Amy Skinner: “If you don’t understand pressure, you’ll be forced to overuse it.”

Amy Skinner: “If you don’t understand pressure, you’ll be forced to overuse it.”

There are many ideas about what good training looks like with horses. We imagine a well-trained horse as one who is able to perform its job at a high level, and view subsequent competition results as a validation of correctness. But what if that same horse can’t be mounted without being held, or has trouble loading onto/unloading off the trailer? Can we still say the horse is well trained if it’s not able to navigate the world around it with confidence?

These questions, and so many more, are explored in our latest podcast episode, where Caroline sits down with Amy Skinner of Amy Skinner Horsemanship to dig into what “good training”, pressure, and horsemanship means in the equestrian industry.

Amy Skinner is a highly sought after trainer and rider who gives clinics around the country, as well as being the author of two books around her training methods and unique background in the sport. She specializes in “problem” horses and helping horses and riders find better connections. Centering her philosophy around Classical Dressage and postural rehabilitation, Amy is a unique voice with deep insights into horses, training, and life in general.

In their intimate (and funny) conversation, Caroline and Amy discuss a wide variety of topics, including:

-  The concept of “pressure” and how it plays into the lives of both horses and humans

- Why competition results aren’t always the best litmus test for good training

- Where we fall short in training our horses, and how we can become more self aware of our own gaps

- Appropriate training levels for young horses, and why our hyper competitive space can break horses down early

- The concept of a training “bank account”, and how our actions either pull from it, or deposit into it

- Why horses who are trained solely through pressure and pain responses will never be truly safe.

Thank you to our sponsors: Farris Equestrian, Equestrian Masterclass, and Connaway & Associates Equine Insurance