Too young to back? Why a two year old needs to be left to mature

Enthusiasm and a desire to develop a strong bond with your horse can nudge you to embark on the process of backing your youngster without fully understanding the potential risks involved. Backing obviously has to happen at some point in the development of a riding horse, and it requires careful consideration and expertise. Below IContinue reading “Too young to back? Why a two year old needs to be left to mature”

How do I become a registered equine behaviourist?

The pathway to becoming an equine behaviourist in the UK requires you to: In the UK the primary equine behaviourist role at present is clinical equine behaviourist where you would be registered by the Animal Behaviour and Training Council (ABTC) as an ABTC-CAB (Clinical Animal Behaviourist), specialising in equines. What is the Animal Behaviour andContinue reading “How do I become a registered equine behaviourist?”

The Good Life

Social licence to operate.  Everyone’s talking about it.  Public approval to do the horse sports.  What is the public approving exactly?  Being nice to horses?  Recognising their sentience? Acknowledging their animal rights? What are their rights? How do people understand “sentience”? What difference does it make if an animal is sentient or not?  Emotions –Continue reading “The Good Life”

What’s in it for the horse?

All those equestrian activities that are currently the subject of social licence conversations, how can we even begin to know our horse’s side of the story? Or that of the partnership between horse and rider? As an equine behaviour and welfare consultant, I’m observing horses all the time, working out how they’re coping with whatContinue reading “What’s in it for the horse?”

Brand New Equine Training Instructor Diploma Course Has Started!

The NAC Equine Training Instructor Diploma course is OPEN!! (now do the Strictly “votes are open” dance) and we’ve had two brilliant introduction Zoom calls today (two, to take account of all the different time zones). Look away now if you don’t want to see an education provider gush about their own course. Our studentsContinue reading “Brand New Equine Training Instructor Diploma Course Has Started!”

Human-animal relationships in south-east Turkey, a behaviourist’s personal perspective

There has been a more widespread move towards keeping dogs as pets over the last ten years in some areas, interesting sociologically and behaviourally. Two signs of (relatively) greater affluence in a locality are more estate agents and the emergence of pet shops. The introduction of trap-neuter-return (TNR) policies, animal welfare legislation and municipally-funded animalContinue reading “Human-animal relationships in south-east Turkey, a behaviourist’s personal perspective”

Born Feral?

Our new paper discusses how the term “feral” is constructed and understood. Link to open access article below. Abstract This paper examines the use of the term “feral” as a form of control over other animals. The concept of this “power word” is explored within the context of what it means for those who findContinue reading “Born Feral?”

The right Behaviourist for the job

Already this morning I’ve taken six enquiries for help with dog behaviour, really desperate people, wits’ end, it’s all gone wrong for them with their beloved family member, they’re distressed, their lives are in turmoil. What will they do if they can’t live with their dog?? All of them have seen at least one “behaviourist”,Continue reading “The right Behaviourist for the job”

What is a differential diagnosis in equine behaviour cases?

In clinical behaviour the practitioner carries out a differential diagnosis to look at the possible explanations for the unwanted behaviour. When clinicians ask owners a long list of questions, they are narrowing down the list of possible explanations. These help them to identify the differential diagnoses, confirm the diagnosis and develop a relevant and effectiveContinue reading “What is a differential diagnosis in equine behaviour cases?”

What’s Changed Your Life?

My first equine behaviour course was the Equine Behaviour Qualification at the Natural Animal Centre (NAC), run by the amazing Heather and Ross Simpson, ahead of their time by about 20 years or more; I’m still seeing “new” ideas about behaviour and training now, that they taught on their courses in 2004 and earlier. ThatContinue reading “What’s Changed Your Life?”