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Are past experiences or stress keeping your horse from building a relationship with you?

Helping your horse thrive is as much about emotional wellbeing as it is about physical wellbeing. When horses experience stress or expect a stressfull experience because of traumatic past experiences, it can cause them to want to avoid the situation or even to avoid humans all together. 

What is traumatic for the horse might not always seem like a big deal to us but it defintely affects them. Something  as simple as being suddenly separated from their herd can cause them anxiety which can later get worse and affect their training and behaviour, and prevent them from truly connecting with you. 

Signs that your horse is stressed can look like:

  • Your horse not wanting to cooperant when you cue a behaviour

  • Becoming increasingly anxious and starting to rear, spook or run away

  • Shutting down and not having any reaction to you

  • Your horse displaying defensive behaviour such as kicking or biting

  • Or more subtle behavioural signs such as repeated licking and chewing, head lowering or yawning

When your horse is stressed it doesn't only limit your relationship, but it also affects your horse's physical health

Mental and physical health also often overlap. If your horse is stressed and unwilling to participate you'll have a hard time getting a vet check done, hooves trimmed, or even getting your horse dewormed. The essential oil vet, Dr Janet Roark, describes that stress can actually directly compromise your horse's health by compromising the immune system. She states that stress can lead to behavioural problems, digestive problems, weight loss, autoimmune diseases, tying up etc.

I understand how it feels when you're not your horse's favourite person, but you want to be

I've been there where my horse didn't want to train and ran away, becoming difficult to catch whenever I entered the paddock. Where past experiences caused my horse to avoid most situations and getting the vet out ended up in having to use force and restriction to get the job done, and then my horse avoided me the next couple of weeks which left me feeling like the trust I worked so hard on building was destroyed. Or where my horse's hooves broke and looked terrible because she didn't want to cooperate for trimming. 

You can build trust with your horse & overcome stress by creating multiple positive experiences


Trust is how you build that beautiful bond with your horse that you dream of, but it's not achieved through being the leader, chasing the horse around, or by the use of pressure or a whip. It's achieved by incorporating the pillars of trust into your interaction and training with your horse.


The pillars of trust are:

  1. Consistency & Predictability

  2. Two-way Communication

  3. Safety & Positive outcomes

This is what I teach at TrulyTrust while also incorporating the V.I.B.R.A.N.T rehabilitation approach, in order to identify factors outside of training that may be contributing to the behaviors and lack of interaction you see.

Build the relationship with your horse that you want while improving his/her health & wellbeing

•Reduce stress  •Make training fun   •Give more choice & freedom

Step  Enhance your knowledge about your horse 

At TrulyTrust Equine I believe that training starts outside the arena, it starts with knowledge. Before training the horse we need to understand how the horse communicates, how he thinks, how he learns. In order to train successfully we need to expand our knowledge about our horse first, building the trainer "toolbox" so that we are prepared for the arena

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The emotions webinar

Start learning a little more about your horse's way of thinking, learning and behaviour.Learn about the emotions horses can experience, and how emotions relate to training and behaviour "problems"

The horsemanship ebook

Improve your horsemanship and build a relationship with your horse by enhancing your knowledge through this ebook.

Learn about emotions, learning theory, myths in the equestrian world, and much more


Introduction to equine behaviour short course

Learn to read your horse's facial expressions and start identifying whether your horse experiences stress and frustration

  • FREE to Equine Academy members

Overcoming Behavioural Challenges course

Identify the WHY behind anxious & aggressive behaviour and learn how to overcome it. Learn about the impact of lifestyle, the effect of past experiences, and much more.

•This course is KPA accredited

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Step 2  Gain the necessary skills & knowledge to train your horse

The next step is to learn more about training and how you can positively interact and train your horse. It's important to understand what you need to do and what your part to play is. The more you know about training and how to implement it, the faster your results will be, and the smoother the training. 

The Hoof Handling Masterclass

Learn why many horses don't want to cooperate during hoof care and trimming, and understand the impact different types of training will have on your horse. Further you can explore the demonstration videos included, and learn simple R+ techniques you can  start implementing to improve cooperation

R+ Training with me personally

I offer in person training services and coaching opportunities in the Bloemfontein area. I will work personally with your horse and then with you as well to ensure you gain the skills to train your horse yourself.

I can help with handling, trust building and cooperative care behaviours.

Get started with behaviour

What Clients Say

"I bought the digital book, in the Horseowners guide to positive horsemanship and found it very insightful. A different perspective and approach on how we should be working with our horses. There were some great references to research on which the book was based and the inner workings of different horses and how to identity certain characteristics were explained really nicely. I learnt a lot!!!"

Elaine LB
South Africa

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