What Happens At A Horse Behavior Consultation?
Horse behavior problems may occur under saddle, or during management or handling. They can be frustrating, inconvenient, or even make your horse difficult or dangerous to handle. Lauren is able to help you and your horse resolve such problems, using effective, low-stress techniques.
An initial consult is easy to book, and will give you immediate answers about your horse’s behavior.
At the initial consult, Lauren carries out an in-depth evaluation of your horse’s behavior or training problem, and any factors that may be contributing to it. She will then recommend management changes and/or teach you techniques to help solve the issue. All techniques used are evidence-based, and low-stress. Unlike many popular horse training methods, they also won’t cause the behavior to worsen or create new problems for your horse.
Some behavior problems can be resolved at the initial meeting, while others may require follow-up sessions, depending on the scope of the horse’s problem. Follow-up sessions include easy-to-use personalized training programs you will work with Lauren’s guidance. Should you need help, it is just an email or phone call away between sessions.
Initial consult with written report of findings $300*
Initial consult without written report $200*
Follow up visits $100/hr*
*Additional travel fees may apply.
If you live out of Lauren’s travel zone, Skype consultations may be available for certain problems.
Registered charities are eligible for a reduced rate.
The science of changing unwanted behavior is not generally studied by coaches, instructors, and trainers.
How new and wanted behaviors are taught to the horse is very different from how unwanted behaviors – like fear or aggression – are stopped or changed. The proven methods used to change unwanted behaviors – such as counter-conditioning and systematic desensitization – are a separate area of study. Using regular training methods to try and fix problems can often make the problem worse, or even create additional problems. In the same way your coach, trainer, or instructor specialized their training to help you ride in a specific discipline, Lauren has specifically focused her studies and training to help you solve your horse behavior problems. Different specialists within the equine industry can offer you and your horse specific areas of expertise; Lauren has formally studied equine behavior and behavior modification, and she has the experience to put this knowledge to work for you and your horse.
Although by law certification is not required to work as a horse behavior professional, Lauren chose to complete the screening to become a Certified Horse Behavior Consultant (CHBC) with the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). She is the organization’s Horse Chair, a member of the application review committee, and she also co-teaches an online IAABC course for equine professionals on resolving serious fear issues in horses.
Lauren has an Equine Science Certificate from the University of Guelph, and is currently enrolled in a MSc program in Clinical Animal Behavior through the University of Edinburgh. She is also an experienced rider and trainer, who can be found training her own horses when not with clients.
Fear-based behaviors are common in horses, and if left...
True narcolepsy is rare in horses, but sleep deprivation is not.
This video shows an older mare who is sleep deprived, falling into REM sleep while standing. Horses must lay down to achieve REM sleep, and when deprived from doing so it may manifest as the behaviors you see here. Sleep deprivation is harmful to the health of all animals, so it is very important that your horse has the ability to lay down each day, and feels safe to do so.
Horses won't lay down to sleep for a number of reasons such as pain, lack of suitable resting sites, or when they don't feel safe to lay down. It's reported that two factors resulted in this mare not laying down to sleep - the arrival of a new horse, and undiagnosed arthritis pain ... See MoreSee Less
Sleep Disorder Case : Horses require 30mins/day REM sleep. Siri is a 22 year old Arab X mare. Last summer after a new, dominant horse was introduced to the herd, she lost weight and was seen to have frequent episodes of partial collapse, once falling onto her side. The episodes resolved, but a couple of weeks ago the same behaviour was observed again and New Forest Equine Vets were called in to investigate. Collapse in horses is fortunately uncommon, but when it does occur can obviously be hazardous to both horse and handlers. Three types of 'collapsing' are seen in horses; seizures, syncope (fainting) and sleep disorders. Siri underwent a very thorough clinical examination including neurological and musculoskeletal assessments, and had a range of blood tests performed. The most significant findings were; The original association of the behaviour with the arrival of a new field-mate. A low grade right hind lameness, with severe persistent right hind pain with flexion tests. The gradual lowering of the head, before the front legs buckle. We also found a cardiac arrhythmia; Siri has a second degree AV block, but this is a normal finding in horses and would not cause fainting. Siri's condition is a Sleep Disorder. True narcolepsy can occur in horses, and is usually associated with events like grooming or saddling. Siri is most likely suffering from sleep deprivation. Horses require 30 minutes of REM sleep per day and although they can doze standing up, they need to lie down for REM sleep. We expect that when the new dominant herd-mate arrived, Siri was not comfortable to lie down in the field with him. Now she has lameness and finds it painful to flex her right hindlimb, which is likely to be preventing her from wanting to lie down to sleep. She is currently on a bute (pain relief) trial, and her owner has made her a lovely deep stable bed that she is coming into daily to encourage her to lie down – so far, no further collapsing episodes have been seen. A very interesting case and a good reminder of how important it is for horses to feel comfortable, physically and psychologically in their herd/environment, so that they don't miss out on their REM sleep.
3 days ago ·