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China: intense, inspiring and full of warmth

I am there, first row, 6th chair on the right

What a trip it was! Intens, inspiring and full of warmth. Finally meeting real life with Professor Doctoral Supervisor Zhang Naisheng and Maimaiti Tuniyazi, who I had been corresponding with for several months. My meeting with them and several close (old)students of Professor Zhang Naisheng was full of  warmth and friendship. I also spoke with  Zhang Yanjing, who will publish the Chinese version of my book.

The Friendship Hotel in Harbin was the stage of the Second Conference of Equine Science, organised by the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and hosted by the Horse Branche of Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine.

My lecture was heard by 300 equine specialists. My powerpoint sheets were translated in Chinese and a translator was present to translate all my information that was not on the sheets. The lecture was very well received and at the closing ceremony I was honoured by receiving a credential for my excellent performance (best speaker) at the conference. It also lead to a spontaneous invitation from Zhang Ruixiang to lecture the same day at their Northeast agriculture university of China, which I did with pleasure.

I had the opportunity to hear many interesting lectures and speak with many people on the conference. They gave me a first insight in the horse industry in China. Horses being kept in Western stables, poloclubs, in laboratory. It kept my head spinning and in thinking modus. What projects to start in China? People are eager to hear about how to better ‘read’ their horse and improve the communication with horses and solve behavioural issues. We have been making a plan of activities to start. Hopefully they come to fruition. My sincere thank you to Professor Zhang Naisheng and the committee Equine Science for inviting me to come to the conference.

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Theory, practical work and discussions

The past weekend I have been lecturing at WindOpleidingen and Centrum voor Paardencoaching. Both educations, have their own character, but share the common goal to educate horse coaches. Both days had a theoretical and practical part. The topic was calming signals and the way they relate to tension. During the practical coaching session attendants could practice their observation skills in a live setting, afterwards there was room for valuable discussions. Thank you fort he invite Ruud Knaapen and  Muriel Daal (Windopleidingen) en Nina Bien en Wendela den Tonkelaar (Centrum voor Paardencoach) for inviting me. The following pictures are  taken during the lecture day Centrum voor Paardencoaching.

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Calming Signals of Horses to China

With excitement and gratitude I can announce that the Calming Signals of Horses will be launched in China these coming months. This will happen in two ways. Firstly I am invited to speak at the Second International Conference on Equine Science in Harbin China  this coming  August. Secondly my book is  translated into Chinese by the  College of Veterinary Medicine Jilin University China  and will probably be on the market late 2019. 

The motor behind this is Professor  Doctoral Supervisor Zhang Naisheng, who is presently working at the  College of Veterinary Medicine Jilin University China. He is also Vice president of horse branch of Chinese association of animal science and veterinary medicine; Vice president of large animal internal medicine  of Chinese association of animal science and veterinary medicine and President of animal treatment of Chinese association of animal science and veterinary medicine. The person I also want to thank is Maimaiti · Tuniyazi who is presently studying Equine Medicine and Behavioral Science supervised by Professor Zhang Naisheng  at the  College of Veterinary Medicine Jilin University China and who incited this by bringing my study and book under the attention of his mentor.

I feel very grateful to Professor Zhang Naisheng for giving me this opportunity to reach more people and therefore horses. I am looking forward to us all meeting. I hope it is a starting point for a fruitful cooperation.

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Podcast up and running!

My first podcast (interview) is ready to be listened to! Topics are the Calming Signals of Horses, Using Enriched Environments and doing Scentwork with horses. It was wonderful and exciting to be doing a podcast. I was lucky to have Tracy Malone as host. She has already interviewed so many interesting horse people for her podcasts “Come Along For the Ride”, that I was in safe and capable hands. Such a help and joy. Do you feel like listening? If you click on the picture or the following link you will find yourself directed to the podcast. Enjoy!

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Dutch ladders ready

I took a bit, but here they are: two communication ladders in Dutch. You can download them copy right free from: It is not allowed to change the ladders. The two communication ladders resulted from the ongoing study I started in 2013. More information about the study and the ladders are given in the book “Language Signs and Calming Signals of Horses”. You can also find some information on the download page. Do you want to see how the signals come to live? Visit one of my lectures. Watching film material of interacting horses is the main activity.

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First place in Top 10 – Czech Republic

A couple of months ago my book Language Signs and Calming Signals of Horses has been translated in to the Czech language and has been published by Arcaro in the Czech Republic. The largest publishing house in horse books in  the Czech Republic. Due to the number of sales my book hit the first spot in the top 10 best selling books! That is so special. Thank you Arcaro publishing  and ofcourse the many buyers. I am so happy that the calming signals are finding a way into your life’s with horses.

And who knows, we meet ‘live’ when I will give a weekend seminar on the 22-23 June in Brno. Day 1 is all about the calming signals and the use f them, Day 2 is all about equine mental stimulation and scent work. Organiser is Venya Bonebakker. For details and sign up:

I am very looking forward to come.

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Danish Communication ladder ready for free down loading

With gratitude and a big thank you to Ute Lehmann. Thanks to her my communication ladder is translated in yet another language: Danish. You can download the ladder copyright free from my website.

Ute Lehmann has been engaged fulltime in teaching and improving communication skills between humans and horses since 1996. She offers clinics and workshops in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany, talking fluently Danish, English and German. Her work is based on friendly, reasonable communication and problem solving through wisely planned set ups. All students and equines are welcome and all lessons are given on an individual level.
Ute has published the books ‘In Harmoni med Hesten’ and ‘Kunsten at ride uden bid’ in Danish language and ‘Reiten ohne Gebiss’ in German language.

A start in Denmark: from left to right: Ute Lehmann, Rachaël Draaisma and Helle Knudsen
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Lectures in The Netherlands

Enclosed some impression pictures (from Nina Bien) from two lectures I gave in The Netherlands. One was in Nistelrode, organiser was Irene Smeets from Kings-Crossing. The other was in Bemelen, Carin Breukers- Les2Chevaux was the one inviting me there. Thank you Irene and Carin!  In the coming months there will be more opportunities to see me in The Netherlands. On the 13th of April Irene Smeets will organise another of my Calming Signals lecture, location is Beesd. On the 11th of May Bertine Koelman will organise a Calming Signals Lecture of me in Den Ham.  Language spoken will be Dutch. For info and sign up see:

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German ladders ready for downloading

Iris Starnberger has started the New Year productively. Apart from her regular work at her own company “Zuckerbrot”, she has also translated two of my communication ladders into German.  If you want to use these ladders, they can be downloaded copyright-free from my website
at  Downloads In the chapter down loads you can also find background information and tips .

Do you want to know more about Iris Starnberger, PhD? She is based in Vienna, Austria. She is a zoologist specializing in signal evolution and multimodal communication and a certified animal trainer and behaviour consultant using science-based and animal-friendly methods. Iris gives private lessons and talks and is available for clinics in Austria and abroad. She is especially interested in medical training, gymnastic work for horses and in resolving problematic behaviour. Thank you, Iris!

Coming up soon: the Danish ladders, translated by Ute Lehmann.

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Finnish ladders ready for down loading

With a big thank you to Susanna Hämäläinen and Nina Mäki-Kihniä for your efforts and perfectionism to find the exact right Finnish words, and ofcourse my publisher CRC Press, two of my communication ladders are translated into Finnish. The two communication ladders are ‘Fight-Flight’ and ‘Recovery after Tension and Shock’. You can find them at sub header  Downloads  and download them for free. In the chapter down loads you can also find background information and tips.








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First lecture on Equine Scentwork

Thank you  Suzanne Rogers from Learning about animals for inviting me to lecture on Calming signals and language signs of horses and equine mental stimulation and scentwork. It was exciting to be able to share my findings on equine scentwork. What a great audience. I loved your enthusiasm and eagerness to learn.

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