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Episode 272 Teaching Relaxation: Pt 1: Finding Stillness

We all know there are many forms of standing still. There’s standing at full attention like a soldier on parade. There’s standing at ease watching the world drift by. There’s standing still ready to spring into action like a sprinter at the starting line.

Often people get to four on the floor with their animals and stop at that point. As long as the feet are still, they consider they have taught stillness. But what happens if that horse or that dog is quivering with expectation, trying to figure out what to do to get you to click? You may have four on the floor, but you’re a long way from a relaxed learner.

We’re starting a four part series in which we explore standing not just with four on the floor, but standing in stillness so your learner is truly relaxed. This doesn’t happen by chance. It is the result of a systematic training process. Svenja Sawinski is our guide in this series as she shares what her Arab/barb cross has been teaching her about stillness.

In this episode Svenja introduces us to Daryan and explains why getting to this “Grand Prix” level of relaxation was so important for this horse. She shares her early attempts at teaching stillness, and the lesson that finally made a difference for Daryan.


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