Training Exercises: Leg Yield Under Saddle

Training Needed: Disengage the Rear and Disengage the Front Well-trained horses use leg cues, face cues, and seat cues to anticipate what their rider wants them to do. A really well-trained horse and rider can perform with leg and seat cues alone. That is the fancy “bridleless” horse you see at exhibitions. Generally speaking, the… Read More Training Exercises: Leg Yield Under Saddle

Training Exercises: Neck Reining

Neck Reining is the use of Indirect rein pressure. Both reins are held in one hand (usually your left hand). When the reins are laid across the horse’s neck on the left side, he is supposed to turn to the right (as if the rein is pushing his head right). When laid across the neck… Read More Training Exercises: Neck Reining

Training Exercises: First Saddle Experience

A horse’s first saddle experience can be difficult or easy, depending on how much ground training he has and how solid he is when it comes to pressure situations. We do not introduce a saddle until a horse can lunge in hand properly and has had a lot of desensitizing. He should have no “untouchable”… Read More Training Exercises: First Saddle Experience

Training Exercises: The Verbal “Whoa!”

In my early days of horse training, I was less experienced and less sure of myself. My angst expressed itself with a great deal of work on safety exercises. Paramount among those were disengaging the horse’s rear early so that he never showed that part of his anatomy to me and teaching him to stop… Read More Training Exercises: The Verbal “Whoa!”

Training Exercises: Disengage Rear

Equipment Needed: Stiff Rope Halter with Nose Knots, a Training Stick (without the string), 14′ to 15′ Lead Rope Training Needed: De-Sensitizing is a necessary pre-requisite for this exercise A difference between pushing and driving. Pushing is a steady pressure that a horse can push back against. Driving is a rhythmic pressure that demands movement… Read More Training Exercises: Disengage Rear

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: 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

Training Theory: Anticipation

Anticipation can be a positive or a negative depending on what your horse is anticipating. If he anticipates a coming maneuver (such as the coming jump) when he feels the slightest signal from the reins, and he prepares for some yet-to-be-requested action by heightening his alertness, his anticipation is a good, measured response: Signal, Prepare… Read More Training Theory: Anticipation