Posted by: ivyschex | May 9, 2016

Imagine what you will KNOW tomorrow

Interesting quote from an article I was reading. It reminds me why we should always question everything and seek answers that are true, even if we might not want that truth.

“[people will be easily fooled into believing anything] because it doesn’t matter what the reality is – we as human beings want to believe. We want the narrative we hold true to be true. And that means seeking confirmation and vilifying opposition.”

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In the horse world, we cling to techniques that are familiar, clinicians that are popular, and ideas that have stood the test of time. But when is it time to learn something new? When are the old ideas the wrong ideas?

To quote the movie Men in Black:

“1500 years ago everybody KNEW the earth was the center of the universe… 500 years ago everybody KNEW the world was flat… 15 minutes ago you KNEW that people were alone on this planet… Imagine what you’ll KNOW tomorrow.”

100 years ago it was acceptable to throw a colt down, tie him up, throw a rider on, and just get on and go. The horse’s fear was ignored. Horses were cheap and the techniques were crude.

Today, that kind of training is frowned upon, but don’t let the title of “natural horsemanship” lull you into complacency. Don’t let the polished trainer on RFDTV fool you into thinking their technique is the right one for every horse.

Horses are amazing and unique. They are brave and fearful. They cannot be fit into any one mold.


Study your horse…. be your horse’s greatest advocate. Don’t let the “tried and true” methods shut down your horse.

Ivy Schexnayder 

Posted by: ivyschex | February 4, 2015

Exciting new Horse movie project

My friend Sarah Olmstead (a fellow trainer) and I are excited to share our newest project: Essence: Exploring the Horse-Human Relationship, an artistic short film that combines visual media, stunning horses, and beautiful music.  Check out the project and promo video here:

We all love watching movies that inspire us, whether The Black Stallion, The Man from Snowy River, or Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.  These movies just seem to capture the dreams we have of horses and we want Essence to be one of those.  With beautiful horses and beautiful locations, this short film will inspire you to keep dreaming and striving for a deep bond with your horse.

Would you take a minute to look at our Kickstarter campaign and consider sharing it with your friends?  Getting the word out is our first priority, so thank you in advance for checking out the film ( ). Let us know if you have questions: we’d love to interact further.

Ivy and Sarah

Just in case you’re not familiar with crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, crowdfunding is when you pool contributions from various people to support a project in exchange for various rewards. Kickstarter is the most widely used crowdfunding website—on Kickstarter, if the funding goal isn’t reached within a certain timeframe, no one is charged a cent, and no rewards are distributed.

Posted by: ivyschex | April 18, 2014

Calming Signals: Are You Listening?

Great blog post!

Relaxed & Forward: AnnaBlakeBlog

WMcalmingcue If you are standing next to your horse and he looks away, do you think he’s distracted or even disrespectful? When your horse yawns, is he sleepy or bored? If he moves slowly, is he lazy? These are important cues from your horse, are you hearing him correctly?

When it comes to communicating with horses, some humans are a bit like a self-obsessed rock star who throws a temper tantrum and trashes the room, but then assumes everyone wants his autograph. By equine standards, we ignore those around us and begin by screaming bloody-murder and escalate from there. Part of respecting a horse is remembering that their senses are much keener than ours. We can whisper.

It is just like man’s vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions.  ~Mark Twain. 

Horses give us calming signals, just like dogs. Norwegian dog…

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