Ethology: what is it?

Ethology is a term used to determine an equestrian practice, on foot or in the saddle, corresponding to principles slightly different from traditional French riding.

However, the term is misused. Ethology is the science that studies the behavior of animals in their natural environment. Behavior, according to Audrey Manning, “encompasses all the processes by which an animal perceives the outside world (!), And responds to the changes it perceives.” The natural living environment of a species: it is not nature, but the environment in which the animal lives.

Nowadays, the word “ethology” is used to describe ethological riding. Before doing specific exercises, it is first of all a conception of an equestrian practice around the horse. The basics are the will to understand the horse, to read its behavior in order to motivate it to work while respecting its physical integrity.

Many masters, called in French ethologists, whisperers, are emerging in France. Each one is inspired by trends already present in the world. The most famous current is that of Pat Parelli. Born in 1954, in 1993 he published his first book “Natural Horseman Ship” which presents the basis of his technique around the 7 Parelli games. He still officiates by giving clinics (internships) all over the world.

Around a precise technique, specific tools are necessary, the most important of which are the halter (ethological) and the loin. The halter is made with round rope, shaped by means of knots. The lanyard is made of braided and round rope and fitted with a carabiner. On foot, we will use, according to the principles of the masters, either a classic and light training stick, or an ethological stick.


This ethological stick is also called “carrot stick” by Pat Parelli. It is a tool between a chambermaid and the training stick. The stick is heavier and wider than the dressage stick. On the hand side, the handle is thick and allows a strong grip. At the end of the stick, a removable rope is longer than the stick itself. It takes a bit of dexterity to be comfortable with this bulky tool.

The tool is to choose but the concept is that it serves as an extension of the arm, we will touch the horse lightly. In the saddle, we use the same tools, the riders go up without bits. Michel Robert, after 40 years of career at the highest level, has become a true reference in the equestrian world. Having stopped the high level in 2013, he officiates as a teacher in France and around the world. He has created different products for ethology, his halter and his lanyard, manufactured by T de T.

Discover the T.DE.T range by clicking on this link:

Etho Halters and Lanyards

<style = “text-align: center;” and = “”>

Foot Work Accessories

</ style = “text-align:>