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Scenes from life on the ranch...

Each semester we have added new and exciting focuses to our teaching, advancing the curriculum for our continuing Ranch hands who are ready to challenge themselves with higher level horse skills.  We have introduced partnering with the horses at liberty, R+ (or Positive Reinforcement training) and Scentwork, among others.  We've also gotten pretty creative and even tried our hands at filmmaking!

Fall 2023

This semester we introduced scentwork* (tracking scents and searching for treats) to the horses and they loved it!  Horses have a powerful sense of smell which helps feral horses survive in the wild but domesticated horses have learned to rely on humans for food and many horses living in captivity aren't able to exercise their innate need to explore and search for food.  Scentwork is a fun way to offer our horses freedom of choice and a sense of agency.  It engages the SEEKING system in the brain which activates curiosity & empowerment.  Over time, these types of experiences decrease tension, improve self-regulation and build independence which support a happy, healthy life.  This fits perfectly with the Ranch School philosophy of putting the fun back into learning!

* We acknowledge and appreciate the research, books and training of Dr. Rachaël Draaisma that informed our teaching.