Novellus Equestrian

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Stacey Ericson riding a horse

One of the greatest strengths that Stacey has in helping riders overcome their own challenges, is to focus on teaching riding FEEL, which results in a lot less FEAR. Stacey teaches higher level movements and exercises that help strengthen and balance horse and rider. These exercises, when done by a healthy horse and a more confident rider, can completely change the nature of the relationship, resulting in more enjoyable rides and significantly improved performance.

Many of Stacey’s clients have shown at the AA level, while Stacey’s own riding career included many successful trips around top venues like: Wellington Winter Festival, HITS Circuit, Kentucky Summer Festival, Lake Placid, Old Salem, Culpepper, etc.

Novellus Equestrian understands that competing at a high-level in equestrian sports can present many challenges for experienced horse riders. Some of the physical and mental obstacles that riders have to navigate include:

Riding horses is a physically demanding sport and injuries are common. Experienced riders often push themselves to the limit, putting their bodies under immense strain, which can result in chronic pain or acute injuries that require significant recovery time.


 Competitive equestrian sports require riders to perform under pressure, often in front of large crowds. The pressure to perform at a high level, combined with the unpredictable nature of horses, can lead to mental stress and anxiety.

 Managing a horse’s diet, exercise routine, and overall health requires a significant amount of time and effort. A horse’s well-being is crucial to its performance, and experienced riders have to ensure that their horse is in peak condition both physically and mentally.

 Outdoor horse shows can be challenging, especially when the weather is not ideal. Rain, wind, and extreme heat or cold can all impact a rider’s performance as well as their horse’s comfort and performance.

Riders rely on their equipment to perform at their best, and technical difficulties such as a broken saddle or bridle can be detrimental to their performance.

 Horses can be unpredictable animals, and even experienced riders can have difficulty navigating a horse’s behavior. A horse that is spooked or uncooperative can significantly impact a rider’s performance.

To compete at a high level in equestrian sports, riders must put in countless hours of training. This can be a grueling process that requires significant time, dedication, and financial investment.

All of these challenges can have a profound impact on a rider’s performance outcomes during important events. However, experienced riders who have the ability to adapt and navigate these obstacles are able to deliver exceptional horsemanship performances and create lasting legacies in the sport.

An unhappy horse

Stacey is an equestrian expert, understands that horses can be unpredictable animals, and riders need to be aware of the potential signs that a horse is spooked or uncooperative.


Here are some of the physical and behavioral cues to look out for:

When a horse’s ears are flattened against their head, it is a sign that they may be feeling defensive or aggressive.

If a horse’s eyes are wide open, it could indicate that they are scared or anxious.

A horse that is shifting its weight from one leg to another could be a sign of discomfort or nervousness.

A horse with tense muscles or a stiff body is likely feeling stressed or on edge.

If a horse refuses to move forward, it could be because they are afraid of something in their environment, such as loud noises or sudden movements.

A horse that suddenly jumps or bolts without warning is likely spooked by something in their surroundings.

Excessive sweating in a horse, especially if there isn’t a physical exertion explanation, could indicate anxiety or stress.


 Horses may buck or rear as a sign of fear or frustration.

Potential causes of spooked or uncooperative horse behavior can vary depending on the context. In a trail riding situation, loud noises such as cars or barking dogs can startle a horse. In an arena, bright or unexpected movements like a jacket flapping in the wind can cause a horse to spook. During competitive events, horses may become anxious or stressed due to the unfamiliar environment or high-stress situation.


It’s important for riders to be aware of these signs and potential causes so that they can take steps to manage a horse’s unpredictable behavior. This may include desensitization training to help the horse become more comfortable with certain sounds or movements, or working with a professional trainer to identify and address underlying behavioral issues. The goal is to create a safe and positive environment for both the rider and the horse.

As an equestrian expert with over 20 years of experience training horses, Stacey understands that there are many underlying health and behavior-related issues that can impede a horse’s performance. Here are some physical and behavioral cues that trainers and riders should be aware of:

Physical Cues:

  1. Limping or favoring a limb: This could indicate a physical injury or discomfort.
  2. Swelling or inflammation: Could be the result of a soft tissue injury.
  3. Difficulty breathing: Could signal respiratory issues such as pneumonia or allergic reactions.
  4. Loss of appetite: This is a sign that something is wrong with the horse and could be due to several reasons such as colic, stomach ulcers or dental problems.

Behavioral Cues:

  1. Anxiety or stall walking: This could indicate that the horse is not getting enough exercise or stimulation.
  2. Aggression: Horses may become aggressive if they are uncomfortable or scared.
  3. Bucking or rearing: This is a sign of frustration with the rider or pain.
  4. Nervousness or skittishness: Horses may be nervous in unfamiliar environments or due to a lack of exposure to certain situations.

Crazy horse

Some potential causes of these issues include previous injuries, environmental factors like stable and pasture conditions, dietary needs such as improper nutrition or dehydration, and insufficient or incorrect training regimens.

To identify and address these issues, trainers and riders should regularly monitor their horse’s health and behavior to detect any changes or irregularities. Work with a veterinary specialist to rule out any underlying medical conditions and address physical discomfort through treatment, rehabilitation, and proper nutrition.

For behavioral issues, appropriate desensitization and training techniques can help horses become more comfortable and confident in their surroundings, leading to improved performance.

Additionally, ensuring the horse’s environment is safe, stimulating, and well-maintained can go a long way towards preventing issues from arising in the first place, such as providing ample turnout time, access to fresh water and hay, and regular exercise.


If you’re an equestrian sports horse owner with an underperforming horse, you know that a one-size-fits-all approach just won’t cut it. That’s why an individualized training program is the safest and most effective way to achieve your goals.


Novelle Equestrian will provide exercises that are tailored to your skill level and guide you towards your objectives. As you begin to hit your goals, you’ll experience an incredible confidence boost. This newfound confidence will motivate you to learn new skills, stick to your program, and continue seeing results.


With an individualized training program, you can work at your own pace. Unlike a group fitness class or online video, we take breaks when we need to and jump back in without missing a beat.


Riding a brown horse

Don’t settle for boring, unchallenging routines that don’t give you the results you’re looking for. Novelle Equestrian will provide you with challenging exercises that take your horse to the next level.


Additionally, Stacey is an incredible resource for education on exercising. Her years of schooling and training have given them knowledge beyond what you can find on the internet. By learning from Stacy, you’ll have better workouts that maximize effectiveness while reducing the risk of injury.

At Novelle Equestrian, we want to help you achieve long-term results with an individualized training program. Trust us to help bring out the best in you and your underperforming horse!

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