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Do you want to solve your problem or do you want your problem solved?

I meet a lot of owners with problems, problem horses, problem loaders, napping problems, clipping problems, groundwork problems, ridden problems, contact problems you name it!! The owners generally fall into 2 categories:-

1. Owners who want to learn how to solve their problem


2. Owners who want the problem solved for them

Neither one is better than the other. They are just different, and if you are going to ask for help from a professional it’s helpful to know which one you want. Why? Because it will guide how your sessions go and may also guide which professional you choose as some specialise in one or the other.

Owners who want to learn how to solve their problem

If you want to learn how to solve your problem this means that you want to learn how to resolve the issue with current and future horses

It’s going to take some time and effort on your part. It will probably mean having lessons at regular intervals where you learn each step, practise it, then review your progress with your instructor so you can either:-

- Get that step better


- move on to the next step

Once learned you should end up with a framework (a series of steps) that you can use to teach any horse you meet to do the same thing. Of course there will be differences in approach as the horses characters and abilities vary but the structure of the task is likely to remain similar.

Your success will depend on how much time you have to practise and your level of skill in both reading the situation and dealing with it. A good trainer will be able to guide you in this.

Owners who want their problem solved

This is someone who doesn’t want to learn how to teach the horse. They just want the horse to be able to do something, or not do something depending on the situation!!

In this case you may well employ a professional to come out once or a number of times to solve the problem. Expect these sessions to be longer than your average lesson as the trainer will need time to get to know your horse as well as to tackle the task in question.

Some trainers will offer to resolve the problem in a day and they will spend as long as needed to get the problem resolved in that time. You can expect to pay a premium for this as the trainer will effectively block out their whole day for your horse.

Other trainers will prefer to resolve a problem over a number of sessions and will work at leaving the horse in a better place than where it started each time until the issue is resolved.

It may also be useful to consider sending the horse away for a period for some intensive training.

Whichever you choose, it’s important to remember that this isn’t a cure all! Horses have their own minds and just as easily as a problem can be resolved it can come back again in the wrong situation.

A good trainer will teach you what you need to know to maintain the good behaviour once the issue is resolved. They will also teach you what signs you to look for that the problem is returning. In this case it may mean that you need to call them again for a top up training session 🤓

In Conclusion

Many people wait and struggle far too long before they get help. In most cases this only serves to teach the horse more of what they don’t want it to know.🤯

Most training problems can be resolved with some time and correct training so get the right help as soon as you can so you can get back to enjoying your time with your horse 😃🦄💕


Before trying any training technique it is important to rule out pain or discomfort. Saddle fit, teeth, back, hoof balance and lameness issues should all be checked by a qualified professional before applying any training.

If you have questions or need idea's to help with a specific problem feel free to get in touch with me on


Lyla has been helping riders and their horses in the UK, USA and Europe for over 15 years. She has prepared horses for crowds of over 6,000 people with no calmers or ear plugs for venues including Birmingham NEC, Aintree, Bury Farm EC and Hartpury.

Lyla specialises in horse psychology and behaviour problems with a specific interest in dressage and has worked with horses from grass roots to Grand Prix across the UK and Europe including international competitors and Olympians from Spain, the US, Canada and the UK.

See or email for more details.


All training techniques discussed are from experience only, it is impossible for to accurately advise on horse/rider combinations without seeing them live. Lyla Cansfield & Equine Mind & Body Training strongly advise anyone considering using any of the techniques discussed to get live help and can take no responsibility for the outcome of applying any of the techniques discussed without supervision. Riding is a high risk sport.


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