IMG_2401 - Version 2Horsemanship originated from the human side!  It was our quest to achieve leadership with horses. Horsemanship has been practiced and discussed for centuries, but the “human horse sense” is not always there. At the origin of this issue I feel there is a lack of immediate language, the one a horse can understand without having to be trained for it.

In horsemanship, as in any relationship, an individual who does not understand the situation is not motivated to participate willfully. Human beings “fix” the problem by either holding the horse captive in enclosures, or with tack. By doing so, they add fear and insecurity to both sides. These emotions are part of a behavior that is difficult to control in its expression.

Behavior is the ultimate expression of an individual. Like any living creature, horses relate to the environment and to others through their senses. They collect informations, filter it through their experience and behave accordingly. At HH Sensing, we develop and maintain horsemanship without holding the horse captive. We do this by creating an experience that diminishes the stress of domestication and fosters the relationship from both sides, while staying in a dimension that is real and tangible.The horsemanship built through this process supports us in ay other discipline with whom we decide to challenge ourselves and our horse.


Leadership can be achieved, along with learning, by using equine communication through the language of movement.

Horses interpret behavior (including intent, mood, motivation confidence and awareness of their immediate surroundings) and can respond by modulating their relative position (to you!)  Their response is in connection to where they are, and where they are heading. For a horse, the language of communication does not change when at liberty, or under saddle, or when confined in a stall. But, because it is a language of movement, being confined would put a physical constraint to communication between human and horse. Without being able to exercise choice in his movements, the horse cannot express himself. This is what happens when we hold a horse captive!

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Aside from our riding preference, one of the things we do, to have genuine horsemanship, is to learn more about the meaning of space for our horse.

There is a distance that is very important for us to know. I call it “safety space” for our horse, and we can easily determine this when we set him free, in a large confined area. It is the distance that the horse will keep from any object that he is not familiar with, or considers unsafe to approach. If we set a horse free, and try to approach him from where he sees us with both eyes, he has a choice to stand and let us get close to him, or he can move away. When he let us get close enough to touch him, the safety distance is momentarily nonexistent: the horse trusts us! When he starts to move away, we have found his safety distance. It is not a fixed entity; it is a personal choice of the horse, based on his life experience and varies with the circumstances. Being aware of these circumstances is very important. Stopping our approach, if the horse tries to get away, is the best way to show we respect him in a way he understands. In my experience, I have found that if we stop when the horse tries to move away from us, in most cases, after a few tries, he will respond by becoming curious, and will let us approach. Us stopping the approach let the horse know that we heard his request. It is very important not to confuse the sides, we need to be approaching the horse, not the horse approaching us, or the meaning of them “trusting” us is not clear. It turns, instead, into the horse entering our space, and us trusting him to do so.

Are you ready to really listen to your horse’s expressions? Can you receive his response? Can you express yourself in his “space” language?

If so, you are ready to make sense to horses and can have real horsemanship!


HH Sensing Services: horse training, problem solving, horsemanship instruction through private sessions, tutorials, phone consultations, workshops, Horse & Rider sessions, online classes and gift certificates.

HH Sensing Clinics: we offer different formats of clinics, at our location or anywhere you desire, call us and inquire for dates.

Events: Contact us if you have an event and would like us to hold a clinic to enhance it.

HH Sensing contact: 760 715-1554   www.hhsensing.com   hhsensing@icloud.com

We are still working on the 2015 Clinic Calendar, contact us to book a clinic at your location. Prices will vary according to location.



Alessandra Deerinck

Italian born, Alessandra, was a horsewoman first, before making her mark as a daring and adventuresome jockey, riding flat races in Italy during the 1980s and 90’s. She went on to graduate from the Veterinary Medicine School at the University of the Studies of Milan. Even before she moved to the US, she had established herself as a trainer and an educator; writing widely praised freelance articles with enchanting illustrations for equestrian publications in Italy and in the USA since 1990. Alessandra writes monthly in the training sections for Elite Equestrian
( www.eliteequestrian.us ) in the US and Il Mio Cavallo
( www.ilmiocavallo.it ) in Italy.Since 1996, she has lived in California with her family, where her pursuit of Liberty Training led her to establish Human to Horse, a resource organization promoting liberty as the basis to better the relationship between human beings and horses. Alessandra sees liberty training as the key to understand the equine mind and work in harmony with horses. She trains horses and teaches horsemanship using her own Human Horse Sensing approach, a system that is based on liberty, but rooted in the goals and nuances of classical dressage training, current horse behavioral sciences and her experience of forty years spent with horses.. Web www.HHSensing.comemail HHSensing@icloud.com

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