As horse trainers, it's easy to get lost in the day-to-day minutiae of training and overlook the progress our equine companions are making. This is why implementing a "friendly assessment" could make a world of difference. Let's delve into this interesting concept and explore how a fresh perspective can enhance your horse training journey.

A New Approach: The Friendly Assessment

According to Janet Jones, Ph.D., the brain behind Brain-Based Horsemanship, a different perspective is key when it comes to assessing training progress. She suggests long-term horse trainers should invite a friend—preferably someone with equine knowledge—who hasn't seen the horse in at least six months. This individual can objectively evaluate the horse's development, picking up on changes that daily contact may blur.

For Janet and her Dutch Warmblood named True, this strategy revealed surprising insights. A friend noted subtle shifts in True's behavior that had gone unnoticed due to constant exposure, pointing to tangible progress.

Friendly Assessments: More Than Just An Outside Perspective

A friendly assessment isn't only about gaining a different perspective. It's a multi-faceted tool that adds value to the training process. It prompts trainers to step back and review their methodologies, promotes identification of blind spots, and proffers opportunities to improve and optimize overall training strategies. Furthermore, a fresh look at a horse's progress can lead to greater insights into his behavior, facilitating the creation of more effective training outlines.

Brain-Based Horsemanship: The Neuroscience Of Training

While the friendly assessment is an excellent tool, it is just part of a broader, dynamic approach. Jones' Brain-Based Horsemanship incorporates neuroscience principles to improve training effectiveness. In her book, "Horse Brain, Human Brain," she explores the striking neural connections between humans and horses and lays out useful strategies for devising an efficient training regimen.

Beyond Horse Training: The Takeaway

In essence, a friendly assessment is more than just an evaluation process - it's an opportunity to refine, grow, and prosper in your horse training journey. By tapping into the hive mind of experienced friends, we can polish our training approaches, identifying our strengths and addressing our weaknesses. As we continue to unravel the mystical, beautiful world of horses, let's not forget to apply the principles of neuroscience to create more meaningful, rewarding partnerships with these majestic creatures.

Round-up and Suggested Reading

To wrap things up, a fresh perspective, like a friendly assessment, can be a boon for horse trainers. Whether you're an experienced horse trainer or a newbie, the incorporation of this concept into your routine can significantly boost your equine game.

Suggested for further reading:

Remember, in the world of horse training, a step back can often lead to giant leaps forward.

References: Horse Network,, Horse Brain, Human Brain