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How to Catch a Horse

Equine care, management & connection

Horses are large, complex animals who require a lot of knowledge and understanding to handle and manage. As we learn more about these animals, and how they experience the world, management, care, and training practices are all beginning to shift. 


Whether you are brand new to the world of horses, or have been in the industry for years, we can all agree happy, healthy horses are always the goal. Horsemanship classes at Equi Evolution embrace the newest education regarding best care practices and ethical training. 

These courses focus on a Relationship-Based approach to equine interaction and prioritize meeting both the needs of the species as well as the individual. Learn how you can care for and work with horses while still honoring the autonomy of the horse and yourself. 


Relationship-Based Horsemanship

"Traditional" horsemanship often teaches us that we must be dominant over the horse. We must force him to comply and we applaud the ones who out muscle the wildest and most dangerous of them, as they beat their chests with pride over "breaking" such a powerful beast. Lucky for us, and our horses, we now have a much better understanding of the equine brain and body, and science now supports the importance of maintaining nervous system regulation for optimal learning and what the heck does that mean? It means being an A**hole is OUT, and being mindful and compassionate is IN!

Equi Evolution wholeheartedly embraces the principles of these concepts and has created a program to share how we apply this in real world situations. Our horsemanship courses address all aspects of care, management, and training for a fully holistic approach to working with everyone's favorite animal. We believe every voice has a place and deserves to heard and honored, horses & humans. These classes will walk you through exactly how to hold that space for both species and truly enjoy the time you spend with horses.

We currently offer 2 levels of horsemanship: Intro to Relationship-Based Horsemanship & Deepening Connection

Now Offering:

Weekend & Week Long Learning Intensives!

Originally structured as a 6-week learning series, we are now offering 2-day, weekend long courses, or 5-day full program intensives, for those who are traveling or those who are unable to attend a 6-week course. Available dates are now open for registration. If you have a group from your barn that you'd like to bring out for a learning experience contact us to learn how to schedule your private program. (Overnight on-farm accommodations are not available. See below for lodging near us.)

Program Overview & Curriculum

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Level 1: Introduction to Relationship-Based Horsemanship 

Introduction to Relationship-Based Horsemanship is specifically focused on teaching the basics of safely handling and managing horses. There is so much more to horses than riding, but most lesson programs do not offer essential training for how to meet their care needs and work with these animals on the ground. This course sets a strong foundation of equine care and covers vital topics for all horse lovers. The core principles of this program are based on compassionate care and teach practices that center around acknowledging autonomy and partnership. Participants will learn to consider how our  interactions are perceived and interpreted through the eyes of a horse, while also being mindful of how our own energy influences the world around around us. 

Behavior & Communication: Horses are both prey animals & herd animals; two factors that strongly influence how their brain works, what kind of basic needs they have, and how they move through the world. From a Relationship-Based Horsemanship perspective, we will focus on learning how to interpret equine body language and holding space in a way that supports connection over fear.


Anatomy: While they have a lot of similarities to other mammals, there are key features that are especially important to know and understand when it comes to working with horses. From a Relationship-Based Horsemanship perspective, understanding equine anatomy can help you better interpret body language and will help you spot abnormalities or health issues much sooner.


Hooves: “No hoof, no horse,“ is a very real saying when it comes to our equine partners. From a Relationship-Based Horsemanship perspective, having a strong understanding of the anatomy, function, and care practices of the hoof will optimize whole horse health.


Nutrition: There is a lot of varying advice when it comes to equine nutrition. Dietary decisions are very personal and should be considered for each individual horse and their unique circumstances. At Equi Evolution, we feed our horses a completely forage based, grain-free diet and will introduce you to what this actually looks like and various ways you can implement different forages and vital nutrients. From a Relationship-Based Horsemanship perspective, this takes a holistic approach to reducing harmful inflammation, supporting gut health, and minimizing/eliminating future chronic health problems.


Grooming & Measuring: Grooming is so much more than brushing a horse’s coat to keep them clean. From a Relationship-Based Horsemanship perspective grooming and measuring can help us know our horse’s unique body better, identify health issues sooner, and build connection and trust.


Health & First Aid: Knowing common health problems is important of any species we are working with. Because of ALL the topics mentioned above, horses have a variety of unique and specific issues that are important to understand. From a Relationship-Based Horsemanship perspective, having a solid foundation in equine baseline health and common ailments can not only help you catch and treat problems early on, but can help you implement preventative measure to minimize risk and build a happy healthy horse from the ground up. Additionally, a strong foundation of trust will make treatment and medical procedures much easier and safer for all involved.

Level 2: Deepening Connection

Deepening Connection, is the next step in our horsemanship program. This course continues to build off the learning from Level 1, and focuses on improving your ability to communicate and connect as you gain even more hands-on experience. In this series, you will explore various groundwork & training approaches, behavior & herd dynamics, and fine tune your own ability to regulate and respond in ways that are conducive to building a trusting relationship. 

Understanding the Horse: Reviewing Level 1, and diving deeper into the particular nuances that impact how horses exist in the world, we will learn how to prioritize the horse’s need to feel safe. From a Relationship-Based Horsemanship perspective, we will explore how many aspects of the equine industry create behavioral injuries that often go unacknowledged for too long. Understanding common experiences horses face within the human world can help us meet them where they are and better honor their individual traits.


Nervous System: Discussing how horses AND humans receive, interpret, and process sensory information and experiences helps us improve communication & connection. From a Relationship-Based Horsemanship perspective, this encourages development of our own emotional intelligence as we explore the importance of regulation, distress tolerance, threshold, and sympathetic dominance. In English? We’ll talk about how the brain and nerves work to shape all our experiences and perspectives!  


Exercises in Connection: The big question everyone wants to know is what specifically they can do to build a trusting relationship with a horse. We will walk you through a variety of exercises to help you recognize and honor your horse’s unique communication style. From a Relationship-Based Horsemanship perspective, you will be armed with a toolbox full of new skills designed to encourage authentic and meaningful connection.


Boundaries: For many people, the idea of horsemanship centered around connection tends to end up with overly permissive owners being pushed around by horses they refused to set boundaries with. Relationship-Based Horsemanship is about the conversation and understanding between horse and human, which means BOTH get to have a voice. We will cover how to respect your horse’s boundaries while also setting safe and healthy boundaries for yourself.


Classical & Operant Conditioning: While Relationship-Based Horsemanship is not a training method itself, there are various ways we can consider this approach when using certain training methods. Having an understanding of Classical & Operant conditioning, and the implications of each, plays a huge role in determining which training methods are best for your horse.


Cooperative Care: Domesticated horses require a lot of hands-on care and often times we can get so caught up in the task at hand we forget that these tasks can create a lot of stress for a horse.  A primary goal of Relationship-Based Horsemanship is to support your horse so that he is open and comfortable being with you and participating in regular care tasks. Ideally, we will build a relationship in which the horse easily participates in care tasks at liberty.

Upcoming Programs

We also work directly with schools, businesses, and private groups to offer personalized program dates for your team.

Contact us to learn more.  

Program Cost: $350+
 5% off for Farm Members (applied automatically at checkout)

What to expect?

How to Catch a Horse Upcoming Dates
  • Small class sizes to optimize learning

  • Work with a variety of equine personalities

  • Learn all the basics about working with horses and how to find more opportunity to work and learn within the equine industry

  • Gain an understanding of the equine brain and how horses experience the world

  • Develop confidence around reading and responding to a horse's body language

  • Practice handling horses in safe & mindful ways

  • Understand what it really means to connect with a horse

  • Peer support in an encouraging and fun environment

  • Tons of hands-on equine interaction

  • See how this approach impacts horse health in real life 

  • Memories you'll never forget!


There's just something about horses

Have a question about your personal horse?

Are you struggling with a vice, training, or behavior issue with your horse and you're stuck as to next steps to help your sweet baby? Now you can schedule a private consultation for input and feedback to create an action plan for success. The Relationship-Based Horsemanship approach considers 3 primary influences when developing an action plan for any individual horse. These include: Management, Connection & Support. This consultation will address all 3 of these areas and offer suggested spaces of improvement/change within each.


This consultation is not a quick fix horsemanship approach, but an opportunity to look at your horse from a new perspective, so you can meet him in a space of compassion and validation, which are the foundation of trust and understanding. 

(If possible, we like you to do the call with your horse present so we can see behaviors and basic interaction, as well as general farm set up and areas where your horse spends their time. The more info, the more specific plan we can help you create.)

$75/1-hour video call

Find Nearby Overnight Accommodations

Search Address: 215 Scott Rd. Cumberland, RI 02864

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