been taking him out on the tails by ourself. So I thought we were ready to go with another horse. I got Magnum ready took him in the arena to get warmed up. I was feeling some NQR but nothing to bad. The other rider was ready so we started out. I let her lead but not sure this was right because Magnum is the lead horse in this heard of three. Started to go down a dip and her horse refused and then Magnum refused so we decided to take another path. I could fell that Magnum was not real comfortable but I decided to ride it out. We got about 3/4 of the way on the trail and on the right of us some deer ran to they were out of sight. Then we came to a spot where it is just a little dip and we have gone there ourselves before but he refused to go forward. He froze. I tried to urge him forward but he would just turn around. I tried a few more times but he started to go up in the air and on the thrid up, I fell off. He didn’t run but the poor thing was shaking and sweating badly. I had the other girl help me back on but he still refused to go on. So I walked him back to the barn. Not sure why he froze up like that. I lunged him in the arena and tried to ride but he still refused to go. I feel I ruined all our hard work and failed Magnum in not acting on his fear. What should I do at this point. Should I walk him back on a lead rope where it happened and wait for a lick and chew to get a comfort zone. Or ride him back and do a go and retreat? Let me know. Thanks

    • Jenny 09/04/2012, 6:50 am Reply

      You already nailed the cause Lisa – not listening to your early warning signal that somehting is Not Quite Right. It’s sooo much harder to stand in you connection with your horse when you add someone else to the mix, I have noticed that myself.
      No you have not ruined all your hard work. In fact when you have solved this you will have deepened your bond with Magnum, I promise!
      First of all I would do a fright imprint release and get rid of the fright imprint from falling off – that’s Lessons 43 and 44. You don’t need that getting in the way.
      You may get an understanding of WHY it all happened and what you need to know or do about it, from the fright imprint releasing work – but if you don’t, then do Lesson 35 – the quiet mind exercise for positive problem solving, with the intention of getting whatever insights are necessary about this incident. You might need to run through that lesson more than once to get your entire answer.
      Your two possible actions to take with Magnum are both valid – you will easily choose which one feels best once you have released your own fright imprint.
      And I am available for a private if you need one, though do these other lessons first. You are one of the foundation people who got a free private aren’t you? And you haven’t used it yet?

      • Lisa Hill 09/05/2012, 6:17 am Reply

        Thank you Jenny. I will go and do lesson 43 and 44. And if I need it 35. If I still am having a problem with it I will use my call.

  69. Jan 09/04/2012, 12:19 am Reply

    Aahh, the connection with your horse, the quiet mind . . . WOW! Today the equine dentist visited for my three boys. A very aged pony, who has been known to rear when confronted by things he does not like, more rare nowadays, but still a possibility. My very sensitive inwards quarterhorse arab cross Rocco and my younger, newer to me (about a year or so) standardbred Digby, who is a playful, fairly dominant, but sometimes inward boy who sometimes has anxieties. I explain their personalities, only because it is important to the story. Before the husband and wife dental team arrived, I spent some time with the boys – Digby did not want to know about it, Rocco really connected with me, and Metro pony was calm. The wife usually holds the horses, cos generally they find the owners more of a problem than most horses, they say! However, I always hold Metro. All I needed to do with him today was to hug him, the leadrope was loose in my hand, my arms were round his neck and chest and my face on his shoulder. He was perfect. Rocco certainly showed a preference for the type of rasp being used, and the dentist is very good the way he listens to horses. Lucky me to have such a team! But Digby is the one I really want to tell you about. Prior to it being his turn, I let him in the roundyard to see what was happening, and of course, he wanted to play with all the buckets and tools! I asked Rocco to stay and help us with Digby, and he stood there with his nose on Digby’s rump, bless him. Digby was a bit frightened, but manageable in his behaviour (if only they truly knew how strong they are and how weak we are!) . . . I so wanted to help him because last time the dentist had not been able to do much on his lower teeth (it was the first time they had met him, so they just did their best). I am thinking, how can I help you Digby . . . the answer came! I bent down and began massaging the ‘ting accupressure points’ just above the coronet band on his front hoof. He was as soft as butter, in the dentist’s words. He asked me to do the other front hoof just to make sure it was real . . . so I did, and he was able to do the other side of his mouth! So, thank you Jenny – connection and the quiet mind – the answer is always there, and rarely what you think it will be! Who would have thought a hoof massage would help with his teeth!

    • Jenny 09/04/2012, 6:52 am Reply

      What a lovely application of a quiet mind and the problem solving insights that come from that – wooohooo!

  70. Jan 09/02/2012, 8:33 am Reply

    Jenny, further finding that riding connection position yesterday. I did indeed need to get off Digby to allow for the chew. Me still not being patient enough to take as long as it needs to take to get the chew, I decided to use something I had previously learned to do . . . finger in corner of mouth, feather cheek, teeth and tongue with that finger, which allows the chew to come. Does this have the same effect as when the horse processes and does it himself?
    Another question along similar lines, we have spoken about ‘soft eyes’ when WE are processing as opposed to squinty hard eyes, when we try to much. This might be a silly question, but is it different if we are squinting against the sunlight cos we are not wearing sunglasses, but still retaining the aaahh feel inside, or is it a physical impossibility to have sun-squinty eyes and retain the softness inside?
    Thank you , always, for your insights.
    Jan

    • Jenny 09/02/2012, 10:50 am Reply

      Hmmm Two interesting questions jan! First of all the stimulating a horse to chew with your finger. I give you and all of the other people wI have come across who have thought of that, full marks for heart and desire and creativity. But, sorry sunshine, it doesn’t substtute for The Chew that they give you when they are signalling you that are understanding you or you are understanding them.

      Re sun glare and squinting eyes – I haven’t eveer thought about it and will keep a sharp eye out for a definite answer, but my instinctive answer is that squinty eyes is a mental attitude that we feel in our frown and our eyes, much more than a physical thing. Great question for summer! I will get back to you after a bit more investigation!

      • Jan 09/04/2012, 12:06 am Reply

        . . . I have really thought about the squinty eyes and the sun, because I figure if you cover your eyes with sunglasses the horse cannot read you and your expression, but if I do not wear sunglasses, I DO squint, as I have astigmatism, which affects the eyes with regard to glare. So, I will look for your updated answer when it comes!

        • Jenny 09/04/2012, 7:12 am Reply

          Horses don’t need to read the expression in your eyes – they work much, much more on how you feel, rather than how you look and the nuances of our body language are a communciation that they read very well too.
          Although it’s interesting I choose not to wear sunglasses either, but i thought it was for a different reason. There is a very important hormone stimulated by light (I forget which one offhand) and if we wear sunglasses too much, it can get ion the way of hormonal health generally and good sleep specifically.
          I was exploring the squinty eyes in the sun when I was out on Sunday and found that I could have soft eyes in the bright sun if I closed them a little, softly instead of squinting. It was interesting that it felt way better than my normal squinting at the bright sunlight – another example of it’s better not to try too hard!
          However, I still think squinty eyes that we are talking about in our work is more a mental thing than a physical. Squinty eyes is a physical signal that we are trying too hard and that that trying is getting in our way.
          It sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Because we have been taught that to try hard is the way to get what we want? But in all the things that we are learning with our horses, we are learning how that trying too hard creates tension that gets in the way of our objective…
          The answer for YOU though, will no doubt be individual like almost everything else that we do – so let us know whether You can achieve the mental soft eyes when you are quinting in the sun – and anyone else that wants to explore this come in and comment too!

  71. Kathy Cavanah 09/02/2012, 2:34 am Reply

    Lots of good things are happening here with Elmo and me. But, one thing, and only one thing, happens that has totally ruined my trust in him and my being able to ride him. He spooks big time and I have been seriously injured. I am afraid to get on him. I don’t think I am a nervous rider, but I am now a fearful rider because I do not trust him not to spook! I don’t fear getting thrown off, I fear getting hurt, again. I believe the basic nature of a horse cannot be changed, and being so reactive and spooking and bolting and bucking like he does just must be in his nature. And, that makes me sad. What can I do? (It is not an equipment issue and it is not a physical issue.)

    • Jenny 09/02/2012, 8:06 am Reply

      Well Kathy, while you feel like that you certainly do not get on. So take a big breath and give yourself permission to keep yourself safe and stay with two feet on the ground.
      This is an old incident and injury is it not – from before you started the course?
      You say that you don’t think that the basic nature of a horse can be changed. In the context that I think you are talking about, a horse can change. They can release old trauma, they can re-program their original auto pilot reactions differently – just like we can.
      If I had had an accident and injury as big as yours, I would need lots of things to be in place before I was OK to get on that horse again. I would need to see that my horse HAD changed his reactions, reliably, on the ground before I could move forward into the saddle baby step by baby step. And there is an awful lot of fun and happiness to be got on the ground if that’s what you want to do.
      Horses spook for two reasons. The most common one is that they are on the edge of the Not Too Sure Zone already, so the littlest thing that happens just tips them over into the oh shit I am dead zone. And that is easily fixed within this program.
      The second reason for spooking is a physical one – too much grain – a mineral imbalance – health issues like a tumour (I had a horse with a tumour way back) or in the case of a mare a hormonal imbalance. And apart from the tumour, which is incredibly unlikely, the physical problems are easily fixed too.
      On the ground your way forward is to be very strong in your balance of Lessons 22 (advanced my grass game) and 23 (keep your attention on me so that you can keep me safe), in all your routine – when he is loose in the paddock, or wherever he is – making sure that you stay listening inside yourself so that you can hear and attend to any of Elmo’s needs too. As you work your way through your daily routine, (and then through things that only come up every now and again) systematically eliminating every source of fear for Elmo, he will find the deep comfort zone where he CAN look after you.
      Hmmm I just had another thought – is he stabled? Not enough movement for some horses can be a big source of the jitters which can translate into a spook.
      Redo the releasing the fright imprint of Lessons 43 and 44 as many times as you need until you feel good in that lesson. Go back and redo Lesson 35 – the quiet mind exercise for specialised problem solving in case there are any insights that you need about Elmo in this regard.
      If you can see a way forward, then there is a way forward. And if you have any problems with that, I am here and available for a private if you need one.

    • Jenny 09/02/2012, 10:53 am Reply

      I just had another flash of insight while I was out with Bobby about your question Kathy (and I always wonder if this answer comes from him under those circumstances). The most important part of my previous answer to you was about giving yourself permission to stay on the ground with Gunny and manifesting a deep comfort zone there and finding enjoyment in that for BOTH od your sakes – before you even think about going any further. Love from Bobby….

  72. Kate Scarlott 09/01/2012, 1:31 am Reply

    Hi Jenny, couple quick questions. Lessons are going really well — found my logjam and Jake looked at me the other day and said, “there you are — finally.” Wonderful.

    First question — when I’m with my horses, they so love to be scritched. Everyone’s itchy. They greet me and often will then move past me and present the body part they want scritched (usually belly or inside hind legs). I’m happy to scritch them usually, but sometimes feel like a servant. Like they’re saying, “hi, now do this for me.”

    I think I’m already answering my question as I write this — thinking that I need to keep them gently but firmly out of my space and move to them to scritch, rather than letting them move to me?

    Other question, in your lesson 22 (advanced my grass game), when you move the horse off the grass, do you keep this up and not let them eat grass wherever they move to (since they’re at liberty), for a while and then eventually allow them to eat? Kind of chasing them off the grass?

    The earlier my grass game had us moving them off grass and then almost immediately allowing them to eat again, so I just wanted to be clear about the difference.

    Thanks much, Jenny. Wonderful work you’re doing!!

    • Jenny 09/01/2012, 6:23 am Reply

      The answer to the scritchy question Kate is going to be a bit different for everyone, because we all have different boundaries – and sometimes even different boundaries on different days. And THAT is completely OK. But basically if you aren’t feeling good about it, then change it. Which is exactly the conclusion you came to. And if THAT doesn’t have you feeling good, then sometimes you like to scritch them and sometimes you don’t and you will wave them away – easy!

      This is an important point that you brought up with this question, Kate. CONSISTENCY IS NOT IMPORTANT. Listening to them and them listening to you and both of you responding with what feels good in the moment is what is important…

      Re Lesson 22, The advanced My Grass Game. I kept Sirocco from eating any grass at all until I got a Not Quite Right and backed off for a little while. Then I went back to not letting him eat any grass at all until his energy completely changed and his snippy attitude had turned into softness and then I was safe to do his rugs. Does “snippy attitude” translate OK for those with English as second language?

      By the way, Kate, what was your logjam? It’s always interesting to hear what different people’s big change places are…

      • Kate Scarlott 09/03/2012, 6:49 am Reply

        Thanks for the clarifications, Jenny. My logjam was holding onto my anger, using it as a shield against hurt and rejection. This came mostly through an intensely difficult time with my husband, nearly leading to the breakup of our 20 year marriage. I’d held onto my image of myself as the “victim” and I had a profoundly painful clarity — finally, after years of struggle — that no matter the validity of the reason for the mistrust I felt, he doesn’t “owe” me anything and in fact, my anger was a big part of the original “problem.” I apologized from the depths of my heart, with absolute sincerity, and this was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The grief has been overwhelming, but I will never go back. Couldn’t bear to be that person again. So now I build on my resolve to let go of the anger and fully feel, despite how painful that can be, each day, step by step. Because I’m also feeling joy and love in ways that I don’t think I’ve ever felt. And my horses, especially Jake, are responding to me in very different, softer ways too. It’s an up and down process, but I think it’s going more up than down, little by little. With some not so little up steps along the way! I love your lessons and your whole approach. So do my horses. Thanks, Jenny.

        • Jenny 09/03/2012, 7:41 am Reply

          Wow, thankyou Kate, from all the people who will read this and realise that the joy and love you experience are sooo… worth it.
          I know these lessons were written to help you with for your relationship with your horse, but you can use them for other parts of your life as well. Lesson 2, the quiet mind with your horse and Lesson 35 – a deeper technique for positive problem solving are wonderful tools that you can deliberately use to reduce those down times – to understand more quickly what to know or do to bring yourself back to the “ups” of that joy and love again.

          In the ups and downs of MY life and with these tools, my own down times are VERY brief now as I get to understand quite quickly what to know or do to be peaceful or happy again. And anger and rage were my bete noire too. Thank God for this work with my horses – it has completely transformed my life.

          Good on you Kate! And blessings for many more ups and even briefer downs!

        • Jenny 09/08/2012, 9:00 am Reply

          Kate, I would reply to your recent email but I am still having that problem where when I reply to your email it bounces back at me as undeliverable. It is the same problem that I had last time. Please contact me with a different email address so that I can reply to you!

          • Kate Scarlott 09/19/2012, 6:20 am

            Hi Jenny, I can’t figure out why you can’t reply to my emails. We’ve sent emails to each other in the past, and it was always from the same address. Perplexing! I continue to have a lot of ups and downs and keep hitting road blocks with Jake that test every bit of what I’ve learned from you and all the other like-minded (to you) horsemanship reading/clinics/etc that I’ve done in the last year or two about keeping my mind quiet and keeping my anger and frustration (and tears) from exploding. It can be so good — and it can just be so frustrating and bewildering. Don’t know if we could talk about a private? Or should I just try to write as best I can here, though I’m a little reluctant for privacy sake and there’s a lot to say. While at the same time, I understand that others taking these lessons just might be having some similar issues. Anyway, I’d like to clear up the email problem somehow. Thanks very much.

          • Jenny 09/19/2012, 6:53 am

            I have tried everything every which way from my end including talking to my server – which I think you need to be doing too. I can only think that you need a new email address – maybe a gmail or a yahoo or something. I have written several emails to help with your questions and you don’t get any of them! My experience has been that it doesn’t help to TRY and keep the anger and tears from exploding – for me that just suppressed it and made it even bigger next time. In fact TRYING seems to be what makes the whole thing harder.
            I have even frightened the crap out of myself with the size of my explosion after so much pushing things down by trying so hard.
            Change is the only thing that worked for me. Changing what isn’t working for something that is. Oh man, it sounds so simple doesn’t it? But it really is that simple. And as I have got the hang of it, it has been getting easier and easier until now everything is easy and the odd thing that isn’t easy, I am on my way to figure out how to make it easy!
            Since everything really DOES happen for a reason even if we cannot see it yet, there WILL be a reason for this inexplicable inability of you to receive my emails.
            Maybe someone is going to read this about anger and frustration and tears and realise that there really IS a solution.

  73. Jan Dodds 08/31/2012, 11:58 pm Reply

    oops, that got posted before I had finished writing! Here is the rest of the story.

    My second horse, younger, more playful and definitely a horse on a mission when he moves, a standardbred who had raced and carries a bit more baggage than my other horse, was amazing.

    The plan had been to get on, find the position and then get off and wait for the chew. I did not need to get off, the instant I said to myself ‘there’ when I found the position, he licked and chewed.

    So, I deliberately moved out of balance, and he began throwing his head round, so I said to him, hang on then, I will find it again, which I did, and he licked and chewed again.

    A friend was holding him for this exercise, so I asked her to take us for a walk. Instead of his usual short choppy quick strides, he was walking out beautifully. I felt secure, even in my slippery pants on his even shinier back than my other horse.

    Further testament to the way Jenny’s way of being with horses really works, my friend, not a student of Jenny, kind but works more on getting the job done than the relationship, decided to move my horse around on the ground as she had thought he was not as responsive as she would require of her horse.

    I connected deeply with my horse, asked him to forgive me and also her as she did not know better, because the word which comes to mind is that she manhandled him, pushing and pulling him. When I suggested that he was confused about the way she was asking and then showed her how I would ask, it was so obvious that my horse truly forgave me, as he was so SOFT doing everything I asked of him.

    He often will tease me and ask me why, or say no not now, or play games with me when I ask him to do something, but this time, he was so soft and agreeable, a testament to what I have been learning with you Jenny.

    Thank you, from my Rocco, my Digby and me.

    • Jenny 09/01/2012, 6:07 am Reply

      I am sure that people think I exaggerate about the benefits and how beautiful it feels and how beautifully the horse responds – but there you go – even a 61 year old beginner rider can find the incredibly stable effortlessly powerful riding seat easily! AND with me on the other side of the country! Woohooo!

  74. Jan Dodds 08/31/2012, 11:37 pm Reply

    Re Lesson 52, connecting heaven and earth on your horse, finding the secure position for you and the one which your horse loves. I was the lucky person who had the lesson in the live teleseminar finding that position on a chair before trying it on my horse. I must report the results!

    I have two riding horses, both of whom are caretaker horses, but that is where the resemblance ends. such different personalities and different horses to ride.

    I practised first on my horse who has looked after me for five years. He is horse who would rather stand still than move. When I found that perfect position, he was happy to move, and I was even able to trot a short distance. He was bareback and I had fairly slippery leggins

  75. BARBARA COOKE 08/12/2012, 10:28 am Reply

    Hi Jenny, I love receiving the lessons. I would like to tell you about the odd experience when I tried ‘mirroring’ with Tosca, a week or so ago. I have not been able to do much since, due to the weather and stuff. But this is what happened…. Tosca was always the kind of horse who barges into your space. I have taught her to back away, whichshe mostly does when asked, although not always. I decided to try the mirror game in her grazing paddock, and I took a stick with me to keep her out of my space. She came walking very purposefully into my space as soon as she saw me, and when I used the stick to wave her away from me she gave quite a start – not, I think, from fear of the stick, but she was surprised that I wanted her away out of my space. In fact, she was so surprised that I wanted a space between us, that when I mirrored her movements she completely ignored me. I stayed for about half an hour, following her every movement as she grazed, but she completely ignored me, and when I eventually walked off, she did not even appear to notice. As daft as this sounds, could I have hurt her feelings? She is a smart horse, and we have a good connection, but maybe she was one step ahead of me, and wanted to play, and then I messed up by telling her to keep away. May I ask what you make of this? When it stops raining, I’ll try again. By the way, I once asked my horse Lola to keep away from me in her paddock and the expression on her face was quite shocked!

    • Jenny 08/12/2012, 1:20 pm Reply

      Great question Barbara – thanks! There is a bunch of possible answers here. Your answer may be correct or it may be that she is just not used to being asked to keep her distance, so you have in essence changed your behaviour. If you explain it a little differently to her that you are asking for more distance for a reason and that playing together could be so much fun, but only at a bit of a distance – that might do the trick.
      Also, because I know you I DON’T think this is the answer – but if it were a newbie with the same question, I would ask if you had been clear in your mind with your request first. Because in that circumstance it may have seemed abrupt to wave her off with the stick.
      And she may just be deciding to teach you early in the piece, to use very small gestures.
      Having said all that, spend however long you need with a quiet mind out there with her and see what answer floats up… And come back to us with her answer – it’s always great to hear.

  76. Kate Scarlott 07/19/2012, 12:57 am Reply

    Dear Jenny, I signed up for your online course about a month ago and have gotten lessons 1-10. I haven’t been able to do much more than spend time connecting with my horses since I started the course because we’ve been working hard to get our hay in, all the other farmwork, unusually busy off-farm work schedule, etc. etc., but I love your lessons and so look forward to putting them into practice now that things are settling down a bit.

    Couple questions: yesterday I listened to much of the teleseminar from a few weeks ago where you spoke with women who had been part of a recent 4 day clinic at your place. I’ve read/listened to most of the 10 lessons you’ve sent so far and have also been listening to your Zen Horse Lessons (from the book). I’m curious about how much work you do in your clinic over the 4 days. I’m unsure about how many “lessons” to try doing in a day, if things are flowing okay. I’ve never been able to bring my horse to any horsemanship clinics and I’m not sure about how much time and how many lessons it’s a good idea to try to tackle at a time. I heard about so many “breakthroughs” from each of the women at the clinic in the teleseminar and would love to find a way to some breakthroughs with myself and my horses on my own. (How I wish I could come to one of your clinics!)

    I used to do farmwork with my (11 year old) horse, Jake, 3-5 days a week for about 2 hours a day. That’s all come to a standstill in the last year as I’ve sorted through a whole new way of being with horses and I feel like I’m going at an absolute snail’s pace. I miss working with him on the farm and all the work he and I used to do isn’t getting done. But I got the very strong message that I needed to step back and look hard at my way of being with him, so I’ve respected that. I’ve also got a 2 year old filly and a 9 year old “rescue” mare, all very different personalities, that I’m enjoying spending time with as I sort out how best to be with them too and how they’d like to fit into the farmwork. It’d be helpful to get a sense of how the work goes at your clinics to get an idea of what might be possible to help me move past what feels like a logjam inside myself and in the evolution of my relationship with these wonderful horses. Big logjam. Something that jumps out at me over and over is this — as long as I’m doing something Jake (or the filly, Raven) likes, like scritching or brushing or just hanging out, he’s fine. The second I ask something, even just asking him to move a little closer to me as I try to scritch him and another horse at the same time (so my arms don’t fall off stretching to reach both of them!), he becomes still, he just stops and turns off, no matter how soft, respectful, easygoing my request. I’ve spent months and months hanging out, not asking anything like work, and yet the second I ask something, it just all shuts down and he just won’t even look at me. It breaks my heart each time.

    • Jenny 07/19/2012, 9:34 am Reply

      You can do as much or as little as you have time for and the horse has enthusiasm for – which will vary from horse to horse. A horse who is releasing a lot of old trauma, i.e. taking a long time to chew – you will be better hanging out with them in that extra spare time in a day rather than trying to do anything new – because they will need to time for the emotional release to settle into the physical. Because they can do tremendous and very visible physical healing at that time. Does that make sense?

      Take comfort Kate – You WILL get those breakthroughs – I’ve laid those lessons in systematically to get just the kind of breakthroughs that you are looking for and the support systems are there if you need them.

      When you talk about listening to the webcasts straight after the clinic and hearing those peole sharing their excitement about their amazing breakthroughs – did you notie the keys to success that I kept pulling them back to explain? People’s keys to success are individual – that’s why my focus in the classes is on your INDIVIDUAL journey – but some of those keys to success should resonate – so keep your ears out for them!

      Now, the fact that all three horses are responding the same way says that there is something for you to change, or know, or do – that’s what I find when my horses “gang up on me” like that 🙂

      Have another go at that bonus lesson quiet mind about connection and Not Quite Right attached to Lesson 9 and come back to me if you haven’t cleared that logjam…

  77. Toby 07/17/2012, 8:19 am Reply

    Hi Jenny, just had to let you know that this ‘key’ lesson was spot on for me, just what I needed to hear! I’ve been wondering how I could not feel the Not Quite Right when Juno obviously was agitated. Now I know it’s possible.
    I had a big Not Quite Right/Oh Shit Zone experience yesterday. At my boarding stable there’s a long path through the fields which leads from the arena to the field the herd is in. Halfway we have to pass an orchard. Just when Juno and I were close to it, the farmer and a group unexpectedly started chasing the birds away, with a lot of noise of bags etc.
    Juno flipped, so I took her back to the arena, which was quite a challenge… Turning around she wanted to speed back, and I had a few moments of Oh Shit Zone but luckily she didn’t break away from me, and I managed to get to the arena, where I turned her loose and she could let her energy go and watch the scary area from a distance.
    We stayed there until everything was over and quiet again. I was not looking forward to walk that path again, but she had to go to the field. So when she was relaxed we started out and I used her Not Quite Right to stop when necessary and wait, graze a bit, and move another few feet and stop etc. This went better than expected, although she was tensed, she was also brave and connected. The interesting thing was that I didn’t feel any Not Quite Right myself, because I was focussing and acting on hers.
    At the orchard she decided going fast past it was the best thing to do. So I put myself between her and the scary zone (circling my rope vertically between me and the danger, which always helps) and said ok, I’ll take care of keeping you safe, but stay with me…and halfway past the orchard she was walking relaxed by my side. Happy end!

    • Jenny 07/17/2012, 10:11 am Reply

      Woohoo Toby – you ROCK! Well done you!

  78. Jan Dodds 07/12/2012, 10:13 pm Reply

    Thank you very much for clarifying the difference Jenny. I appreciate your insight. These days, I need to guard myself much more in relation to horses than I do people, as people seem to have so many more choices. I will remember what you have said. Thanks.

    • Jenny 07/13/2012, 8:18 am Reply

      You’re right about the horses thing – I wrote an article about this kind of thing when the blue tongued, rollkurred horse episode was at its height. I think I will bring it over onto this website too because it seriously fits with my stepping up and stepping out!

  79. Jan Dodds 07/11/2012, 10:05 pm Reply

    Jenny, can we go back one lesson to the beautiful whirlpool analogy. Would you mind expanding on it by comparing altruistic kind deeds which come from the heart, to lend a helping hand to someone you care for and just because you can, to actually jumping into the whirlpool. I have some ideas in my head about the differences as I see it, but would very much like to hear how you experience the difference.
    Jan

    • Jenny 07/12/2012, 4:54 am Reply

      The key difference is the “oh my goodness poor you, I would do anything to help you”. In the lending a helping hand scenario, you are empowering someone with your attitude and your actions – empowering them to be the powerful beings creating their own destiny that they are. In the jumping into the whirlpool, you are thinking of them as helpless with no other choice except to be rescued by you. The alarm bells go off for me when I catch myself thinking of a horse or anyone else as a victim.

  80. Jan 06/22/2012, 6:34 pm Reply

    Jenny, regarding giving horses treats . . . you mention you like having the bucket of treats OUTside the space you are working. Just wondering how this equates to ‘rewarding’ a horse, if that is the reason you are giving a treat not the ‘just because’ reason. If you have to go away and get the treat, how does the horse equate the reward of getting the treat to the ‘good job’ that he has just accomplished for you? Does it not work the same as the principle of ‘release’ . . . when you are asking a horse to do something, and you reward the slightest try so he knows he is on the right track, that it has to be ‘instant’ so he knows he got it right? In the past I have done a bit of clicker training with useful results, but it was important to ‘click and treat’ immediately so, to the horse, it was all related. I really like putting the treat back under the horses nose and neck, so that he understands the treat comes from ‘back there’ not when he sticks his head and neck out to reach it. Would be pleased if you would comment on/clarify this for me please.
    Regards,
    Jan

    • Jenny 07/02/2012, 9:54 am Reply

      Clicker is working on an automatic response – whereas I am working on a thinking response. And the thinking response eventually becomes an automatic response that they bring up when they go into their oh shit I am dead zone. I like Carolyn Resnick’s thing of having the treats outside the working space. Horses are thinking beings, VERY thoughtful and incredibly smart when they are not afraid (and of course in THIS way of being with horses, we are working on releasing as much fear as possible) so they pretty soon figure out that you are running off to get them a treat. Their anticipation and appreciation of the treat seems to build and they look forward to it. It’s kind of like the anticipation of knowing that the reward is coming becomes itself another part of the motivation/reward.
      Another of the positives of having the treats outside the space is that the person is not getting mugged for the treat if it’s a really food oriented horse. I am not much of a fan of being pushed on and mugged for any reason, let alone for a treat – and yes that is one of my huge Aussie understatements!

  81. Jan Dodds 06/11/2012, 9:27 pm Reply

    Jenny, I can see how importantly you rate the mirror game, and I feel confused and a little sad that I cannot ‘get it’ because neither of my horses really enjoy it. We have spoken about this before, and you suggested that perhaps I am just ‘copying’ them rather than ‘feeling’ for them. I can only say that I believe that I am being that for them and not just being a mimic. I can really see the importance of developing this, because there have been at least three lessons covering aspects of it. It has got to the point that I do not want to even go there, when I think ‘mirroring’ I want to go back to bed! Any ideas? Thanks, Jan

    • Jenny 06/12/2012, 8:37 am Reply

      Yep – don’t go there! From all you have said, the understanding that I know you have of the game, the thought you have put in to it and the Not Quite Right that it is bringing you – then just don’t go there. You have been working on this program for a few months now and I KNOW you’ve got “it” – that beautiful connection with your horse where you are listening and understanding how to respond with the right actions. So “don’t go there” is what your feeling that something is Not Quite Right is telling you.
      That’s one of the wonderful thing that this program teaches you – HOW to listen and how to decide which tools to use and which not, in what circumstances …

  82. Bel 06/03/2012, 7:48 pm Reply

    Hello Jenny – I had my sister ride my mare I am not very confident and she went really well. I rode her out today with my husband on my other horse. We got about half way on our ride out and she applied all brakes and stubbornly refused to go any further. I have been practicing my awareness and usually get my messages thru feelings and I didn’t feel that she was scared just that she wanted to challenge my ability to lead. I have been struggling with leadership with my horses and so persisted with her and with my husband’s and the other horse’s help finally convinced her continue.

    I was wondering if u have any suggestions to increase my confidence in my ability to lead my herd? Ground exercises, ridden whatever? My 2 mares are both Standardbreds. One is an experienced riding horse but the mare I am talking about has only about 20?? rides under her belt. She is extremely light and sensitive though and we have a strong connection.
    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Jenny 06/04/2012, 9:54 am Reply

      You have opened such a big subject with this question with a whole lot of threads that need to be taken into consideration.
      Firstly you say you are not confident. Your strong connection to your horse means that your lack of confidence could easily still be an underlying thing form your horse. It amazes me how often this is the case. We feel it so strongly that sometiems it just doesn’t occur to us that it’s not ours – but is our horse’s. Your anxiety can be coming from either you or your horse or BOTH and is generally speaking improved by listening to all the early feelings that something is Not Quite Right AND TAKING ACTION ON THEM to make both you and your horse feel safe. I suspect that there is some early feelings of Not Quite Right happening that you are not taking action on (before you even get on your horse maybe) and that’s why you are feeling that in an overall lack of confidence.
      That confidence problem is easily fixed, altough you have to be persistent about it, specially at the beginning. When did you join the course? If you joined at the beginning, you get a freebie private session and under the circumstances it would speed things up for you to take advantage of that. Where are you up to in your lessons?
      If you haven’t got a freebie, then on the last live seminar we did a quiet mind exercise to understand HOW we personally feel our connection to our horse AND how we feel our Not Quite Right’s. You will find that an excellent tool to help you feel what is going on with the confidence issue. I hear you when you say you get your messages through feelings but I cannot help but think that it may still be your horse’s anxiety that you are feeling. Since she has only had 20 rides, that is quite likely.
      Come back to me after you have replayed that seminar if the quiet mind exercise doesn’t give you BIG insights into what is going on with the confidence issue. The same webcast link on your original email about the seminar will take you to the replay. The fact that your horse stopped and wouldn’t go forward, suggests to me that she is a potential caretaker. So listen agian to the bonus lesson in The Six Keys To Happiness with Your Horse that talks about these horses. Although it sounds like you are on the ball, they are often thought stubborn – so as a first option to deal with that situation I would back up a few steps, relax, make soft eyes and smile and just sit there on her back and wait.
      Second option would be to do the advance and retreat patterns in lessons 26 and 27. Those lessons were about being on the ground in a halter, but you can use the same process under saddle.
      Lastly the leadership issue – if you are right and it really IS a leadership issue, (I have to tell you though that I suspect that it’s not a leadership issue) then leadership is usually best addressed long before you have a problem out on the trail.
      You see this repeated over and over again through your course. Leadership is got firstly by helping your horse and yourself find and develop a BIG comfort zone which means no anxiety. Then add Lessons 22 the advanced my grass game, Lesson 23 Helping our horse to keep us safe, Lesson 24 advanced yin yang and lesson 25 about keeping our horse’s awareness of us in a halter. The names of these lessons sound pretty ordinary, but they are extraordianry in their effect on leadership.
      Leadership however, is NOT remotely the most important thing. Co-operation from your horse is much bigger in terms of results and a good relationship than you being a leader. Horses in a herd can spend a large part of their lives learning to be a good leader and it’s a process for us too – and not one to have any anxiety about. I guess what I am trying to say is that leadership will come naturally rather than by trying to force it by doing this or that. Does that make sense?
      Keep in touch with me and let me know how you go with these suggestions.

  83. Jan 06/01/2012, 6:10 pm Reply

    I really laughed when I saw this and what Sue discovered, because my Rocco horse on occasions treats me as he would another horse and I know this because he always goes for my legs, as I have seen him at play with another horse. My remedy, but this is only for MY horse, whom I know and trust SO well, is to get his muzzle between my two hands and say ‘I am going to kiss you and kiss you and kiss you’ if you do that, and I rain kisses all over his nose and mouth, until I hear him say ‘aw, quit it mum-me, the others are looking!’ Oh, and I am mum-me to all my creatures, mum as in nurturing and loving combined with the ‘me’ that I am, the person. I quite like that combination. No question (again!) just giving you a smile.
    Jan

  84. Jan 05/24/2012, 8:47 pm Reply

    Jenny, I really appreciate your answers to those two very vexing questions I had! Thank you for the clarity with which you explained them.
    For the continuity of the story of my sick horse Digby, I would love to tell you and other readers the outcome, of how it appears to have finished. The other day I was having lunch with a friend in the shed in the vicinity of the horses, and Digby caught my attention, and began having the signs of a pain attack, swishing his tail. He had already had two pain free days in a row at this time. I am sure he was ‘testing’ me, to see if I would still come even though I had human company and was having lunch! Of course I did got to him, and it took only brief minutes to assist him. The NEXT day, he was favouring a front foot, and it was hard to tell whether it was the hoof, the leg, the shoulder, cos there was no heat or palpable pain anywhere. So, I just asked him what it was that he was still afraid to walk forward freely into . . . I am yet to discover that, and may not, but he seems to be walking better today.
    I am so pleased to think that my other Rocco horse is working with us to help Digby as well. He is a special and generous horse. Thank you for all your lessons, support and encouragement. Jan

    • Jenny 05/25/2012, 9:05 am Reply

      You’re welcome 🙂

  85. Jan 05/16/2012, 11:13 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny, I have two questions . . . as I said, I never tie my horse up at all, rope is either draped over something to say ‘stay here please’ or ‘ground tied’ or he comes with me if I have to move somewhere. However, I have examined the two sides of solid tying as opposed to tying to baling twine, and those in favour of solid tying, say that if a horse breaks the twine when he pulls back, it just teaches him that he can pull back and get away each time he is tied and they just do it automatically within a short time of being tied. So, that is my first question, if you tie to baling twine and the horse breaks it by pulling back, how can you stop this becoming a habit just because ‘I don’t want to be tied cos I don’t want to stand here’ not necessarily fear or emergency.
    The other question is sort of unrelated, but related to EVERYthing! When I have been doing bodywork on my horse who has been so sick, I move my hands when he signals by chewing etc. but I have found that my OTHER horse who often stands nearby, licks, chews, yawns and in some cases I have taken that as the fact he is actually doing it FOR the horse I am working on. Is this my imagination?
    Also, I have asked that you ‘check in’ with my horse who has been sick to see where he is at currently, and to do it when convenient to you . . . I really thought you did it today because Digby was the most chilled out I have seen him all month. He was lying down, then flat out lying down, peaceful, with my other horse with him dozing, and the pony could hardly wait to finish his feed before he too hurried off down there to join them, lying down. This all happened for about an hour duration. I just felt as if we were all in a vacuum almost, that nothing else existed except us in Rocco’s Kingdom. Unfortunately later on in the afternoon he did have another pain attack.
    Regards, Jan

    • Jenny 05/22/2012, 12:46 pm Reply

      I know people in favour of solid tying up to somethng solid say that then they don’t learn to pull back – that’s what I was taught too. But I have seen many, many horses who were good at tying up, who have been physïcally damaged by the “one in a hundred” or “one in a thousand” pull back that was caused by something unusual. I have even seen it happen personally. In my opinion, tying them up to somethng solid is just not worth the risk. I teach the horse to tie up well, with understanding, so that they CAN be tied up solid – then I never tie them up to anything solid.
      If I had a horse who was pulling back and breaking the tie – I would thank God that they weren’t tied up to damage themselves.
      And if I had a naughty horse who broke the tie up just for fun – I would re-train him to tie up properly. And then I still wouldn’t tie him up to something solid.

    • Jenny 05/22/2012, 12:53 pm Reply

      I am doing the second question separately. Great noticing of your other horse processing while you are doing bodywork on your horse who was poisoned and was so incredibly sick, Jan. Well done! (Congratulations on such a great job of getting him better too – I am going to write an article about that soon!)
      I have been on the receiving end of healing energy from horses on many occasions and even more often I have watched horses deliberately working on their owners too. In fact I have seen horses do that kind of healing work on absolute strangers as well. I watched Bobby once deliberately working the acupuncture points on a very sore and sorry horse in a clinic once and watched the other horse’s muscles plump up as the blood started running into those muscles again. So it wouldn’t surprise me if that was what was happening when your other horse looked like he was processing while you were working on Digby. What a wonderful experience you had!

  86. Jan 05/15/2012, 8:59 pm Reply

    Feedback re the lesson of ‘melt’ . . . today I worked on two different lesson at the same time, one each for both my horses! Digby hates Rocco leaving, so I decided to take Rocco out and work on the roadside just where Digby could still see us but we came and went further and closer. That lesson went well. He was interested in where we were, but no panic. Rocco was a total STAR! I cannot believe the difference . . . it took three times for me to think ‘yep, he has really got this’ and it only took about twenty minutes. Even when he only took one step after I waited, I just dropped the rope and I don’t think he could believe his luck that this was all he had to do – start walking of his own accord and I would let him think about it and then praise him after the chew. Digby had to get in on the act, and went to stand at the gate to the outside, and said ‘I want to go out too’. HE thought it was all just about the grass! He was less enthusiastic about the ‘lesson’ and we had to work more on ‘my grass’ than anything else, but I am sure we will get there. All this from a horse who has been pretty ill for the last month, so baby steps for him. Thank you Jenny for another lesson that works!

    • Jenny 05/16/2012, 5:21 am Reply

      Thanks HEAPS for the questions and comments Jan! I know people are really busy – that IS after all, why I designed this course for with short sweet lessons for busy people – but I really appreciate you taking the time to come in and comment and to let me know how you are going! Great job by the way. It’s amazing isn’t it how somehting so simple can have such a huge result.

  87. Jan Dodds 05/12/2012, 7:58 pm Reply

    yep, it’s me again . . .how do you always know what my horses need Jenny??!!! Like you, I rarely tie my horses, if ever. one day, I did tie Rocco and wow, I never thought he would pull back as he did that day, cos he is a horse who well knows about giving to pressure, so it came as a real shock. I have never tied him since, nor attempted to. however, I am very interested to try this lesson because he is a horse who will walk a couple of steps and stop and needs to be asked again and again to walk on. I cannot remember ever just having a walk with him without a million stops. I have learned not to pull on his head, but use other ‘asks’ usually create energy from behind, but I cannot wait to try this one. Thanks for another great lesson. Jan

    • Jenny 05/12/2012, 9:57 pm Reply

      Maybe I know because it’s what so many horses need, Jan! I am glad that you enjoyed it and look forward to hearing how it goes.

  88. Jan 05/08/2012, 11:11 pm Reply

    I love this lesson 28 Jenny, the one about Abundance and the circular flow of it. How true that it comes in, but unless we allow it to go out and nourish others as it has done to us from having come in, how it can stagnate and be beneficial to no one. In spite of on going health issues with one of my horses, I practise being grateful every day, finding the positive, even in his unwellness . . . it is fast-tracking our relationship no end, and hopefully the work being done with him is healing him of his past, while it teaches me even more more patience. I like to think that what comes in to me, trickles out, no, hopefully gushes out, of my fingertips to benefit my friends, family and even strangers. Practising finding opportunities to praise people rather than finding fault brings such graciousness to life. Thank you Jenny for reminding us of this principle and for the quiet mind exercise.

  89. Jan 04/14/2012, 11:34 pm Reply

    P.S to the post below

    One thing I never have trouble with is at feed time . . . I can walk in the gate with three bowls of food and each horse will either go straight to his feeding place and wait for me there, or walk beside me at a respectful distance, so I guess I have got one thing right!

  90. Jan 04/14/2012, 11:32 pm Reply

    I have another statement, rather than a question, an ‘aha moment’ which I thought might be worth sharing, as well as for you to comment, Jenny, on whether my understanding of it is right. LEADERSHIP IS STILL AN O.K THING TO WORK ON! Continually working on the relationship with my horses, I had lost sight of the fact that leadership is an o.k. thing. Previously, I have always struggled with this anyway, saying YES to my horses far more than NO. I am sure my previous questions/statements should have given me an inkling of this, as well as your responses, but I kept thinking, I always have to say YES to my horse and when he says NO I must let him, even though I can ask again, I have to let him say no. But what the lessons have all been about really, is HOW we say ‘no’ and the refresher about ‘my grass’ turned on the lightbulb, that Simone was actually saying NO to Sirocco (that is one of my horse’s names too!). Allowing my younger (not Sirocco) horse to continually say NO in quite a petulant manner I might add, has created not joy, but angst. For both of us . . . not happy Jan! However, I think the messages must have been sinking in, because although I have felt badly about doing it (cos I thought I was not supposed to!) I have recently been taking more control over situations. I am just wondering if I will ever just be able to walk down the road with either of my horses on a loose lead walking nicely with me though . . . to keep using patterns to make his feet move, to now have to use the ‘my grass’ game which was never an issue previously til I tried using it as a reward for actually going out somewhere, to have to continually think ‘no, don’t pull’ even when he is flicking the rope round and round over his nose and when you turn back (cos he would prefer not to back away) because he will not go forward, and then he still will not go forward, tell me, why am I still trying to take my horse for a walk?? Sigh. The real question is, how long will I have to continue to do these things before Digby will happily walk with me? Silly question really, cos I suppose the answer is ‘when he thinks I am a fair and kind leader’. Yes?

    • Jenny 04/17/2012, 9:19 am Reply

      I hear that struggle Jan. And this is such a big topic (or at least a big answer and important one – may I address it at the live seminar this week?

      • Jan 04/21/2012, 12:02 am Reply

        Good idea . . . will be able to listen to the replay afterwards!

  91. Wendy Poore 04/09/2012, 8:18 am Reply

    Could you please discuss the best way to handle Marley’s fear of one end of the school? I have made some progress with using the comfort zones but am not sure I’m doing it right. I can tell when he starts to get a NQR – I can see the white of his eye and he tenses a little. We have clearly defined areas in the school, one end is ‘oh shit’ – one corner of the other is pretty comfort, the other corner – variable. I have no idea if this is truly fear or just naughty behaviour but it is consistent – I WONDER what it is about my school – every horse I take in there has the same problem with the far end of it [sigh]. I am afraid I’m going to teach him that he can run from the scary end to the comfort end.

    • Jenny 04/10/2012, 3:42 pm Reply

      Wendy we are going to cover this question in great detaill later in the course, but here’s a quickie… He is not being naughty I can just about promise you that. When you start to feel that he is Not Quite Right either circle away from that end of the school or back away from it, whichever is most convenient – basically you are retreating. You can retreat in two ways – you can ride patterns of approach and retreat until he develops a comfort zone on the pattern itself and then you can start expanding the pattern closer and closer to the scarey end of the arena. At some point in this way of dealing with it, you should be sat at a stop and waiting for The Chew.
      OR you can back away from it, still facing it, until he is in his comfort zone again and then sit there and wait for The Chew as long as it takes. While he was processing, I would do the breathing for a quiet mind exercise and see if you can gain any other insight into what is going on.
      Temple Grandin talks about how shadows and reflective surfaces can seriously upset cows moving forward. Now I know horses are more intelligent, but you could ride VERY slowly and look with Marley’s eyes for anything like that. The fact that many horses are afraid of it makes me think of this possibility.
      There WILL be a reason and he will know you care about his tension and upset when you retreat to help him figure it out. And this “problem” will increase your bond…

  92. Jan 03/18/2012, 7:09 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny,

    here I am again . . . another comment (yup, again!) rather than a question. The horse in this weeks lesson is very much like my Rocco whom I have been with for over four years now. A caretaker horse, who internalises his anxieties and tries so hard to look after me. From a horse who would not even step through a puddle, I have had him in the sea up to his mid barrel, from a horse who would not do plastic, I have had him dressed in a tarp, a great big colourful parachute, had a bubble machine churning out bubbles with an associated noise, and now, he just looks at me and says ‘what on earth have you got now’!! So, my point is, the longer you have one of these horses, the more confident about ‘funny stuff’ that they acquire. Then when you get another horse, with different personality traits, you have to begin all over again, cos different things give them problems and create different behaviours. So, all in all, it is not about the ‘things’, nor really entirely the way we deal with them (though of course that is important) but in the relationship they develop with you. And I know that is what you are all about Jenny, creating the relationship. Then once they know they can count on your kindness, with their best interest at heart, even if you make a ‘mistake’ it is possible to come up with all sorts of imaginative things for them to be comfortable with.
    Jan

    • Jenny 03/19/2012, 7:00 am Reply

      Yes to all of that Jan, well said. The key words in what you said are about benefiting the horse. We work with the comfort zone here – that’s the basis for everything that we do and has a serious emotional benefit to the horse and ourselves too for that matter. Desensitisation has just a slightly different feel to it from our end, but I believe it is not as beneficial to our horse. It implies that it is being done TO them rather than FOR them, like the cmfort zone work is.
      And the outcome can be quite different too. Desensitisation can and most often does produce a horse who just puts up with something. Comfort zone work produces a horse who is humming with happiness or like Dana in the lesson video – excited instead of scared. Hmmm… I feel a blog subject coming on…

  93. Jan Dodds 03/02/2012, 10:07 pm Reply

    Oh yes, I do have a question regarding the last lesson, about leading with a halter. I have a straight line between me and my horse, but one of them always balks at coming. It is like his feet are stuck. He is my sensitive, in tune horse, and he certainly knows what it is that I want. I usually tell him in words what I am going to do and where we are going and why I am wanting him to move, so he has plenty of idea of what I am wanting. Sometimes I just stand there and wait, looking directly ahead, other times, I take the end of the lead rope and create some energy behind, sometimes I tap him with my fingers behind his front leg on his girth area, but really and truly, I would prefer not to have to go throu this rigamarole every time. I would much prefer it if he just came when I asked, because it is never for anything terrible! I am always happy for him to express his opinion, but EVERY TIME! Please! Any ideas or suggestions please?
    Thanks, Jan

    • Jenny 03/03/2012, 7:15 am Reply

      Another great question Jan – thanks! First of all, you have to check that there is no fear or confusion, because adding pressure to fear or confusion completely throws leadership away. I am saying that Jan, for others who are reading my answer because I get that your horse is not afraid, but I would like to check that your physical ask has no confusion in it. Was there a soft but straight line in the rope as you asked him to go forwards? That’s what gives the clarity of what you are asking. Were all your “eyes” looking where you wanted to go? i.e ,I am smiling here – you might not know this yet, because it’s in an upcoming lesson, but you have eyes on the front of your shoulders, in your belly button, on the front of your hips, on your knees and on the front of your toes – were ALL those eyes looking where you wanted him to go? This little explanation is about focus and physical clarity of what you want. Sometimes you can block a sensitive horse with your eyes.
      Once there is no fear OR confusion, it is about the balance of yin and yang like I wrote about in Lesson 6. For example, if there is a big resistance from stuff that has happened in the past, then your actions may have to be as strong in gentleness and waiting as the resistance is big. Does that make sense?
      The fact that it is happening EVERY TIME! as you emphasise, says that something needs to change, which is the whole point of your question! (Smiling to myself at my duh! moment there, but I AM writing this answer for more people than you to read). Once you are sure that you have physical clarity in your ask, then you can explore getting bigger and saying this is not OK or you can explore getting even gentler and waiting even longer, going into a quiet mind and allowing the answer to drift up from your subconcious.
      Let us know how you go!
      p.s. I just had another thought. Is he coming with you at liberty? That might be another way to change it… Going back to the Mirror Game and the advanced mirror game until he is coming with you at liberty before you put the halter on.

  94. Jan Dodds 03/02/2012, 10:01 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny, I am full of comments, though I am sure I should be asking more questions! I want to tell you about how I dealt with my pushy and barging standardbred when I first got him. I LOVE giving treats and make it part of my routine, because I think that horses really like routine and knowing what is going to happen next. Well, I do too! Anyway, all I had to do was push my hand back under his chin, making him back up to get the treat, and if he still barged forward again, I would ask him to back up before he got a treat. He soon got the message that if he wanted a treat, he did not move his feet. To the degree that if I wanted him to come with me, to walk over to my other horse when I had the treat bag, he found it difficult to come! Then I had to sort that one out, come when I beckon you, stop when I say wait, keep your feet still for a treat! Now I can take a plate of apples out and have all three of them standing round me, saying one for you, one for you, one for you! As you said, it is ll aout boundaries.

    • Jenny 03/03/2012, 6:47 am Reply

      I love the creativity of that Jan!

  95. Jan Dodds 02/24/2012, 8:54 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny, this is more of a comment than a question, but I thought you would be interested to hear about it anyway. I have come to the conclusion that the Not Quite Right feeling can be used in every avenue of life, not just with our horses. I was becoming increasingly confused and confronted by the way things were going in a horse forum I belong to. So, feeling not quite right, I emailed the moderator and explained, as far as I was able, why I felt ill at ease, and that I had been learning about using Not Quite Right, and I had decided that first, I must speak to her, secondly, I may have to leave the forum. Discussion with her was sufficient for the feeling to go away, and for me to just ‘be quiet’ for a while on the forum. Turns out someone else had been feeling the same way as me, and when we were in touch, she suggested I begin a new Post, talking about what I was learning with you, because it sounded interesting! Howzat?! Jan

    • Jenny 02/25/2012, 9:36 pm Reply

      Had a chuckle there Jan – you are right! I have been living my life figuring what I had to know or do about a Not Quite Right for a long time – well done!

  96. Kathy Cavanah 02/24/2012, 12:28 pm Reply

    Hello Jenny,

    I have a question about “The Chew.” When you say to wait for The Chew no matter how long it takes, do you really mean no matter how long it takes? I trail ride with some other folks and when I ask Elmo to do something on the trail and then wait for The Chew, we might all be growing old before I get it and we can move on. (I know that is a “What if?” question, and it may never happen, but I want to be prepared.) I guess if people want to ride with me they, too, will have to wait for The Chew.

    • Jenny 02/25/2012, 9:58 pm Reply

      What a great question! My answer is that there is no absolute right answer. Don’t you hate that?! I like to ride with like minded people or at least patient ones – so that I CAN treat my horse the way I want to. I think that when I am “training” (or being trained myself by my horse) then waiting for The Chew when my horse was frightened or anxious or confused is important. For example meeting a boogey man white rock or a bridge out trail riding REALLY is worth the approach and retreat and sit and wait for the chew if my horse was anxious.

      There’s a story in Bobby’s Diaries about a drain under the road that transformed the way I rode out from then onwards. I have done it both ways – ridden on because of the pressure that I put on myself – and stopped, backed off and waited for my horse to chew. And I remember which one gave me the fun ride! No prizes for guessing which…

      And as for the time I rode on without stopping, backing off and waiting for The Chew, the next time I took that horse out (someone else’s horse at their place ) I DID stop and wait and I gave the horse the gift of not being afraid of that bridge forever. It felt good…

      Here’s another answer – you can have the HORSE in the Not Too Sure ZOne – visibly, but have the PERSON solidly in their comfort zone and helping the horse, supporting the horse to feel good and occasionally you can get a chew WHILE you are doing that. It is my observation though that takes quite an established and great relationship for that to be really OK. And the person has to be seriously in the comfort zone…

      One clinic I did with Bobby, I spent most of two days of clinic waiting for a chew. Very small bits of work and most of the clinic waiitng for him to process. Hmmm a lot of money for what turned out to be auditing! But it paid off. Bobby and I had a lot of very old and very not pretty history of pushing him in clinics way beyond his comfort zone – way into confusion and way into his oh shit zone and shutting him down more and more.

      So he had a lot to let go of.
      And it was worth it.

      As I said, no absolute right or wrong answer for that question – just a lot of choices…

  97. Joyce Reed 02/22/2012, 1:10 am Reply

    One more comment. We did one last meditation and I had the impression of roundness and warmth in my head. It was like a vessel to collect “things” in.

  98. Joyce Reed 02/22/2012, 1:04 am Reply

    When we were doing the meditation during the live seminar, I thought “I want to work on getting connected with my horses”. As soon as I thought it I had a feeling of sadness and my breathing suddenly got quite rapid. It took conscious effort to slow it down.

    I sent Jenny an email about what happened. She arranged my private for yesterday. I decided to go out to see the Boys see what happened before I talked with her. When I got to where I could see them, I got this pressure in the center of my chest. I had to go 100′ back before the feeling subsided.

    I went back and when I could see them, the youngest moved toward me and the feeling came back. So I walked away quite a distance and finally sat down and waited. It lessened ( didn’t use the questions 🙁 ). So I walked up to him. He came part of the way. Did the handshake. After a few minutes he walked off. While I was with them, Wave walked directly toward me twice more, but each time he veered off when he got to about 10′ from me.

    I shared the additional information with Jenny. We worked on the meditation and what I found is, I don’t see visions or hear comments. Right now it is only feelings. Perhaps that is only what they can share with me right now.

    The oldest has been arriving at mealtimes with more “playful or aggressive” behavior. It maybe neither, but him trying to get my attention to tell me something. At this time I don’t have a clue, but I will work on making a connection.

    Thank you Jenny for waiting.

  99. Marja van Run 02/19/2012, 11:17 pm Reply

    Another question for the webinar Jenny (or is it too late for that?):
    I would like to know what you think about using food rewards in training horses, and if so, in what way and could you share some thoughts about the how and why?

    Thanks, Marja

    • Jenny 02/21/2012, 7:46 am Reply

      Not too late Marja and a great question – thanks! I’ll answer it on the webinar.

  100. Holly Vanasse 02/19/2012, 2:51 am Reply

    Hi Jenny,
    I am loving the class so far and have already learned a ton. I have a couple of questions related to The Chew that I was hoping you might spend some time on during the seminar…

    When we are waiting for The Chew after a request, what if the horse changes the subject in some way by walking off, looking for grass to eat, or just in general looking for something else to do, like they are bored?

    Also, what is your viewpoint (and Bobby’s) on yawning and head shaking when they accompany The Chew?

    In regards to Key #7, the bonus key—are we supposed to wait for a Chew after every single request we make, even for things the horse knows? For example, Gunny is very good about having his feet handled, very comfortable and very willing. So is it all right to work on his feet and then when I am done to wait for a Chew or should I be waiting in between each foot?

    Thanks so much for everything!
    Holly

    • Jenny 02/21/2012, 7:48 am Reply

      I am glad about that Holly and we are only a few weeks in! These are excellent questions and the webinar is a great place to answer them . It’s ging to be a great call!

  101. Marja van Run 02/18/2012, 12:03 am Reply

    Hi Jenny,

    Is this the right place to post questions for the upcoming webinar?
    I would like to know if you use a specific approach for horses that tend to balk? My mare Kría tends to balk at the start of a trailride or in-hand walk. I think this has to do with not wanting to leave her herd, because – like a kind of ‘sheepdog’ – she wants to be sure the herd’s okay (b.t.w. she’s not the herd leader, but I believe she has this concern anyway).
    Perhaps you’d want to share your view on this?

    • Jenny 02/18/2012, 5:49 am Reply

      I guess that it’s as good a place as any! Thanks for a great question Marja, leaving the herd is the subject of one of the lessons coming up, but I am happy to talk a bit about it on Monday.

      • Marja van Run 02/18/2012, 9:29 pm Reply

        Unfortunately I won’t be able to attend the first webinar ‘live’, because we’ll have guests for my husband’s birthday, but I’ll be happy to listen to the recording afterwards :-).

        • Jenny 02/21/2012, 7:49 am Reply

          🙁 for missing it, 🙂 for your husbands birthday. Happy birthday husband of Marja! The replay is usually up quite quickly.

  102. Jan Dodds 02/13/2012, 4:59 pm Reply

    Dear Jenny, I am so please with this lesson about balance. Contrary to a lot of relationships within the horse world, with my horses, it has always been ‘for the horse’ first and foremost, to the degree that it HAS been unbalanced and I have had feelings of upsetness at times if my horse has not complied with a very reasonable request, delivered in a very nice way, and he has said ‘nup’ do not want to, or walked away. Spending time on a particular website which advocates that the horse should always have a choice added to my confusion too. If my horse says, no, well, then no it must be . . . but hey, what about me? So, it became difficult because I felt guilty when I asked and then added some pressure (knowing there was neither ar nor pain for the horse) to get the result I had asked for. Then, if I did not follow through to get a result, I felt disappointed and upset that my horse would not ‘want’ to do that for me when they all have such a free and good life. So, seeing. your lesson about balance, I need to get creative to find some balance for me. Hopefully when that occurs, I will not be surprised, just pleased when my horse says ‘ok, I will do that for you’!
    I do not think of myself as a door mat type of person, a push over for the horses to walk all over me, and I am definitelynot a bossy type either, so I feel. bit confused as to why this has happened in my relationship with the horses, but one in particular. Strangely, this does not happen with other peoples’ creatures, who are usually drawn to me but are inclined to do as I ask.

    • Jenny 02/16/2012, 6:10 am Reply

      Well Jan you nailed a problem that many people have – one horse that stands up and does it differently. That horse for me is Bobby – and look how THAT turned out!. So I wonder what your guy’s reason is? Have fun working it out – the breathing for a quiet mind will serve you well on this issue I think.
      Let me know how you go figuring it out. Go girl!

  103. Kathy Cavanah 02/05/2012, 1:08 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny,

    This is a question about, “My Grass.” I’m guessing that the amount of time my horse gets to eat before I call for “My Grass” is equal to the amount of time I have. Any input on that? Also, when we are going to the next grassy area, my horse seriously wants to put his head down NOW. I say, “Na na na” in a disapproving tone and he keeps his head up. That was not part of the information in the video and I wonder if I should stop that, let him put his head down (at one spot in the video you said you would have let the rope slide through your hand) and start again with saying, “My Grass.”

    I have done a method just a little bit different in that when I call for “My Grass” I also stand up tall and if his head doesn’t pop up, I pop him on the rump with a flimsy reed. That gets his head up quickly. However, I like what I see in your video.

    Thank you for the class.

    Kathy

    • Jenny 02/07/2012, 2:13 pm Reply

      Hi Kathy, thanks for your great question. The amount of time I would allow my horse to graze in the My Grass game, would probably be most governed by what my intention was today.
      Is my intention to take him out and spend some quality non demanding time on the end of the lead with me? In that case I would allow him to eat for quite a while before we moved onto the next “My Grass!” request.
      If he was actually hungry for green grass for example, I might allow more time between saying “my grass!” again, so as to take away the anxiety that can be caused by the hunger itself.
      If my intention was just to work on the “problem” and take the opportunity to make that a deeper bond and create a habit of him wanting to do what I wanted him to do, then sometimes it would just be a few mouthfuls, sometimes a bit longer.
      As you can see – there are no rules!
      And work off your feeling that something is Not Quite Right to either extend the time or shorten it. Your instincts WILL be on the ball!
      Yes I too have experienced that “give me that grass now! “ attitude. I have no problem at all with your saying no and expecting him to respond to that. After all “my grass” is just words – with the same meaning as “no”, it’s just that “my grass” has a bit of a sense of fun about it that gets the same job done but without the stern-ness that can come in sometimes when I personally say “no”.
      I prefer to work off the feel on the rope more often than just words, simply because if I am not paying close attention, I want him to come off the feel of the rope softly when he gets to where I am holding it. Then I will get to the place where my horse will ask softly about eating that nice patch of grass instead of reefing the rope out of my hand.
      And, although I will let the rope slide through my hand if he DOESN’T stop softly, I am holding fairly firmly for the slide – it does offer resistance. I allow the rope to slide because I don’t want him learning to brace on the rope and if he has already learned to brace on the rope, then allowing it to slide, stroking the rope quite firmly, with those rotations that I showed on the video, to get his head back up , saying Thanks! when he brings his head up AND waiting for The Chew – all of this can re-program that bracing.
      Have I explained that well enough?
      Your other method of popping him on the butt with something as soft as a reed if he doesn’t lift his head up is also a valid method – full marks for creativity! Remember your creative motivation afterwards though and take him to a new patch of grass…

      • Kathy Cavanah 02/09/2012, 3:46 pm Reply

        Hi Jenny,

        Thank you for the complement about my creativity. However, I learned that method from Carolyn Resnick and I cannot take the credit.

        I have been waiting for “The Chew” and we are reaping the rewards already. I, my self, am slowing down. I tend to want to get things done quickly, and now I am learning to pause. I’m feeling calm and relaxed most of the time. And, my horse is enjoying the pause he gets while I wait for “The Chew.” For what ever reason, he is chewing more than ever. He had his feet trimmed this evening and he chewed the entire time, with several yawns thrown in. “What does it mean?” (Double Rainbow Guy)

        • Jenny 02/10/2012, 3:04 pm Reply

          It’s a bit hard to tell all the way from here…What were you thinking at the time? But BIG, releasing kinds of yawns usually mean they are letting go of some sort of old stuff. And most horses have lots of old stuff about feet to let go of! I like Carolyn resnicks work too – the horses look very happy.

  104. Karen 01/31/2012, 12:36 pm Reply

    Hello Jenny,

    What a great way to start with revisiting the 6 keys to happiness and l love that it was followed by breathing exercises for a quiet mind, your way of getting to that quiet mind is working for me already, it’s something l can take with me and practice in all sorts of situations – not just with horses. I was a little concerned when l committed to this course that l may have been overwhelmed by content, so it is of great relief to me that the lessons are short. Looking forward to what comes next, thanks.

  105. Lisa Hill 01/30/2012, 1:56 pm Reply

    Dear Jenny, could I get the six keys to happiness with your horse resended to me. I don’t know what happened to them. Thanks Lisa Hill

    • Jenny 01/30/2012, 9:04 pm Reply

      Hey Lisa – I just went to put you in to receive them and it says you have already subscribed to the gift lessons with that email address. Check your junk mail box or use a different email address. We will want to solve this to make sure that you receiver your other lessons From Your Horse’s Heart OK!
      Come back to me and let me know that you found them or if you need me to take any other action. Also let me know that you received your first two From Your Horse’s heart lessons OK – they have both gone out to that email address.

  106. Joyce Reed 01/24/2012, 10:15 pm Reply

    I have done the touching my horse’s body twice. From the oldest, I get a determined effort on his part to BITE me when I stroke his neck or chest. I did get my cs and rubbed him all over and he appeared to tolerate it. But I want to be able to touch him without this, to me, extreme response. I also get a feeling of wanting to cry when I am in their presence. At first it was with the younger one, but today the feeling was bigger when I was with the older one. I don’t know what to do with all of this. I don’t believe it is coming from me. Any thoughts?

    • Jenny 01/26/2012, 7:13 pm Reply

      Touching your horse’s body all over is one of the audio lessons in Zen Connection.

      I suspect that your horse’s extreme reaction is exactly BECAUSE he / they are trying to communicate with you with the feelings that you are experiencing. Horses communicate with feelings quite vividly.

      This is a case of first things needing to come first.

      I have no idea what they are trying to tell you, but it wants figuring out BEFORE you move on to doing anything else.

      It’s pretty hard to pay attention to a feeling that something is Not Quite Right about the touching when you are already experiencing the sad feeling. It’s like the sad feeling gets in the way of you feeling anything else – does that make sense? So you have to figure out what they are trying to tell you with the sadness first.

      My advice is to sit in the paddock or field or barn, wherever they live and do the connection exercise in The First Key to Happiness with Your Horse, letting your mind go quiet – and do nothing else – until you have figured the sadness out and it has gone away – no matter how long that takes. You might think that sounds crazy – but that kind of commitment will usually bring a result pretty quick.

      And I see that you’ve bought the on line lesson program From Your Horse’s Heart – the second and third lessons address the sadness issue perfectly – giving you some extra tools for a quiet mind to get those answers direct from your horse. I was going to send you the lessons early, but giving them to you out of order will muck them up for you I think!

      Let me know how you go – being affected by your horse’s emotions is a big deal for you and lots of other people too I believe. So thanks for coming in and asking me such a great question!

  107. Joanna Blake 12/15/2011, 9:05 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny, I have just finished listening/watching your 6 keys plus bonuses. Thank you so much for this gift. I have been with my young Arab mare for 3 years and she has a huge self-preservation/oh shit button triggered by pretty much anything but through stopping when she freezes, massaging her neck and speaking gently to her she is slowly becoming braver, and looks to me for that reassurance. It is so refreshing to find you, a trainer who isn’t suggesting that people force horses through their fear. Thank you again and i shall spread the word!

  108. Wendy Vellere 12/10/2011, 12:27 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny
    Just finished reading your second happiness tip and it remined me of a lovely palomino pony I rescued. She was frightned of any human contact and catching her to take her home was a nighmare. She joined my other 3 horses where she formed a strong bond with one of the mares. I left her alone for a few weeks just visiting and chatting to her on occassions. I knew I would have to catch her eventuallt as her feet were not in good condition. So I would take a halter and walk slowly with a smile towards her until I could see she was just about to leave and I would turn around and leave first. over the next week you could see she was confused by this behaviour and she gradually let me come closer and closer. Using this idea and allowing her time we are now best friends. I have no trouble catching her but I don’t need to as she will stand and let me do her feet etc at liberty. I love this way of working and look forwards to hearing more.
    Wendy

  109. Tammy Nicholas 12/10/2011, 7:30 am Reply

    Hiya Jen
    just wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU for the wonderful gift of the 6 keys to happiness with your horse. They are a brilliant reminder for me of all the things I forget to do, after reading Zen connection and Bobby’s diaries I was so inspired and Dana and I achieved wonderful things. But life takes over and I slip back into silly habits, the 6 keys have prompted me in a wonderful way to once again ‘stop and listen’ and now Dana can relax a little, knowing that I am listening again.
    You are AWESOME…thank you from Dana and I.

    • Jenny 12/10/2011, 10:53 am Reply

      You and your awesome horse are welcome!

  110. Simone Dalton 12/09/2011, 8:35 pm Reply

    Hi Jenny
    Congratulations on your gift – some great tips and it was lovely to see Sirocco and I in “my grass” it certainly has helped us to improve in this area and I can only encourage others to embrace these ideas to find your joy and listen to your gut instinct it will guide you on the right path!

    • Jenny 12/10/2011, 11:04 am Reply

      Thanks Simone – you and Sirocco did a WONDERFUL job of demonstrating creative motivation. Thanks for your generosity in sharing that lesson with the horse world in these free lessons. I didn’t get the opportunity in 3 minutes plus to share with everyone about how incredibly special a horse young Sirocco is. You are both a shining example of what a green horse and a green rider can be together. It was so good to watch you solve this problem and deepen an already very deep bond by handling it in such a positive way. Well done you!

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