Thank you for stopping by! Welcome to one of the Internet's go-to resources for all things riding!10336665_710291435707893_7768679949452226441_n

We aren't all superstar riders with superstar horses, riding in the super events with super accolades coming our way. But that doesn't stop us from riding the best we can, putting as much time and effort into riding as possible (within our "real life" constraints and scheduling) and loving our horses. For some of us, striving to be a better rider must become a lifelong aspiration that develops only in proportion to the resources we have in our own backyards.

This blog is especially for people who spend time with horses because of their passion, attraction and love for the horse. You will find a myriad of articles here - some "how to" posts, some thought-provoking posts and even some playing around posts, celebrating our equine friends in every way.

If you like what you are reading and want to see what else I have written in the past, go to the Archives Page to find articles dating back to the very beginning of the blog. And here is the very first post that inspired the blog.

I have been involved in the equine industry for the past 20 years as a rider, boarder, horse owner, competitor, coach, trainer, and breeder. Horse Listening symbolizes the path that has brought me to this place, through a myriad of experiences that have enriched my life and provided me opportunity for growth. With riding backgrounds encompassing western performance, endurance riding and competitive trail, natural horsemanship, and most prominently, dressage, I feel I have developed into a well-rounded and open-minded equestrian, always in search of more learning!

3D book 2
Horse Listening - The Book: Stepping Forward To Riding Success

Horse Listening, the blog, has allowed me to fulfill one of my life's dreams: publishing a book! Click here to read about Horse Listening - The Book: Stepping Forward To Riding Success.

In fact, I've now published 5 books to date - the 3 Horse Listening book collections from the blog, a Goal Setting Book designed specifically for the horse rider, and a 5-year Anniversary book with the top 20 articles from the blog up that date. The feedback has been very encouraging! Thank you to those who have already bought the books. 

If you haven't already received our free eBook, #1 Rider Problems Collection, just click here and get the instant download!

Most recently, I spent the past few years planning and then building a new Practice Sessions membership site. The Practice Sessions are geared DIRECTLY to people who want practical ideas to take to the barn, that they can use right away to develop their riding "practice" for the benefit of their own horse.

If you like what you are reading in the blog, feel free to share the links with friends and associates. I am always happy to do a guest post on other web pages and invite other equestrian professionals to do the same here.

If you would like to be a premium advertiser, sponsor the blog or any of the blog posts, please go here for more details. Please note that I do not do any form of hidden advertising on this website.

Also, subscribe to get instant updates when new articles are published. Feel free to comment and discuss your point of view on any of the topics. I hope you enjoy my "ramblings" on Horse Listening.

With warm regards,

Kathy Farrokhzad


If you'd like to contact me directly, please email me at

Photo Credit: J. Boesveld


  1. Your site is marvelous and more than I have been able to weave and construct with my social media effort. I may hang around. But, we do have a well loved product and we hope to spread the word. Here is our blog. For some amusement read “You aint nothin but a Hound Dog”.


  2. I decided to do a search on WordPress topics for ‘horse’ and your blog came up. Glad I clicked through. Looks like I have a lot more poking around to do here, but so far I love your thought process about horses and riding. Even though I primarily ride western now (ok, I just uncovered my hunt saddle the other day to show a bunch of western kids what one looks like – it can be a novelty item here!) the basics are the basics are the basics for good horsemanship. If you are inclined to check out my blog, this post may be of interest ( Your blog may have finally inspired Part 2 for that post. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments! I’m definitely with you on “the basics are the basics are the basics” – every horse has four legs, a head and a tail and they all have to deal with gravity in the same way! I am a dressage “convert” after 15 years of western riding, so I do know the pleasures you have with the western style too. I’ll go read your blog now. Thanks again.

  3. Hello there!! I love your site and would also love if you could maybe write about the place I intern at. It’s called Horses & Pathfinders (EGE, Coaching and Leadership). It’s a really cool place that talks/ focuses on natural horsemanship. Thanks!!

  4. Good site you have here. As a horse listener myself, I appreciate it. Plus, as a writer I love it. Always looking for growth in both horsemanship and writing and that of course comes from exploring and being open.
    Please give my site a look-see too and maybe we can link up for more ‘stuff’.

  5. I love the message of your blog. It’s very similar to what I am exploring in my blod “Ngugi’s Word: teachings of a retired racehorse.” I will be following your site, and I hope you find something worth reading in mine. Looking forward to more reading…


  6. I love your site. My first passion was horses… I was lucky to own a beautiful thoroughbred hunter/pleasure horse while in my teens. These were some of the happiest days of my life. I became an artist and sometimes I paint horses (large life-size heads, mostly). If you would like to see my work click on “selected large paintings-horses” on my website/blog. I’m going to follow you… you bring back such nice memories for me. Congratulations on being FP’d.

  7. Excellent blog! Its what I am still striving to achieve in my own blog so its proving to be a good example! Came upon your blog through the “outside rein” one — something that I have tried to explain to other riders and its not an easy concept to teach to someone who has done it the “other way” their whole life. Well done.

  8. I admire, enjoy, appreciate, and basically love your blog more and more every day. Each new blog post that I get by email or older ones I follow through your strategically (and oh so helpfully placed hyperlinks) I learn something new or reminded of something I should be thinking about or read something I enjoy just for its spirit (your Canada Day salute was lovely for an ex-pat Canadian living in US). I also want to express my enjoyment of and gratitude to the community of readers who comment on your posts. Your recent post “in praise of the riding hand” is a prime example. What a clearly written and organized list of reasons, the link to the supinated compared to pronated hand and forearm, and the comments conversation were fabulous enhancements, I especially enjoyed Alli Farkas posting the Reiner Klimke video and again mourned his premature death. I thank you and my horses thank you even more! Fiona

    1. Oh wow, Fiona, thanks so much for your beautiful words (glad you can’t see me blushing back here)!!

      Although I’ll uncomfortably wriggle under your kind kind comments about the blog, I do want to wholeheartedly agree with you about the community that has developed here.

      I am truly amazed at the readers that are coming to the blog daily, from lifelong horse lovers (who represent all breeds, riding disciplines, nationalities, languages and ages) to professional horse trainers (from dressage to hunter/jumper to western performance to barrel racers to natural horsemanship – and I’m sure there are more that I can’t think of right now), to veterinarians and farriers, to biomechanics pros (referring to Katmah’s comment) and now, even to “pro-pro” WRITERS (non-horsey)!


      I have never thought that I know everything about everything (even in my daily life), and I’m really happy that this blog is becoming the discussion forum that I dreamed for it. As I wrote in the About section, the blog isn’t about me or what I “know”. It’s about the horse, and about our desire to be the best we can be for our horses. The whole point of using a blog as a forum for discussion is because of its ability to be current, ever-changing and interactive.

      I imagine it to be like a dinner out with your closest horsey friends, and the animated conversations you get into about your experiences with your horses. Often, those are the most enjoyable nights!

      Except that with the blog, you get to be with thousands of your closest friends, from quite possibly the other side of the globe!

      What could be better than that??!!

  9. Have just stumbled upon your blog/website and found it so so clear and simple in its explanation of some very complicated issues (i.e impulsion, light contact). I am president of Okla West Dress Assoc and at this moment Western Dressage is experiencing some pretty confusing outlooks on just exactly what Western Dressage should look like and be. Not for me, thank heavens, but for many folks new to the discipline. Your explanations rang loud and clear to me and hopefully to others who are struggling. I’ve shared your writings on our facebook page (I HOPE that’s ok) in hopes that it will clarify certain issues for these folks that are having a hard time defining just exactly what they should be doing and how to ride this new discipline. Thank you, thank you , thank you for putting things in plain, simple terms for them. I sincerely hope it guides them to the light!! Clinic after clinic, clinician, after clinician has failed to apparently explain it as well as you have!! Keep it coming. I can see now I will be hanging around here and checking out your words of wisdom and insight!! Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments! There is no problem to share the links on Facebook as long as there is a link back to the original page. As far as clear explanations – I am trying to do exactly what you’re describing. I know perfectly well how hard it is to convey especially concepts to people while they are riding. I’m hoping that these articles give people some food for thought off the horse’s back, in conjunction with their own lessons.

  10. Thanks for your easily understood, well written articles. I have shared on my FB page and on several equestrian group’s FB that I admin. Your insight and efforts to freely share your knowledge and observations are truly a gift to the greater equestrian community!

  11. Wow! As a riders who lives in central British Columbia, in a very small town, we have few teachers in the area. We are lucky to have some travelling instructors. We work on our own a lot. Your timely, simple construction of riding aids and ideas for improvement are so helpful and easy to understand. Just read “practice” and “timing”. Can’t wait to read more and go out and work on these. Thank you!! My husband and I ride most days from April until November. English, jumping, trail and horse camping holidays. 2 feet of snow on the outdoor now, so we are skiers in the winters. Jan and Michael

  12. Hi, I took up horse riding about 16 months ago at 37 years and I have been a very fearful and slow learner but I have been working hard with my dear and trusted school horse. This week I did an extensive 5 day course with 15 hours in the saddle and in my head I was doing fab until I seen the video they made of me of yesterday! It was a terrible blow to my ego. Then I fell on your website and blogs and it was exactly what I needed to put things back into perspective!!! Thank you so much Kathy! I feel fired up with motivation and ready to take on the next six months! Fin, Paris

  13. I am so happy a book is coming out! I can’t wait to order it. I started out riding at a young age with no lessons except the school of hard knocks. I learned to stay on and have fun. In my 30′s I started lessons with a very good instructor who taught the balanced seat and no shortcuts. I emulate what I learned from her in the lessons I teach now. I also mentor with a great level 4 centered riding instructor who worked with Sally Swift. When I read your articles it all rings so true and I love it!
    I wish all instructors would take the time to learn all these skills and I know we never stop learning. I look forward to the second book!

  14. I just recently wrote on my blog about my connection with horses and this month marks 37 years that I have had a horse (or more than one) in my life. Could not live without one!! Posted lots of pictures too of them if you get a chance to check them out. Looking forward to reading your posts!!

  15. any way to “exchange” my digital copy for print? I’m sure it’s user error but I’m having a hard time with kindle app on my ipad. It keep reverting back to my daughter’s kindle and disappearing from my ipad app. I think i’m just old school and like to have a book to hold and mark pages and go back to them! love the bits of the book I’ve been able to read and the columns.

  16. just learning about real balance at 45 years old after being a hunter seat equitation rider through my teens…. wow, it was so much easier ‘posing’ on my ‘made’ show horses. now i see i wasn’t really riding after all !!!!
    well, ‘it’s never too late’ they say ! the feeling when my horse and i ‘get it’ is amazing, fleeting as they are…
    i will keep reading …. 🙂
    p.s. can you do a post on balance exercises either in hand or under saddle for the young horse ?
    oh, and great book !

    dana daidone
    philadelphia , pa

    1. Hi Dana,
      Thanks so much for your kind comments. I completely relate because I did quite a bit of “posing” in my time too! And yes, it never is too late.

  17. Where have you been all my ‘horse life’?! Your lessons are short and to the point, clearly understood and have resulted in a marked improvement in my riding and how my lesson horse is responding. Thank you so much.

  18. HI! I wanted to say a quick thank you for your books! I have a World Champion AQHA over fences Horse that had a small injury a year ago. He is such a great horse to show, we decided to take full year off and start back at the beginning. Forcing us to slow down was the best decision we could make. At the beginning of the process, I started reading your book and blog articles. Previously, he had been so hard in the mouth. We rode him in a segunda and really just let him carry himself around. He was such a good boy we just rode what we had :)! A year later, I just finished competing in a Hunter Under Saddle Class with a smooth eggbutt snaffle. It is amazing what slowing down and focusing on health and the basics does for our animals. Thanks for continuing to encourage people to listen to the horses and making us all better riders.

  19. Kathy– thank you so very much for your blog and posts on Facebook. As a ‘new again’ dressage rider (I took a 25 year break), sometimes I think your articles were written just for me! Your information is clear and easy to understand. You are the best!

  20. I just found your blogs and I’m intrigued. You strike me as “one of us”… at least that’s how your writing comes across making it easy to read and understand. I’m a PATH Intl instructor working towards my advanced certification and the blogs I’ve read so far are really making me think and giving me another set of tools for my instructor’s toolbox. Thank you for being so generous with your knowledge and experiences. If everyone were so open, just imagine how much we could all learn. You’ve also inspired me to ‘get writing ‘ again. Thank you!

  21. Thank you for the free ebook on help for beginner riders! My wife and I are taking lessons together at our local equestrian center and we’re loving it, but need to practice in between lessons… Hoping your blog is one of the aids we’ll be able to use!

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