Novelty: Key to Horses and Riders

New additions to my herd are Bug and Barry. Bug is a four-year old Utah mustang. During his young life, he’s been passed from one owner to the next before landing with Dr. Steve Peters. Steve worked with him for a few months while realizing […]

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Lay Down Science

Talking about laying down a horse can be like discussing presidential politics. Some steer clear altogether. Some engage passionately. Many are interested, but wary. Beliefs and traditions run rampant, but science takes a backseat. We’re here to change that with an examination of the brain […]

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Cribbing: Understanding the Science

What is a smile or a handshake? The answer is like a Matryoshka doll with another doll inside it and then another doll inside that one. Sure, they’re gestures of welcome. But neurologically speaking, they are the manifestations of a bundle of voluntary and involuntary […]

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Knowledge in Pain, Part I

Red heads perceive pain differently than others. This fact, mentioned in The Neuroscience of Pain, an article by Nicola Willey, stopped me in my tracks. We know pain as a universal, yet universally confounding phenomenon. Sure, some people seem “tougher” than others. But that gingers might […]

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Serotonin Moments: Martin, West, Amy

As a follow-up to the HorseHead article on serotonin, we visited with several renowned trainers for their observations and experiences around learning moments likely influenced by serotonin. Keep this comment from Dr. Peters in mind as you read of their experiences: “Research on the effect […]

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Another Neurochemical to Know: Serotonin

Neuroplasticity is a healthy brain’s ability to form and reform synaptic connections created through gazillions of moments. Every being – from a lab mouse to a horse to a human – is unique because of these moments and subsequent memories They are experiences stored and […]

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Details and Warnings on Dopamine

For years, horse owners and riders have gravitated to the black-and-white straightforwardness of the dopamine response. Licking, chewing, and associated manifestations of this feel-good neurochemical are simple, visible indices of the horse’s state of mind. But, as with everything, there are finer points and nuance […]

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Peters reflects on Mirror Neurons

Editor’s Note: Dr. Steve Peters, 2017 and 2018 presenter at the Best Horse Practices Summit, received an inquiry recently about mirror neurons. These neurons have been the object of study, confusion, and wild extrapolation in recent years. Here’s the question and reply: Dear Dr. Peters, […]

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Your Horse’s Internal Mapping System, Part II

  Read Part I In Evidence-Based Horsemanship, Martin Black describes a daunting scenario: One night, I was riding in the dark and two feet of snow. It was overcast, so there was no moon or starlight. Not even the silhouette of the horse’s head could […]

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Your Horse’s Internal Mapping System

Part One of a two-part feature: I’m one to celebrate unfortunate events with a positive attitude. So, let me recount a not-too-proud moment with my mule, Jolene: We headed out on what quickly became a treacherous trek, full of bushwhacking and precipitous ups and downs. […]

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