About Via Nova Staff

Via Nova Training, Priority to Positive® in Santa Fe, NM is dedicated to bringing proven, science-based, positive-reinforcement training skills into the mainstream of equestrian pursuits. We believe that effective positive-reinforcement training can create happy, polite, confident horses for everyday pleasure and equestrian achievement.

The Importance of Reading and Understanding Your Horse’s Body Language

Being able to read your horse’s body language and facial expressions are one of the most important aspects of successful positive reinforcement training. Because we are looking for and reinforcing calm and relaxation, it is vital that we know what those emotions look like. Conversely, we need to be able […]

2020-09-20T22:27:09-06:00By |Blog, R+ Training, Training|Comments Off on The Importance of Reading and Understanding Your Horse’s Body Language

One at a time; more on how to be an effective positive reinforcement trainer following shaping guidelines

Last week we started talking about Karen Pryor’s ‘Ten Laws of Shaping’, and what those look like in terms of real-world examples. The second guideline identified by Karen Pryor in her book, ‘Don’t Shoot the Dog’, is as follows:

“Train one aspect of any particular behavior at a time; don’t try […]

Thank you, Sarah!

One of the participants in our last workshop was Sarah Matlock, an instructor of Applied Equine Behavior at Colorado State University. We originally met Sarah at CHATTcon (Convergence of Human and Animal Training Technologies) in Seattle in July and were lucky enough to have her come learn with us earlier […]

2020-10-09T14:20:52-06:00By |Blog|0 Comments

Meet the Minis!

At Terra Nova, we inherited a fully-functioning equestrian boarding facility from the previous owner. Part of this community included “The Minis,” our collective title for the 4 burros, 2 miniature horses and 2 goats who live together in the Mini-Pen.

Woodstock (left), Linus and […]

2020-09-20T22:37:23-06:00By |Blog|1 Comment

Not-So-Angry Birds!

We weren’t sure it would work. We love the barn swallows that return every year to nest in the Main Barn. High up. Thirty feet high, on beams and wires that cross above the stalls, aisles and grooming bays. We welcome them (they eat tons of flies!) but we needed […]

2020-09-20T22:36:09-06:00By |Blog|2 Comments

Facility Guidelines and Etiquette regarding PtP and At Liberty training

Ideally, horses trained using positive reinforcement make their own choice to participate, so we often work at liberty in many different settings. “At liberty” or “liberty work” means there is no physical constraint on the animal such as a lead line, lunge line or reins in a rider’s hand. To […]

2020-09-20T22:33:06-06:00By |Blog, Training|Comments Off on Facility Guidelines and Etiquette regarding PtP and At Liberty training
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