The Way Horses Feel: 1. Living the Good Life – The SEEKING System

Ever wondered how your horse’s emotions affect your training? In this video, Rachel explains what makes horses curious, enthusiastic and happy to learn. This is the first in a series of 7 in which Rachel will explore the full range of your horse’s core emotions. Find out how a great emotional connection is the key to your training success.

You can watch all the videos in this series here:
1. SEEKING

2. CARE
3. PLAY
4. FEAR
5. PANIC
6. RAGE
7. LUST

8. CONCLUSION

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16 comments

  1. suefletcher

    Love this video and Rachel I could listen to your soothing voice all day. This video is extremely informative and I’m excited to see what the next one brings.

  2. Chris

    This is so good, Rachel! I especially love the advice to let your horse explore when you’re out, don’t try to keep him in a “frame”. And the pig/horse interactions are priceless! Looking forward to the next one.

  3. Thank you for all your lovely comments. I’m really enjoying making these videos as it brings together all our philosophies about horse keeping and training. Loving pulling some old clips,like “horse meets pig” from the archives, too!

  4. joyful

    It has me thinking can I do better ? I do serve 2 to 3 large meals in one place for each horse in separate stalls. I have sand here, so we don’t feed on the ground. This is a good project for us to brainstorm different enrichments we can come up with to give our horses a richer more stimulating and satisfying life.

  5. Simone

    I have not watched the video yet, but reading the comments made me think of the experience I had the other day! I let Wally go where he wanted to go when we left the barn as he keeps wanting to go in the other direction than I want to go. And he went straight to the house down the road where the one mare lives that often comes on rides with us 🙂 I am pretty sure he wanted to tell me that he would rather go with her than by himself!!

  6. Simone

    Now I watched it and loved it! Makes so much sense! A while ago without knowing this I started to let Wally sniff poo on our rides and now I finally have an argument of why that makes sense when usually people just argue that my horse is misbehaved and I let him do whatever he wants and that sniffing poo is not something a well behaved (aka robot) horse does…..Thank you.

  7. Sher Schwartz

    Very much enjoyed and appreciated Rachel’s first video on Seeking. Gives me a lot to think about, and I like trying to see the connection between our target training and seeking. Also, I like the idea of putting little treats throughout my donkeys’ paddock where they can browse and find the little treats. I already have about 9 small feeding platforms and I sometimes put hay on each platform and sometimes I don’t so they have to walk around and around to see where the food might be. Also, I have two types of hay, and one type is more coveted by the donkeys, so I surprise them by which platform I will put a small amount of this hay!

    Looking forward to each video in the series — thanks so much — Sher in Oregon

  8. Wow! I am so glad that I discovered these videos and your site. So many horse training methods are mostly pressure based or can be reward based. But few have gotten out of the Skinner box. Are you planning any courses in the US? Just for laughs, here is a video of my Icelandic horse Blessi on his first Easter Carrot hunt. After we did this, he seemed to be in such a blissful mode for the rest of my visit. https://youtu.be/YGXfP9pV7Mg
    And here is an “experiment” in which Blessi learned to pull a rope by observing me (no deliberate shaping other than lots of positive body language and laughs)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izSs2buI_MM

  9. Chris

    Love the carrot hunt idea! And the “Skinner box” video, that’s great! Thanks for posting these, Pamela!

  10. Pamela Nolf

    My horse Blessi and I just passed our certification for being a therapy pet via Pet Partners. Interesting follow up from the Easter Carrot Hunt video posted above. One of the few points Blessi lost in this stringent test (he had to do everything a dog would have to do except for the laydown stay activity), was the exercise take a walk and stop by some cones. Why did he lose a point? We had to walk by a rug and Blessi stopped to roll it around thinking there might be a carrot under the rug. When he didn’t find a carrot, he started to rip off the masking tape on the rug hoping to earn a carrot for innovative behavior. He had the volunteers in stitches.

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