• Emily's Opinions

    Self Loading : Part 2 – Applying the Method

    SO, you’ve successfully taught your horse the “in” command! If you haven’t, go back to this post and do that first! Once your horse is a self stalling or self pasturing master, you’re ready to move on. Before trying to even ask your horse to load, you need to make sure your horse is comfortable with the trailer. West used to see the trailer pull up and he’d clam. He was already anticipating World War 3. Before we ever started trying to load him, we got him comfortable with the presence of the trailer. This process can be different for every horse, but for West it was just hanging out.…

  • Emily's Opinions

    Self Loading : Part 1- Teaching “In”

    * I am not a professional horse trainer, but I did teach this myself and want to share in hopes of helping others struggling with the same issues! * Is trailering a nightmare? Does it take you more than two minutes to get your horse on the trailer? Do you have to use drugs and force? If so, this post is for you! Believe me, I’ve been there. No amount of sedative, chains, whips, ropes around the bum, nothing could get West into a trailer. Even more, once he was inside, he was a monster. With the methods I’m about to share with you, I can now point at my…

  • Emily's Opinions

    145th Kentucky Derby – Immediate Thoughts

    I try not to cuss. At least not in front of strangers …. but WHAT THE F*&#?! I like most, watched the race live on television, as well as all post race coverage. I don’t follow racing closely, but I know enough. If you didn’t watch … here’s the long story short. Maximum Security is leading the race, when around the last turn he swings out a lane or two. He came dangerously close to seriously interfering with another horse ( War of Will ) before his jockey pulled him back into his lane. All is good, no horses affected, no one got hurt – the race goes on. Maximum…

  • Emily's Opinions

    R+ .. just a fad?

    If you’re big into the horse or dog world (or both, like me) I’m sure you’ve heard of something called “R+” or “positive reinforcement” by now. Why isn’t it called +R? Weird. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I have an opinion on this – a strong one. Let me start off by explaining to you what R+ is. Long story short, positive reinforcement means just that. Positive only. No punishment, only redirection. R+ trainers “ignore bad behavior, reward good behavior.” These trainers do not believe in any kind of negativity. No yelling, no harsh tone, no pops to the nose or rump, no form…

  • Emily's Opinions

    Whisker clipping … is it really a big deal?

    I’ve seen a lot of chatter lately about whiskers. To cut or not to cut …. that is the question. Before I dive in to my personal opinion .. it’s best that I give you a look at what your horse’s whiskers actually are and what they do. Whiskers are a specialized type of hair found around the muzzle of most mammals. Dogs, cats, horses, cows, rabbits, the list goes on. Whiskers are longer and thicker than body hairs. Their significance? They send important messages to the brain about the animal’s surroundings. Each individual whisker is sensitive to the touch, and when stimulated – sends a message to the brain.…