Horse Problems: Training The Abused Horse

Equine PTSD. Let go of it. Approximately 50% or more of the people I meet with a problem horse tell me that the horse is a rescue, was abused, or was PROBABLY abused before they got it. Horse abuse pulls on anyone’s heart strings. It comes in the form of neglect and malnutrition or is… Read More Horse Problems: Training The Abused Horse

Training Exercises – Foal 3 Days Old

The purpose of this exercise is to catch, restrain, gently control, and release the baby every day so that he gets used to giving to pressure from the very beginning. This lesson will also reinforce his earlier contact-imprinting as you enlarge your rubbing, stroking, and manipulating of his body, legs and feet. All of this… Read More Training Exercises – Foal 3 Days Old

Horse Problems: The Difficult to Catch Horse

So you can’t catch your horse. Why do horses run away from their owners? 1. Wild or untrained horses are intimidated or afraid. They need an owner who understands how they view the person approaching through an instinctive prism of fight or flight and they need de-sensitizing training. 2. Horses in a group take cues… Read More Horse Problems: The Difficult to Catch Horse

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: Back Up

The Goal A horse that respects his handler will back away when his handler moves into his space in an authoritative way. The only time a horse ever backs up in the pasture is when a more dominant horse demands it. Therefore, it is a natural way to gain respect from your horse. Used frequently,… Read More Training Exercises: Back Up

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: 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

Training Theory: Pressure

There are two types of Pressure: Physical pressure and Intention pressure (threat). Physical pressure: that is the tactile feelings such as the bit against the bars in his mouth or the rope halter bearing down on the poll at his head. It can be as uncomfortable as necessary to move him, or as subtle as… Read More Training Theory: Pressure

Training Theory: Fight or Flight

Threatened mammals (including horses) have built in instincts for life preservation. When threatened, they can either turn and run or stand and fight. This is called the “Fight or Flight” reflex. Because horses are ill-equipped to fight (they have no horns, fangs, or other very effective fighting weapons,) they generally choose flight. Predator species are… Read More Training Theory: Fight or Flight