Invite Rachaël

Lectures & Workshops

You can invite Rachaël for lectures. The photo and films collected within the study play an important part in the lectures. Seeing and recognising is crucial. Rachaël lectures on the following subjects:

Lecture: The Calming Signals of Horses

What are calming signals?

What do they look like?

When do we see them?

In what combinations of other signals do they occur?

How does increasing tension interact with the calming signals?

Hoe does decreasing tension interact with the calming signals?

How do (weakened) distance increasing signals relate to the calming signals?

Which other body characteristics and signals are recognisable?

How do we apply this knowledge of calming signals and other communicative skills when working and living with horses?

Which calming signals can we use ourselves to better his welfare, socialisation and training?

Lecture:  Equine Scent work & Mental Stimulation

During this lecture we will discuss how we can optimise the socialisation and (re)scialisation of our horse. How we can teach him to stand on his own feet and handle stimuli around him with a relaxed emotion without the help and control of a handler.

Rachaël uses two tools to make this happen: She builds customised enriched environments & she does scentwork with horses. Within the scent work the main focus is how to teach your horse to follow a human footstep trail. (So he can find lost persons or foodbags). During the lecture Rachaël shows many films and discusses the challenges to solve. To give you a good start when implementing this knowledge at home with your own horses. Rachaël also provides a theoretical background on scenting, and ofcourse covers the mental & physical advantages of doing scent work with your horse.


Topics on the enriched environments part are: The advantages of mental stimulation, what happens in the brain, why is reading body features and communications signals so important for the brain. How to use enriched environments as tool in your life and work with horses. Practical tips are given to implement different levels and avoid pitfalls. How can you use enriched environments as assessment tool in consultations and as instrument when working with horses who some might have behavioural problems.
The scent work part will take up the majority of the lecture. Topics on the scent tracking part are: What are the advantages of scent work? How well does a horse smell? From nostril to brain, what is the journey of a scent molecule traveling up into the brain, which brain area’s then are addressed to. What makes smell unique. The biomechanics of the horse when tracking is discussed and the advantages tracking has on the posture of the horse when also doing dressage or another sport. Doing scent work: The differences between dogs and horses, What have I tried, Scent tracking: what scents is the horse following, what is needed for a horse to follow a scent track, in what way can he follow a track. How is tracking when riding. To give you a good practical feel on how to get started yourself. I show you film clips of Ristin and Indy, from the start to a track in the forest of 45 meters on rough terrain, finding a person/footbag. I also show challenges you may encounter on film.

The reading of Equine body features, language signs and calming signals is indispensible when doing this kind of mental stimulation with horses. This lecture is a logic sequel of the first lecture on Calming Signals of Horses.


For a full day:  between 750,- and 900,-  euro  (excluding VAT) depending on the travel distance.  Travel costs, sleeping accommodation and costs for food and drinks should be taken care of by the host.

Equipment needed

An overhead projector, a whiteboard or flip chart and a table and chair. The time table can vary, but never more than 8 hours per day, and ending no later than 6 pm. When we have agreed upon a date and the type of talk/workshop you require I will need to know what kind of venue the lecture will be hosted. How many persons will approximately attend.  With what horses we perhaps work during a workshop. And how the possible outdoor space looks like, when working with horses.