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The Confident Horse - Strong Willed

Ever felt like you sweated more than your horse?!

Welcome to the world of the strong willed or stubborn horse! These horses often come across as lazy and unmotivated and if your idea does not match what they want to do then you are certainly not going to get them to put effort into it!!

On the plus side these horses are often super confident and unflappable so make great horses for nervous riders or beginners 😇 this is because they are rarely going anywhere fast!! ⛔️

They are often better hacking out than in the arena as there is more to stimulate them. For these horses you need to be smart about how you train them, they need to feel that it’s in their interests to do the thing you want them to do.

It can be so tempting to ask for too much which will usually get them to dig their heals in and give you less. The trick is to ask for just enough and then reward them so they realise that doing what you want them to do is a great thing.

I’ve learnt more about horse psychology training these horses than any other type as they are a real mental challenge! Learning what motivates them and how to reward them is vital. Rest, scratches and food can all be great rewards for a stubborn horse, used well they can really make the difference to their motivation 😴🍎🥕


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.

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 with or without supervision. Riding is a high risk sport.

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