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

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

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

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

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