Technique overview

See what is coming! Want to get an idea of the new techniques you will learn to maximize relaxation, connection, posture and performance.


Playground of Safety

Playground of Safety

Playground of Safety


Hierarchy of Needs must be solved for horses and humans to go forward on the ground or riding. Playground of Safety gives the horse a chance to relax on their timeline. No learning can happen in Sympathetic Nervous System. Most simple and powerful technique to solve safety and comfort needs. 


Playground of Safety

Playground of Safety


Must start in Relaxation or Play.

If in Safety or Comfort = overstimulated, flooding, dorsal vagal response

1. condition response - start with belly button

2. be progressive - once horse understands response, add stress

3. honor thresholds and needs - stop before horse blows up and relationship is wrecked

4. stick - lift, stroke, then tap

5. work all over body - goal max head down and max lateral flexion, lip wiggle

Not  every horse will lay down bc

- some don't trust

- some don't need, get enough rest, don't have extreme baggage

- allow horse to choose, don't force

- pawing = mental lay down

Equine Brain Gym

Playground of Safety

Use More Stressors

Brain Gym Basics

Movement is the key to learning.

Cross Hind Legs -> Right Brain

Cross Front Legs -> Left Brain

Sideways -> Brain Integration

Loosen body to establish leadership and get your horse thinking and learning.

Use More Stressors

Poles for Proprioception

Use More Stressors


Once horse understands the puzzle (Stress -> Relaxation and/or Connection) use other stressors, sight, sound, touch, to cont pattern.

Fear -> Curiosity -> Dominance -> Confidence Neutralization Patterns

1. Track It

2. Touch It

3. Step On It

4. Bite It

5. Paw It

6. Wear It

7. Jump It

8. Go Under/Through/Beside

Tap for Posture Change

Poles for Proprioception

Poles for Proprioception


Tap on specific muscles to relax, then engage to create the most powerful, engaged, positive posture.

Poles for Proprioception

Poles for Proprioception

Poles for Proprioception

Use poles to :

1. open new neural pathways

2. change posture = let go of neck, lift back, rotate pelvis, lift wither, engage abs

3. correct short/shallow hind end

4. correct rhythm

5. reset proprioception

6. ambidextrous 

Single Pole


Straight Rhythm Poles

Elevated Poles


Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement


Mirroring On Ground

- walk squares -> trot

- walk bowtie - gain confidence by changing eyes

- walk/trot squares

- walk/trot/stop/back - shoulders & belly button

Mirror Mounting Block

1. relax in position

2. offer mount

3. stand relaxed - POS

Mirror Riding

- walk/stop - life up/life down, use TA to stop

- walk/stop/back using TA

- introduce belly button/seat bones steering/speed control

- think draw vs drive/push/pull

Mirror in Motion Riding - good/bad riding

- back/TA

- hands - won't step through

- feet - won't step through

- eyes - up, down, side

Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement

Positive Reinforcement


Positive Reinforcement = Food/Treats

Pos Reinforce doubles learning speed

1. food targets right answer

2. food gives endorphins

3. eating brings horse past safety and comfort issues (Hierarchy of Needs)

More Positive Reinforcements

- positive energy/smiling

- scratches/petting/stroking

- get off

- put away (stall or with friends)