This is the first practical guide on how to implement scentwork into the lives of domesticated horses, enhancing behaviour, welfare and the human-animal bond. Scentwork is a new discipline in the field for horse and handler, and expert author Rachaël Draaisma arms the reader with a pallet of information to enable them to put this technique into action. As well as theoretical background information on the nose of the horse and biomechanics, Draaisma discusses how scentwork improves the horse's learning abilities, development, socialisation and their bond with the handler. Readers will learn how to have their horse explore their environment, participate in scentwork games and follow a footstep track to find a missing person or food bag.
Easily accessible for anybody working with horses at any level, scentwork can be done in small areas as well as in larger spaces on various surfaces. Whether veterinarian, behaviourist, trainer, animal-assisted therapist, equine physiotherapist, osteopath or interested horse owner, this book promises to bring both you and the horse enormous benefits, strengthening the human-animal bond.
Table of Contents
PART 1 EXPLORATION. Brain and biology: what explains these changes?. How to implement exploration in daily life. How to use exploration to address problems. PART 2 SCENT TRACKING FOR HORSES. Anatomy and physiology. Biomechanics. Background information. The advantages of scent tracking. Practicalities: what you need to know. The four pillars of this method. What materials do you need. Laying a track: tips for beginners. Tracking: step 1- the beginning. How to make tracking more difficult. Scent tracking while riding. From finding a scent bag to finding missing persons. Treat search. Appendix of tools. Bibliography
Rachaël Draaisma graduated from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. She has always lived with and had a passion for dogs and horses. In 2002, she decided to make it her profession. Rachaël obtained several diplomas and then started working as a trainer and behavioural consultant, first with dogs and later with horses. In 2013, she completed the TR (Turid Rugaas) International Dog Trainers Education course. Under Turid’s supervision, she began studying the calming signals of horses, filming domesticated horses, and analysing the resulting material. The study grew, is ongoing, and led to a complete focus shift from dogs to horses. It also led to the worldwide publication of the book Language Signs and Calming Signals of Horses by CRC Press.
"My training has been given a whole new dimension, and the effect of the training has been mind-blowing with each of the highly sensitive competition horses (of various disciplines) I am working with."
Susan Kjærgård, Director Blue Berry Hill, Equine Instructor and former Grand Prix rider, Denmark
"Giving horses the opportunity to use their scenting ability restores natural behaviours and anatomical functional movement. It also bestows autonomy, facilitating positive confidence through freedom of movement and thought."
Julia Robertson, Director and Founder of Galen Myotherapy, UK