"Affirmative training is the art of understanding the horse."
Relaxed & Forward Training: We train with a profound concern for the horse’s mental and physical welfare. We listen to his Calming Signals and learn his perspective. We affirm the horse’s intelligence, empowering his confidence with positive energy. Join our Relaxed & Forward Tribe. We put horses first.
Author, Horse Advocate & Trainer
Affirmative training is a way for a horse to find peace; a way he can know where he belongs in a chaotic world. Let him feel safe in your partnership.
How is Anna Blake's Approach to Horsemanship Different?
Relaxed & Forward Dressage: Lessons with me are firmly rooted in the principles of traditional Dressage; training relaxed and forward gaits with responsiveness and balance for the horse and rider. I combine this with a special focus on listening to Calming Signals, the natural language of the horse, for a partnership of understanding, confidence, and pleasure. I take horses and riding very seriously, but I do it with humor and lightness because horses like happy riders.
About Anna Blake
Welcome. I’m a horse advocate first. I work as a trainer, international clinician, and award-winning author. I train horses and riders communication skills and dressage, and I write parables about horses and life.
I write the AnnaBlakeBlog: Relaxed and Forward, a popular and unconventional blog about horse training, life with the herd, and poetry from the prairie. My writing and training offer an affirmative and inspirational approach to understanding, respecting, and communicating with animals
I offer Concept Clinics in the U.S. and internationally. Concept Clinics are an opportunity to explore a focused group of ideas with exercises designed to clarify and deepen the awareness and practice of a fundamental principle of communication or training. Clinics include Calming Signals, Dressage Rhymes with Massage, Rhythm and Dance, and others.
The Print Version is my author blog where I share my passion for writing, offering workshops, and being a word geek, smiling like a fifth-grader in cat-eye glasses and a buttoned-up sweater because Grammarly is my new best friend.
I’m the author of four books:
- Stable Relation, a Memoir of One Woman’s Spirited Journey Home, by Way of the Barn, a Peoples’ Choice Gold Medal Winner.
- Relaxed & Forward: Relationship Advice from Your Horse
- Barn Dance, Nickers, brays, bleats, howls, and quacks: Tales from the herd
- Horse Prayers, Poems from the Prairie.
Working in class with Anna has opened up a whole new world of understanding with my horses. In that world there's now two way communication, which has opened the way for mutual confidence and genuine relationship. I've worked with others who use all the right words, but the crucial difference shows in the beautiful relaxed moments in connection with my horses. Anna is gifted with the knack for seeing the best in our horses and she helps each of us learn how to build on that. It's been a very gratifying journey watching the horses and humans grow in remarkable ways in such a short time.
A testimonial, off the cuff: My journey with horses has been profoundly influenced by Anna Blake. I’ve taken three online classes at The Relaxed and Forward Barn School, which have deepened my understanding of the language of horses, and given me insight into how to have a true conversation with them. My horse is much less anxious, and so am I. I have new practical and creative methods for interacting and training, and I am so much more optimistic about our journey together. The support of fellow classmates in the Relaxed and Forward community is also a great help and inspiration.
Kapiti Coast District, New Zealand
I've recently done the "Calming Signal' course with Anna . It was a 4 week on line course with a small group of about eight people and it worked really well. I learned so much from it and was a lot of fun meeting up with classmates from all different parts of the world every week. We were given "homework" to send in a video each week of our horses on a set topic which we would then discuss in our meeting. It was great to meet everyone s horses and see so many calming signals in real life situations. I thoroughly recommend anyone thinking of doing one of Anna's courses to do it. They are full of learning, fun and laughter! The changes I am seeing in my horse and our relationship is truly wonderful.