Group svg


Don Jessop

The fourth "F" doesn't refer to a four letter word that starts with "F". It refers to a list of things scientist from around the world have collaborated upon to help people understand horses. The first three have been on the list since the beginning of modern horse behavior science. The last one, I add today, as food for thought for you, the avid horse enthusiasts. Or should I say... addict. Wink, wink. ūüėČ

1. Food

2. Friends

3. Freedom


4. Fulfillment

I love alliteration and acronyms because they help me tattoo important messages into my memory, making them easier to recall.

For years, scientists who study horse psychology have agreed that in order for a horse to meet basic physical and psychological needs, they need three things: Food, friends, and freedom.

For a horse in captivity, we learn to feed them about 2 to 3 percent of their body weight every day. A thousand pound horse gets 20 to 30 lbs. of roughage. We learn they also need friends. A lone horse can survive but thriving in the way of their instinctive family draw, requires a companion. So, most of us have horses together, or at least across the fence from each other, on a day to day basis. We also learn they need space to express their movements. A small pen or paddock doesn't allow for sprinting and flying about during a play session. We can all imagine an athlete being confined to a prison cell. Psychologically, it would be hell on earth to be confined to small spaces.

Now for the last one... fulfillment. It's all about adding some kind of meaningful, engaging pathway forward. In nature it could be as simple as climbing the pecking order and earning breeding rights or exploring new feeding territory and watering holes. In captivity it needs to be something else. It needs to be playful and positive encounters with the humans that steward them. Liberty games, riding games, trail riding, etc. Even performance riding could be positive if you make sure to watch the horse's stress levels and learning capabilities.

So, the question is... do you give your horse all four needs? Is something missing? In your goal to add fulfillment, do you need more knowledge about managing stress and making training a positive experience for both you and your horse?

If you'd like inspiration. Look no further...

Thanks for reading, comment below. Don

Don Jessop - Blog Welcome

Hi! I'm Don Jessop

With Mastery Horsemanship

I write to inspire, educate and encourage you on your horse and personal journey.

1 png

Complete Confidence Course!

  • ‚Äč
  • ‚ÄčEmbrace the confidence to do anything with your horse.
  • ‚ÄčStep by step modules that build the confidence you wish you always had.
  • ‚ÄčModules that rebuild the confidence you have lost.
  • ‚ÄčLive lessons / Q & A sessions every month.
  • Warm, supportive community.
  • ‚ÄčGet confidence on the ground
  • Get confidence¬†in the saddle.
  • ‚ÄčMaster your inner dialogue.
  • ‚ÄčGive your body greater mobility.
  • ‚Äč Grow your horse's confidence!
  • ‚Äč Get your confidence Today!
Don Jessop


Don opened up a community, full of people on the same journey you are!
To share LIVE Q&A's and help people and horses transform Confidence.

Don Jessop


Don shares his  passion for writing with his passion for helping horse owners see the horse and themselves for who they truly are.

Don Jessop


Don believes every horse owner should have access to the Principles of Horsemanship and he shares them freely here.

Want to Know More?

Enter your Name and Email

For our FREE Weekly Newsletter
‚Äč‚Äč*Inspirational articles *Tips *Trivia and *Updates

Don't Miss Out Subscribe Now!