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Two Bonus Exercises

If you have read the book or watched the DVD ‘Understanding Horse Performance: Brain, Pain or Training?’, you will know that they offer a set of 10 practical exercises that you can use with your horse on a regular basis to flag up potential pain or discomfort that may be affecting his behaviour or performance.  If you have not read or watched ‘Brain, Pain or Training?’ and would like to, you can find it here.  In the book and DVD, I promise two bonus exercises on my website, and here they are.  Happy horsing!
"Check the pecs"
What to do:
Stroke between your horse’s front legs, first softly, then firmly, in the direction of the hair.  Do this whilst standing on his left side, then again whilst standing on his right side.

The ideal:
There should be no adverse reaction from your horse, he should continue standing calmly or munching on his hay.

Potential pain indicators:
Any sign of discomfort, especially a threatening expression or threatening behaviour.  Moving away from you, lifting a front leg or snapping a front foot up, throwing a front leg out forwards.
"Standing square"
What to do:
Ask your horse to stand square, in hand, on level ground.

The ideal:
It may take a while of gently shifting different feet in the right direction, but your horse should be able to stand square within a couple of minutes at the most (quicker once you’ve trained him to do this exercise and he knows what’s expected of him).  Once he’s standing square, he should be weight bearing equally between both front feet and between both hind feet, with his head and neck straight in front of him.

Potential pain indicators:
Apparent inability to stand square (usually behind), or constantly resting one hind leg or the other.

27 Guest Contributors

There has been tremendous support for this project, including from four time Olympian Richard Davison, who has written the foreword for the book 'Understanding Horse performance: Brain, Pain or Training?'. 27 eminent equestrians, all at the top of their sport or therapy, have contributed to the book, and nine clients have agreed to share their stories as case studies to demonstrate how the use of 'Brain, Pain or Training?' has improved their relationship with their horse.

50 Questions

Please download this PDF and print it out, so that you can keep it handy in your tack room and share it with your friends. Use these questions to assess whether there is a problem with your horse – then use the top tips in the book and DVD to help you resolve it! (Click on the image below to download your copy)
Screen shot of the downloadble fifty questions to ask yourself about your horse
Click image to download

BPT Record Sheet

Here is your downloadable record sheet, please print it out and keep it in your tack room. It will help you to monitor your horse’s progress. We hope you find it useful, if so please share it with your friends!
Brain Pain Or Training logging form
Click image to download


Click below to listen to Monty Roberts talking about Sue's knowledge and expertise.
Monty roberts talking about the language of Equus
It would appear that writing the book is not the challenging part! Brain, Pain, or Training is the result of years of experience and research, being turned into a concept and put down on paper. Even the DVD, which was hard work, still followed the same pattern of translating thoughts into a visual representation. But publicising it is a whole different matter…

There are nearly 10,000 equestrian books listed on Amazon, that’s a lot of reading. So how do you make your voice heard amongst the shouting, how did we get “Understanding Horse Performance Brain, Pain, or Training?” listed as one of Horse and Hound’s recommended Christmas books for 2016, and Horse Magazine’s Book of the Month for December 2016?

I think the passion in Sue’s writing, and the sheer depth of knowledge that she has painstakingly accumulated over the years shines through. The clarity of writing and the unique “roadmap” feel of the book, stand out amongst many of the training books. The quality of the contributors also speaks volumes with Richard Davison, Monty Roberts and Kelly Marks to name but a few, all this lends weight to a gain support from journalists.

However, at the end of the day, I think “Understanding Horse Performance Brain, Pain, or Training?” has had such fantastic coverage, simply because it is a fantastic book. Reviewers share books that speak to them, that they feel engaged by, that they like and that they want other people to read.

So thank you to the reviewers who loved “Understanding Horse Performance Brain, Pain, or Training?” and we hope that more people will be inspired by the concept of Brain, Pain, or Training.

Lizzie Hopkinson (Marketing and PR)
The central theme to BPT is identifying the root cause of your horse’s behaviour and how to move forwards towards a better relationship with your horse. This chart below will help you to create a roadmap towards this point. Please feel free to share this with your friends!
Brain Pain or Training conceptual diagram