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The Savvy Station

Horse psychology and understanding horse behavior doesn't have to be a mystical and magical phenomena only for those with decades in the horse industry. Getting a fundamental blueprint for assessing and understanding a horse's reaction will significantly improve your ability to work towards a solution without getting frustrated or upset. Horses are dynamic and we know that they are always learning and growing, so let's use this blog as a baseline and you can adjust this approach given your own horse and personal experiences. 
  • 3 min read
This "Stuff Works"

Pat Parelli developed a skeleton of communication that goes beyond the traditional yields and coupled them with love, language, and leadership principles. The Parelli Natural Horsemanship program works for any horse, any breed, any discipline. It works because it is NOT about the sport; it is about understanding and relating to the horse's point of view. Humans think very differently from horses, which seems obvious. Still, we try to rationalize the mistakes, bad behavior, and opposition with intellect when most of these issues are rooted in the simple emotion of fight or flight. This combination of human intelligence and rationalizing with the horse's instinctual and emotional nature can be like oil and water if you're not equipped with the right tools.
  • 2 min read

Waarom Natural Horsemanship?

Mijn verhaal…


Waarom eigenlijk…? Tja… Waarom? 

Waarom heb ik intussen zo’n 17 jaar geleden gekozen om niet langer mee te lopen in de ‘normale’ manier van omgaan met paarden? Waarom besliste ik toen geleidelijk aan om niet langer het gangbaar uitgestippeld pad te volgen van:


  1. Ponylessen op de manege
  2. Paardenlessen op de manege
  3. Privélessen op een privéstal
  4. Dressuur- of springwedstrijden en trainen in LRV- of HROV-verband (of gelijkaardig)
  5. Wie weet waar ik ooit kon belanden op internationaal niveau (Olympische Spelen?)?



Waarom koos ik dit NIET?


Want dit leek mij op mijn 13 – toen de wijde paardenwereld me eindelijk wat duidelijker werd en mijn spaarboekje zicht kreeg op m’n eerste echte eigen paard – eigenlijk echt de enige weg om vooruit te komen, bekeken vanuit de manegeblik die ik toen had. Want ja, alle ruiters deden dat toch zo? Eens ze 13-14-15 jaar waren, gingen ze les volgen bij een bekende privélesgeefster in de buurt, met haar paarden, of met een eigen paard, en dan konden ze zelfs na een tijdje wedstrijden gaan rijden!


Dat leek dus ook mijn doel… tot… ik ontdekte dat er ook nog een andere weg was!

Horses have always been symbols of strength and valor. With their sturdy form, amazing stamina, and elegance, it is easy to be in love with these fine creatures. Owing to proper training and care, your horse can build its name as one of the successful horses in history like the following:
  • 2 min read

Walk a mile in your horses horseshoes is what Troy Henry and Tom Dorrance tried to get me to understand!  

Showing a horse who is boss was an easy concept for me to grasp as a young man.  I loved horses and I loved the notion of being a good enough cowboy to make horses do what I wanted whether it was halter breaking a young horse, riding them for the first time , getting them to stop or turn quickly, rope a cow, or any other ranch duties. I found out quickly that if I stayed focused and worked really hard I could out-fumble most any horse, this is what I now call ” Young Man’s Disease.”  You may have heard me use that term a lot lately and my intention is to help other young men realize that they don’t have to go through that process like I did.

It is true,  to be really good with young horses one should be as confident as a lion tamer, as good a rider as a rodeo hand, as strategic as a CEO of a corporation, as mentally aware as a psychoanalyst, but one should lead with compassion, skills and TRUE HORSEMANSHIP KNOWLEDGE!

  • 6 min read
"I found myself with a lot of ambition but no patience or principles. I also found out once I got to the show that the trainers showed their real colors in the warm up arena, this is were I found out that birds of a feather flock together. I soon started calling the warm up arena the torture pit and I was in there doing the same things." 
  • 3 min read
Pat Parelli talks about “foundation before specialization.” Achieving ourLevel 4 is just the beginning. After that, we’re supposed to find our horse’s “sport.” Sometimes this is easier said than done.
Principles purpose and time are the tools of teaching. In other words, if the horse understands the purpose he will understand the meaning and will start putting his own thoughts and exuberance into the equation. The same applies to cows and humans!
  • 3 min read