Price: £55 per person (£45 early bird up to 2nd April 2018). Includes refreshments
When: Arrive 9.45am for a 10am start, finish around 5 pm.
Where: Mickleham Village Hall, Near Dorking, Surrey
The horse has a well developed olfactory organ. He can search for objects by smell,
or follow a scent trail. Not many riders or handlers use this quality. But letting
your horse do nose-work has a lot of advantages. Nose-work has a good influence on
the socialisation of a horse. By investigating he better understands the world. It
empowers the horse. Nose-work is a good exercise in concentration on the part of
your horse. Nose-work, tracking are natural abilities. It challenges the horse. It
is satisfying. Nose-work works is an extremely well to use tool for horses that are
not able to move due to injury. And it is a fun activity to do together with your
Rachaël is also author of the book - Language Signs and Calming Signals of horses
- and her talk will cover some of this information too.
Please let me know at time of booking if you require a certificate of attendance
of the course for your records.
Pay by PayPal using the links below or send a cheque, payable to ‘Learning About
Animals’, to: Suzanne Rogers, 6 Fern Cottages, Dorking Road, Abinger Hammer, Dorking,
Surrey, RH5 6SA. E-mail: Suzanne@learningaboutanimals.co.uk
Rachaël graduated from the University in Nijmegen where she studied the Dutch language.
A career in marketing and writing followed. However after obtaining several diplomas
she followed her passion and started working as full time behaviour consultant in
2003 - first with dogs, later horses. She started her dog school, gave courses and
specialised in re-socialising aggressive and extremely fearful dogs. She developed
a program for dogs with extreme fear for sounds. In 2013 she graduated from the Turid
Rugaas International Dog trainers Education. Turid Rugaas’ question to chart the
calming signals of horses, lead to a career switch from dogs to horses. Horses however
were not new to Rachaël, being a horse lover as long as she can remember and being
a horse owner from the age of 14. Rachaël dedicates her time to the study of language
signs and calming signals of horses, full time as off the last years. Rachaël has
written the book “Language Signs and Calming Signals of Horses”. In October 2017
it was published worldwide by CRC Press. Rachaël keeps analysing data and continuing
the study of language signs and calming signals of horses. She is also developing
a program for mental stimulation for horses. Scent work for horses is an essential
part of that. Rachaël writes for several horse magazines within Europe and travels
nationally and internationally to give lectures.
Standing on your own feet, being able to handle incentives in your environment without
the need of help, being mentally stimulated and doing work that is highly satisfactory
- would these criteria only benefit people? No, horses also thrive on these concepts.
We can give them mental stimulation and address their natural abilities to search
– improving their mental and physical well being, their socialisation, and the relationship
with their handler, whilst having autonomy, making choices. In this lecture the emphasis
is on empowerment of the horse. He is leading and not the follower. Emphasis is on
creating success and a positive learning climate with a relaxed and attentive horse
that wants to cooperate. Rachaël Draaisma has developed this lecture and philosophy.
This lecture combines her specialities - the recognition of language signs, calming
signs and body features of horses and her focus on mentally stimulating horses, with
a special emphasis on scent work.
The morning program is centred around the recognition of language signs, calming
signals and stress signals - with all the accompanying body features. Communication
ladders will be handed out, upon which you will find features and signals that horses
use at certain tension levels in response to incentives in their environment. They
form the basis of assessing the mental stimulation exercises at home or in the films
being shown in the midday program. This information comes from the study Rachaël
started in 2013 and is still ongoing, where the aim is to chart calming signals and
other language signs of horses. The afternoon program is centred around equine mental
stimulation and nose work, the various advantages, the challenges and successes you
will encounter. This lecture will include many photos and films but no live horses.
9.30 am Introduction:
· Personal background Rachaël Draaisma · Information on the study of language signs
and calming signals - how was it conducted? what were the settings? what categorisations
were used? what are the characteristics of the horses filmed?
Calming signals, displacement activities and stress signals: · When do you notice
them on communication ladders? · Why is this knowledge important? The goal is to recognise
and assess the language signs and body features of the horse to avoid a negative
climate for horse and handler/rider. And to create a positive climate for the horse
to learn, remember, bond and live together with humans. · Biology: what stress does
to the horses ‘body. The effects of acute stress and chronic stress. When does it
negatively affect his socialisation process, his learning ability and his cooperation
with humans? How can we recognise that?
12.00 pm till 13.00 pm - Lunch
Then - Mental stimulation
What is it? What are advantages of using mental stimulation? What happens in the body? What
are the requirements to do a good job?
Equine scent work What are the advantages? Mentally, physically, in the horse-human
relationship, in terms of socialisation, and self development of the horse. What
are the requirements to do scent work? What is easy and what are the challenges you
may encounter? We will focus on treat searches and following a scent trail. How to
get started? Films are photos will be shown.