Training Theory: Cold Blood vs Hot Blood Horses

What is the difference between a Cold Blood Horse and a Hot Blood horse? In my experience, horses can be loosely divided into three categories according to their temperaments. Generally speaking, the Coldblood Horses are the draft breeds. This includes such well-known breeds as the Percheron, Belgian, Clydesdale (right), Icelandic and Shires. They were developed… Read More Training Theory: Cold Blood vs Hot Blood Horses

Training Theory: Cues

What is a A Cue? Anything said or done that is followed by a specific action. A hint, intimation or guiding suggestion. Anything that excites to action. A stimulus. Horses have innate understanding of certain visual or auditory cues in their environment. They are prepared to see danger and react immediately. Natural Horsemanship training takes… Read More Training Theory: Cues

Horse Training Theory: Introduction

Horse training is the music of psychological and physical pressure orchestrated by timing. It is a waltz or a tango between two synchronized partners. Start with the articles in this category to understand the under-pinnings of all horse training exercises.

How to Use a Bit

Shop Horse Bits Why Use a Bit At All? Horses are very large and fairly insensitive. There is no way that a person could manage a horse by brute force. Therefore, in order to induce a horse to bend to our will, we must exploit every sensitive area – making it first uncomfortable to challenge… Read More How to Use a Bit

Horse Basics: Pasture Etiquette

Horses are natural herd animals and very insecure, uncomfortable, even unhappy, when not in the presence of other horses. There are many communication signals used by horses to understand each other’s intentions. Understanding horse communication is important for horse training, as most techniques try to closely simulate a horse’s natural communication skills. Lead (dominant) Mare:… Read More Horse Basics: Pasture Etiquette

Training Theory: Signal

Signal: When the reins are picked up but before the bit is actually working in the mouth Handling: After the signal. When the bit is actively engaged in the mouth A horse should be able to feel you pick up the reins before the bit does anything. The cue prepares him to act. (See also… Read More Training Theory: Signal

Training Theory: Patterning

Horses are creatures of habit. They quickly adopt patterns as a way of life. Example: If they move to a pasture in the daytime and come back to their paddock at night, they will move from one place to the other without guidance if the gate is open. A more dramatic example would be a… Read More Training Theory: Patterning

Training Theory: Retrospective Learning

The phenomenon whereby, as if by magic, a horse who is given time off with a fallow mind and no pressure suddenly becomes proficient at an exercise that eluded him when his trainer last left him. Learning takes place during an exercise in each of its phases: the introduction, the practice and the fine-tuning. However,… Read More Training Theory: Retrospective Learning

Training Theory: Shaping

Shaping is the term used for GRADUALLY lengthening or fine-tuning a response. ie: After your horse reliably backs up one step, start asking for two. When that is an easy task, ask for three etc. etc. Soon he will back clear across an arena with only the lightest pressure from the bit and your calves.… Read More Training Theory: Shaping

Training Theory: Introducing Maneuvers

Each time you introduce a new move, your horse is building on past maneuvers. That is one reason that it is advisable to follow the steps in the Horse Training Exercises in order. Each lesson builds on the previous lesson. You may not see the importance of any particular lesson at any particular time, but,… Read More Training Theory: Introducing Maneuvers