Scentwork for Horses 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 palette 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 horses’ learning abilities, development, socialisation, and their bond with the handler. Readers will learn how to have their horses 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.
Rachaël Draaisma has always lived with and had a passion for dogs and horses. In 2002, she decided to make it her profession. Achieving several diplomas, she started to work full time as a trainer and behavioural consultant, first with dogs, later with horses. Her best-selling book Language Signs and Calming Signals of Horses, published by CRC Press in 2017, has been translated into several languages. Another pillar of Draaisma’s working life with horses revolves around equine mental stimulation and scentwork, and she has developed an extensive method to undertake scent tracking with horses, a new tool in enriching the human-equine relationship. Draaisma travels throughout Europe and the globe to provide workshops and lectures on calming signals of horses, equine mental stimulation, and scentwork.
You can purchase scent bags to aid your scentwork practice at the author's personal website: www.scentworkforhorses.com or www.calmingsignalsofhorses.com
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.
"This book represents a major step forward for the human-horse relationship. Working within the horse's natural olfactory world to encourage exploration and reciprocal relationship, Rachaël Draaisma provides a well-researched and thoroughly conceptualized approach that is certain to be both enriching and enjoyable for horses and their people alike. Everyone who loves, lives, and works with horses will benefit greatly from reading this important addition to the literature. I have already made it required reading for our Equine Assisted Play Therapy® program. Highly recommended."
Risë VanFleet, PhD, CAEBC-I, Psychologist; Certified Animal Ethology & Behavior Consultant-Instructor, Coauthor of the award-winning book Animal Assisted Play Therapy®, Principal, International Institute for Animal Assisted Play Therapy®
"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
"Another eye- and brain-opener from this author. Turig Rugaas calls it a mental stimulation book for horses, but also it must surely stimulate the brain of any animal lover who likes reading and especially about horses. One of the great gifts of this book is that, apart from explaining the importance of giving the horse fulfilment, education and entertainment by using his sense of smell and helping him develop a new but natural element to his domestic life, it gives readers clear instructions and ideas for how to devise games and tasks to challenge their own horses, having first explained how the sense of smell works, how informative and useful it is to horses and its importance to the horse, so being a great relationship-builder."
Susan McBane, in Tracking-up magazine, May 2022