Natural Horsemanship

All horses that we work with at Tally-Ho have the correct disposition for what we ask of them. Not every horse has the ‘right stuff’ to be a carriage horse; but the ones that are successful and working in downtown Victoria, absolutely love it!

In 2016 we partnered with Glenn Stewart (, a leading expert on horse behavior who educates humans on how to develop trust-based partnerships with our horses.

In Glenn’s words “Horsemanship is what keeps you and the horse safe and gives both parties enjoyment. The more you understand the horse and work with their natural tendencies the more extraordinary the results can be. It is natural if you cause and allow learning to happen rather than make. Considering the horse’s point of view first and then the best way to present your idea can all be learnt. If you get it right, everything else will be too! If you understand what is important to them, have the ability to read each as an individual and know the why, the how and the when to responding, the possibilities for what horse and human can achieve in a partnership are limitless.”
The Tally-Ho horses are asked to manage a wide variety of situations in downtown Victoria, and is incumbent upon us to ensure that we provide them all the tools necessary for them to be safe, happy and successful in their jobs. To do this, it is essential that we build their confidence to be able to manage unforeseen situations presented to them, respect for their humans and herd-mates, and understanding of what is being asked of them in any circumstance.

We are excited to introduce our new Horse Development program, designed to increase our horses’ confidence, and enhance the human-equine partnerships that our team cherishes. Stay tuned for updates on our journey!

Do the horses love this job? YES!

We are often asked how we know that the horses love their jobs at Tally-Ho.  Horses have similar reactions to their environment as we (humans) do – if we are scared or nervous our eyes may get wide, we may start to shrink away from something, and/or we may stubbornly say “forget that idea!”.  In humans and horses, body language and attitude are the key indicators.

Signs of a relaxed horse:

  • head is held low (not up high)
  • eyes are soft and relaxed (not bugging out of his head)
  • ears are forward or to the side (not flicking around frantically, or pinned backwards)
  • one foot may be bent (as he ‘takes a load off’)
  • mouth may be slack or droopy

At Tally-Ho we practice natural horsemanship, which means that we view our relationship as a partnership – whatever we ask of the horse should be met with a willing response.  It’s up to us to figure out how to ask nicely, so that the horse cooperates of his own freewill (see Roy following Brianna around an obstacle course – not because he has to, but because he’s having fun!).

So how do we know the horses like their jobs?  They show us every day that they are willing partners – here’s a few examples:

  • they come to the gate when called – see our video of Kashe!
  • they walk easily into the horse trailer for their ride into town
  • they stand calmly while being harnessed and hooked to the carriage.  Check out this hilarious video of Sarge who is literally chomping at the bit and can’t wait to get on with his day!
  • they will actually sleep on the job (at the carriage stand when not out on a tour)