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The brain of the horse

DSC_6281The brain of the horse is structured differently than the human brain, so horses and humans are wired differently.

To be successful with straightness training we have to try to think like a horse to avoid the frustration riders encounter when they try to use human logic in training.

Differences are:

  • The horse has a far smaller ratio of brain size to body size than the human.
  • The human brain is able to think in the past, present and future and controls memory, communication and association.
  • The horse's brain, however, is mainly busy with muscle coordination, balance and body functions.
  • A horse is not able to reason through a skill. Horses learn by repetition, and he can learn to associate things with pain or pleasure, and to associate cues and signals with desired behavior.

Survival state vs thinking state

Like our brain the horse's brain has a part in the brain that has an important function when it comes to survival. It's the so called 'reptilian brain'. This reptilian brain triggers the flight, fight and freeze responses of the horse, the responses needed for survival. When a horse is using that part of the brain, and is in a state of survival, the horse is not thinking and the horse can't learn.

So when we want to teach a horse something, we should take care the horse is in a learning frame of mind, and therefore he needs to feel calm, relaxed and comfortable. It's our job to keep him out of his survival state and 'reptilian brain' and to keep him in his thinking state and a learning frame of mind.

Left brain and right brain "concept"

The brain is very complicated, so it's always helpful to make a more simple 'map' of this 'territory', so we can find our way through the matter.

In this matter the concept of the 'left brain' and 'right brain' is used very often.

This concept has nothing to do with the two 'hemispheres', the left part of the brain and the right part of the brain.

It's only used to give the people an understanding of two different aspects of the brain.

Some horses tend to be more 'right-brained' whilst others horses tend to be more 'left-brained':

  • A horse that's in a state of fight or flight will use his right brain more. When the right brain is dominating the horse tends to be emotional unstable (easily disturbed/stressed out easily/sensitive/nervous/angry/anxious). In this frame of mind he is unable to learn new things from the trainer.
  • When a horse is using his left brain more he tends to be emotionally more stable (calm/secure/confident/relaxed). In this frame of mind he is able to learn new things from the trainer

A balanced mind

clinic-in-brazil-47The aim of Straightness Training is to balance the horse mentally and emotionally.

During Straightness Training we keep him out of his survival state, out of his reptilian brain, and out of his right brain.

Due to the educational program of Straightness Training a horse learns to learn, and the more he learns, the more he starts to think and the more he will use his brain. It's like Sudoku to the human.

Thanks to Straightness Training he will not only reach his full potential in a physical way, but he will also reach his full potential in a mental way. And that will make him more calm and confident, so emotionally he will feel better and he will be a proud and wise spirit. Straightness Training will balance and enrich the horse's life!

STart today: Sign up for free!

If you'd like to know more about this and get started with Straightness Training, then join my free 4 part Mini Mastery Course!

This is what you’ll discover:

  • How to avoid the training pitfalls that I’ve fallen into, and almost every rider falls into, and which make training your horse ten times harder!
  • How to teach your horse a new exercise in a horse-friendly and stress-free way.
  • How to eliminate unnecessary stress, frustration, and disappointment, and fast-track your progression!
  • Six simple keys to make horse training and riding easy, no matter what discipline you’re in, and no matter what breed or age!

This mini course really is worth watching - not only useful insights and tips, but also seeing the learning stages that both a less experienced and more experienced horse had to go through to achieve the desired results.

All 4 video clips are accompanied by easy to understand theory and explanations, which makes it easy to follow and the processes even more clear!

Plus,  the downloadable manuals are very informative, useful and helpful!

So don't miss out on it and join the course, it's 100% free:

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One thought on “The brain of the horse

Comment author said

By Dale M. Graham on 30 April 2016 at 02:57

I know horses are sentient souls


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