Fear and Safety for Horse and Rider



A complete guide to understanding and managing your fear, your horse's fear and ensuring safety for both!

‘Safety – It’s Just Common Sense’

Is it really?

We know from the statistics that human error leads to so many accidents. Everyone who spends time with horses needs to regularly remind ourselves of what we must do to stay safe. Safe for the rider, the horse, the partnership.


This course is packed with essential information presented in a way which is accessible for everyone who rides or spends time with horses

Module 1: Mental & Emotional Collection for the Human – An Exploration of FEAR: Breaking It Down and Moving Past It

Helen Grace O’ Hanlon – Life Coach and Horsemanship Instructor

Module 2: Transforming  Trans-Species Fear into Compassion Integrating Neuroscience, Quantum Physics, and the Human Animal Bond for Deeper Connections

Dr Allen Schoen – Pioneer in Complementary and Integrative Veterinary Medicine – co-author of “The Compassionate Equestrian”

Module 3: Current Issues in Equestrianism from the Viewpoint of Safety

Dr Andrew McLean – Co-Director Equitation Science International

Module 4: Evolutionary Biology of Fear in the Equine

John Madigan – Professor of Equine Medicine – UC Davis California

‘Every Fall Makes You Better’

Is this true?

This is what we are told – but is it really true? Sometimes a bad, or even a not so bad experience with our horses can result in a loss of confidence or just plain fear that blocks us from moving forward. We all want to enjoy our sport and achieve our equestrian goals – without fear or stress.


  • Name the basic regions of the brain that scan for and recognize threats.

  • Discuss the function of our brain in ensuring our safety and survival.

  • Conduct a basic discussion on Cognitive Behavioral Coaching (CBC) and begin to recognize positive and negative cognitions within your equestrian experience.

  • Create learning within the  Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD)and avoid feelings of overwhelm.

  • Evaluate the primary source of fearful behaviors.

  • Discuss holistic, integrative approaches to resolving fear in horses – whether it is physical, emotional, a combination or from other causes.

  • Describe strategies which can lead to the creation of harmonious environments for horse and rider.

  • Recognize the history and statistics behind the problems with safety.

  • Identify the key areas of training that contribute to safety.

  • Identify common factors in the equestrian and sporting community that contribute to the lack of safety.

  • Discuss how each of the senses affects behavior in the horse.

  • Explain how a range of factors which affect fear behavior in the horse can be managed to improve safety.

  • Discuss the pathways of fear perception in the horse and how it can affect safety.

This course: ‘Fear and Safety for Horse and Rider’ is based on the Equitopia virtual conference held in August 2020, where over two days, four experts looked at the complex issue of fear and safety  – each adding their unique insight to the topic based on their qualifications, expertise and experience. This course is packed with essential information presented in a way which is accessible for everyone who rides or spends time with horses!

The course also contains  of a range of quizzes, discussion activities, practical exercises and reflections in addition to two panel discussions recorded at the live event. If you complete the course and score at least 70% in the quizzes, you will be able to download a certificate of completion.

Your horse is not responsible for your safety. Make sure you know how to avoid unnecessary accidents.

"This fear and safety course should be mandatory for everyone who spends time with horses"