How can WHC help?
The When Horses Choose training method is positioned somewhere between natural horsemanship and horse whispering techniques, but Mia’s methods stand out from both schools. The key to Mia’s technique is that the horse is completely free and chooses to cooperate without the need for coaxing.
Mia creates a common ground for horse and human, and teaches the horse’s owner to communicate with the horse based on its communication and behaviour.
At the same time, Mia builds on the horse’s natural instincts, needs and signals. Mia developed this method as a continuation of the horse’s language, social behaviour and hierarchy.
This means that there is no need to coerce the horse into cooperating in human terms. The individual becomes the leader at the horse’s choosing and it decides to follow because it has complete confidence in its leader.
Moving away from issuing commands to using two-way communication involves radical change. But this is what builds respect and a solid and secure foundation.
The benefits are immediately evident. The horse achieves faster results without recurring power struggles or problems. And this is because the horse understands the training.
Freely accept first time riding and
freely accept the rider
When you bring your horse home from Mia, you will experience a confident horse in balance.It has learned that man listens to it and acts on that knowledge.
When Mia rides a horse, it stays with her during the training period. She encourages the owner to come as often as possible and even become part of the training. , In the beginning, Mia works with the free horse from the ground.
She teaches it to follow itself as a leader completely without conditions and completely without a leash. She teaches it to stand still so that in the future the owner can let his horse stand anywhere without having to tie it up.
From the ground, Mia also teaches the horse the various signals that the rider uses during riding. At the same time, she learns the exercises in basic dressage.
When she first sits on the back of the horse, it also takes place completely freely and without equipment. Mia wants to know exactly what is happening in the horse and in its body, without there being a cover, a saddle or harness to obscure the horse's communication.
Through horse training, Mia also works to make the horse flexible, to build its muscles and with the basic dressage. With her method she can achieve the same results with the horse in jumping and dressage without bite and without saddle as the traditional riding can with bite and saddle. If the horse is to be used for competition, she gets it used to sports equipment.
Problem solving is all about changing behaviour and learning to read and understand the horse. The majority of problem horses have developed nervous or aggressive behaviour because the owner and the horse have gone awry by each other’s signals.
Perhaps there was a past event in the horse’s life that has caused it to become defensive. Perhaps the horse has managed to take over control and leadership. Perhaps the horse is in pain.
Mia lets the problem horse free in her training arena to establish calm as quickly as possible. She doesn’t run the horse around the ring until it gets tired; she wants to work with a horse that is fit and relaxed.
Mia observes the horse and establishes leadership with it straight away. Then, before starting the training, she finds out if the horse is experiencing any pain.
Sometimes the problem is fairly easy to fix. There are other times when Mia recommends that the horse should stay with her for a while. From the first moment the owner meets their horse again, they will be able to walk with it without a lead rope, bit or harness.
It will stop, back up and turn to one side and then the other – openly and freely. It will follow the owner because the horse has chosen the human being as its leader.
Be more gentle. Be more assertive. Be more aware. This is Mia’s best advice on training stallions.
These are the guidelines she follows when working with them. Mia lets the stallion free and trains it in exactly the same way as she trains all other horses.
Mia immediately starts to invite the horse to be a part of her herd. It might call after the mares; it might try to take over. But it will choose to cooperate and be part of the herd – just as a stallion chooses to follow a lead mare or a lead stallion in a natural setting.
At the Viking Saga Ranch in California, the wild stallions showed Mia what they were capable of. She got to know their language, their body language and their behaviour. They taught her about rank and dominance, limitations and needs.
Stallions need to be with other horses – being isolated can have psychological repercussions. Mia therefore recommends that stallions should be with other herd members whenever possible.
Horses might need rehabilitation if they have been injured or have been stationary for a long period of time.
Mia also treats horses that have had a bad ordeal or have experienced something that conflicts with their character.
The When Horses Choose training programmes include a ‘horse workout’, which Mia has developed especially for her horse rehabilitation programme.
Mia builds up the horse’s muscles through the academic art of riding and exercises that benefit the rider during riding.
At the same time, Mia works on building the rider’s leadership and helping them to win the horse’s trust and confidence
Rehabilitation can be used for retraining and saddle training a horse.
The horse must choose the individual as its leader both on the ground and during riding. To do this, it must let go of familiar ways and old habits.
Mia removes the bit, bridle and saddle from the horse. In doing this, she is reprogramming the horse – starting from scratch. She begins by strengthening the horse’s body and mind so that it has the potential once again to be an outstanding horse for the owner and the rider.
How does Mia get a free, wild horse into a trailer without using a whip, lasso or any other type of equipment?
It requires patience, a sense of calm and confidence. That’s what Mia learned aged 17 at the Viking Saga Ranch in California. Her first challenge was a feisty young lead mare in an area of 1,000 acres.
Mia chooses to work on the basis that the horse chooses to go into the trailer of its own accord – and this process needs sufficient time. Mia usually takes one or two training sessions to achieve this.
Because the horse chooses to go into the trailer voluntarily, it will always go time after time with no conflict, recurring anxiety or stress.
"Mia chooses to work on the basis that the horse chooses to go into the trailer of its own accord "