- Colt Starting
- Trail Riding
- Training for vaulting
- Bridleless riding
- Retraining Problem Horses: kicking, biting, bucking. bolting, rearing, spooking, pulling back when tied, barn sour, refuses to load in trailer, clipping.
I believe in creating a bond with the horses I train. I want my horses to do as I ask out of respect, not fear.
Horses are herd animals that establish a pecking order with one another. It's important that the trainer becomes a firm leader when interacting with the horse. When necessary, a successful leader is not afraid to use force to maintain their position in the pecking order.
A successful leader is born through earning a horse's respect, not by striking fear into his soul.
- Be at ease around you, though still attentive to your wishes.
- Understand that if the need for discipline arises, it was likely due to an improper action on his part and not hold it against you.
- Trust in you and borrow strength from you when he becomes fearful of a foreign threat.
- Always walk on eggshells around you in fear that you will randomly hurt or abuse him.
- Become confused and disoriented when you discipline him since it's done so frequently. He will know you're unhappy or angry again, but have a more difficult time assessing exactly why.
- Have absolutely no trust in you as a leader so that when he detects a foreign threat that scares him more than you do, he will respond to the stronger threat and leave you behind (and possibly injured).
Time in the saddle, a lot of wet saddle blankets! These are a couple of old school phrases. I think they say a lot. If you don't have the time, consider hiring someone who does this professionally with their time. Giddy Up.
Many clinicians and teachers rarely ride outside arena's. You need extreme confidence and experience when safely training or retraining a horse outside the protective walls of the arena. Transition from the arena to the trail is much easier if the horse has had a strong confident leader to begin with. Basic training in and around the arena is a must. Now, let's assume the horse has basic training. Great ground manners, ties well, follows basic cues under saddle, de-spooking, exposure to plastic bags, tarps, balloons, dogs, bicycles, etc. We are ready to begin trail training.
I start/retrain a horse by going out on my own for the first 20 rides or so. These could be anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. I want the horse to rely on me for confidence, not another horse. I will then begin riding with other riders. In my case as a trainer, I will have an experienced student/employee ride an experienced horse and teach the horse I'm training how to ride in back, in front, next to other horses, and ride away from other horses. Also, how to stand quietly, go through gates, exposure to cattle, crossing water, etc. I would much rather train good habits than retrain a horse with bad habits. That being said, don't wait too late! Happy Trails.