​​Wattlelane Stables

Mindful Horsemanship 

Equine behavioural science is turning the page on 'badly behaved horses' by understanding what is really going wrong in our relationship with the horse - read on for a discussion even the amateur horseman/women can put into practice.

Material Courtesy of TheNudeHorse.com.au

(Full article click "Prey & Predator - Mindful Horsemanship")

​"Understanding the natural position horses have in the complex animal kingdom helps us enter into a very unique partnership with an animal of prey with humans as potential predators.  Horses are in-between fully domesticated ‘pets’ like dogs and cats that live in our homes, yet they are unlike agricultural animals kept for consumption and maintained at arm’s length.  Horses offer a glimpse into the wild world, yet are curious and willing enough to allow us to train and tame them.

To train a flight & fright based animal in a prey/predator relationship requires a handler to be always ‘mindfully in the moment’ when with a horse....."

"Horses live in the moment, are large, powerful and thus potentially dangerous.  These days many horse trainers are becoming aware of the importance of being ‘mindful’.  They do exercises based on breathing, relaxation and body awareness.  They are becoming non-confrontational in their methods (coined ‘natural horsemanship’ by some) working with an understanding of the horse ethology, as opposed to old school methods of domination.

How is ‘mindfulness’ achieved?

Try adjusting your breathing to the pace of your horse; switch off the world around you (especially your mobile phone).  Aim to connect with your horse with your eyes and your breath, look with him, not at him; a predator will stare at their prey.

Spending time with your horse when unable to concentrate can be called having a ‘monkey mind’.  Without concentration you begin to let wandering and disjointed thoughts occupy your mind, perhaps rushing through activities, being unaware of the tension the horse or yourself may be feeling.  Your horse may likely respond inappropriately, basing their decisions on past experiences, fear or even past trauma (returning to a state of flight or fright), they are unable to tap into your comfort for reassurance.

By contrast, have you seen a ‘mindful’ person enter the paddock and their horse comes up eagerly to greet them?  There is a visible connection between both the horse’s eye and that of their handler; they both exude calmness, a relaxed state of mind a mutual trust between them. 

One might start with spending time learning to keep their attention focussed over a sustained period of time through relaxation techniques, this in turn serves to develop concentration, calmness, flexibility in controlling ones thoughts and ultimately leads to a state of being able to be ‘connected or mindful’  to the moment.

Entering the paddock with no purpose other than to sit and observe or play with your horse, allows new skills sets to develop (no halters or leads just a carrot or apple).  Try to renew the relationship through fresh eyes. Allow your horse to see you as a friend rather than a ‘work’ only companion.  Play breeds curiosity – a behaviour sadly ‘trained out’ of many horses, they switch off and become disconnected. 

It makes sense that awareness of our body language and the capacity to monitor one’s behaviours and emotions is necessary to enable this unique prey/predator partnership to flourish...."

"What if still your horse is still behaving nervously and seems ill tempered after practicing ‘mindful’ techniques?  

Some horses may indeed be additionally suffering from dietary deficiencies, pain or severe trauma.   Ask your vet to rule out any illness, pain or gastric ulcer issues, along with testing for dietary deficiencies.  Supplementing with nutrients that have been demonstrated to reduce symptoms...."

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​​​​​​​Sample of 2017 Trial Outcomes:

​​​All trial participants where selected at random from applications made in response to our advert inviting trial participants via our Facebook page Wattlelane Stables.  Each received a 2kg bag of 'Mindfulness for Horses' free of charge in exchange for a honest candid feedback relevant to what they observed during the 3 week period of feeding 40g a day into their regular hard feeds.  No other dietary changes were made.

By Sam Krujier

"Sorry for the delay in posting this fantastic update on the Mindfullness supplement. Destiny is back with us after being ridden by a friend whilst dani recovered from her injury, Destiny is a little distracted whilst being ridden and can be concerned about her other herd members. Since being home and on the Mindfullness I noticed a difference within 2 days, when I take out her paddock friend she just lifts her head instead of wanting to run after him, she continued to graze and not be concerned, only doing the occasional neigh....by the end of the first week Dani was noticing differences under saddle....quicker to come back to Dani and more attentive of the aids...week two saw Destiny really letting go of her back and swinging through, she became more elastic and easier to supple. Her distractions don't lead to resistance she just gets back on the job and Dani is now able to school her more efficiently. 😃 🐴 I am advising many clients to try it as we are very impressed, it just helps those horses who get distracted stay more focussed....Thankyou Wattlelane and Equine Passion!"


​By Cindy Gannon-White

"Today I rode Bobby to a friend's house. Past so many things that would have been terrifying once upon a time. We had dogs run out at us, flapping bags and passed a little truck mid way across a narrow bridge. Not a single spook. No trying to walk backwards away from anything challenging. We even loped along at a loose reined canter half the way. I'm so proud of him. So happy."


By Kanadah Taylor-King

"Charlie's work manner has continued to increase in a positive way with his daily dose of Mindfulness as I had hoped it would. Unfortunately I have yet to put him in the vehicle as I have had to work... so with less work than he usually gets, I was surprised that his ground driving and response time has improved greatly. We have our first show (...since starting Mindfully) coming up in a fortnight Commonwealth Clydesdale Horse Society will be holding their show as well as Hawkesbury Show so we will have a combination of classes including working ( we are looking forward to see how Charlie goes)

On another note to my surprise ... The other day I noticed his paddock manners had changed as well he is no longer aggressive/bossy towards his brothers at feed time he now just cruises over to his feed and eats rather then chasing everyone else away from theirs.

When in the paddock he will come up for cuddles and is genuinely interested in what we are doing (even if it is manure pick up). Before this he would just go off on his own.

His improvement has really surprised us all and along with his Hair in a Bucket and QI Ease I think we are on a winning recipe."


By Krystle Thompson

"Update week 2:
Its all the little things that are noticable by everyone handling him, from the ease of removing bot eggs, rugging to just his general disposition has changed for the better!
You can see his demeanour has changed, its so very noticable in his expression. We will soon be starting his education under saddle and super excited to have such a calm beggining... to a wonderful future on mindfulness.
Photo attached you can see the before MINDFULNESS to the two week mark how relaxed he looks."


By Michelle Jarrett:

"Wow a week and a half in and what a difference MINDFULNESS has made to Sunny his concentration span has grown so much.
And our canter work is the best yet .... he is actually relaxing for continuous circles of canter which is allowing us to work on flexion and bend. Before it was maybe a circle and he would get frizzled then spook himself over nothing and we'd have to start again .
We also went on o...ur 1st ever street ride together over the equestrian arenas, along side a busy road single carriage road which I would never have done with Sunny before as I know how little can frizzle him.
I'm in love with MINDFULNESS and I'm now going to start using it on my 3yr old that I am currently starting to break in and see if it helps his baby mind concentrate a bit better. Again thankyou so much for another awesome product."​


Mindfulness for Horses  First of it's kind in the world! A feed supplement when dietary intake is low for Plant Extracts, Amino Acids, Vitamin B's and Bioplex Magnesium.

Ingredients per 40g serve: Tyrosine 1g, L-lysine 8g, Magnesium Bioplex (organic) 7g, Withania Somnifera Root 7g, Glycyrrhiza Glabra 2g, Rhodiola Rosea 2g, Siberian Ginseng 6g, Thiamine 1.5g, Pantothenic Acid 300mg, Pyridoxine 300mg, Niacin 150mg, Riboflavin 60mg & Folic Acid 30mg.

Feed 40 grams in hard feed as required

(40 grams is 100ml in volume)

​Available in 1 & 2kg bag sizes