Episode 295: Allowing Choices: Empowering Your Horse’s Mind


Stacy Westfall introduces the concept of “allowing” versus “making” in horse training. She emphasizes that both approaches have their place, with “making” including positive actions like guiding or shaping behavior. The power of allowing is highlighted as a tool to influence a horse’s mind and encourage desired behaviors.
Stacy uses the example of teaching a horse to slow down. She first asks the horse to go, potentially “making” them if necessary, then allows them to slow down. This method teaches horses to seek opportunities to slow down and engages both “hot” and “cold” temperaments.
There is value in allowing horses to make choices within a structured framework, fostering their intelligence and curiosity while maintaining control and safety. Stacy explains how this principle applies to basic interactions as well as advanced concepts like collection and self-carriage.

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