Training and Handling Horses

The Training Guide: Here you will find articles and tutorials for your basic training needs.

Saddling an untrained horse might sound like a real challenge; in fact for old-time bronc busters who didn’t understand how to gently school youngsters, it was dangerous and intimidating! If it’s your first time teaching a horse to accept a training saddle, you’ll find these tips helpful. If you have never saddled a horse and are hoping to learn how to do it correctly, it’s best to get assistance from someone who has plenty of experience with horses. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to get started. It All Starts with Good Ground Manners Before you teach a horse to take a...
If you’ve spent much time at all around horses, you’ve probably noticed that there are quite a few different types of halters. Some are plain, some are elaborate, and others have special functions. Here, we’ll take a peek at different types of horse halters and spend a little time talking about how they are used. Cheap Polypropylene (Poly) Halters Poly halters are inexpensive, but they are weak, particularly when they’re made with cheap hardware. If you need a halter for your calm, well-trained horse to wear during grooming, bathing, and tacking up, a poly halter will save you some money...
It's important to choose horse halters based on function as well as looks
One of the most important pieces of riding tack is the horse bit. The horse bit is the device that is placed inside the horse’s mouth and is the main tool that communicates with your horse. The bit lets your horse know what direction to go and when to stop. Depending on whether the rider wants to stop, turn left, or turn right, the use of the reins sends a pressure signal to the bit and puts a certain amount of pressure in the horse’s mouth. The horse then feels this pressure and will go in the direction that is being asked of him. There are many different types of horse bits. They are all...
                Rein aids are most often the one thing that is misunderstood with new riders. Riders who are just starting out, may think that the use of the reins is to only steer and slow down your horse. While those rein functions are accurate for horseback riding, reins can also be used to have a conversation with your horse! Talking to your horse through your reins is called using rein aids. Once you have established your independent seat, learning reins aids will help make you and your horse flow smoothly together. When a rider has established their independent seat, they are able to...
                Horse jumping is one of the most widely known events within the world of English riding. It is an extreme sport that requires focus, good body control, and balance.  Horse jumping also requires a lot of trust between you and your horse. Your horse has to trust you to lead him into the right direction, and you have to trust your horse to take you over the fence. Without that trust, the rider might become nervous and therefore making the horse nervous. Confidence is key when it comes to this sport! Horse jumping doesn’t have to be just a show event. Jumping is a great way to...
                Barrel racing is a Western timed, speed event that requires you and your horse to maneuver around three barrels as fast as you can. However, this sport isn’t just about speed. It is all about body control, concentration, and synchronization between you and your horse. Both horse and rider have to work together as a team in order to accomplish the task at hand. Otherwise, your race isn’t going to go well and you or your horse could get injured.   The Barrel Racing Setup:                 A barrel race is held within a closed arena, and it includes a starting line and three...
As each day grows longer and colder, and our equine friends get fuzzier, we can no longer deny that winter will soon be approaching. The crisper air serves as a gentle reminder that for each ride, we need to start thinking of how to warm up and cool down our horses. Why should we warm up / cool down? Why shouldn't we just jump on our horses and ride off into the sunset or run a barrel pattern? A horse is an athlete, and if all of a sudden he is asked to go from grazing leisurely in the paddock to galloping at a full run, we are putting the horse in danger of pulling or straining a muscle,...
Why Do People do Almost Everything on the Left Side of the Horse?      As the beginner rider progresses and learns more about the horse and horse care, eventually comes the question, ”Why do we do this on the left side of the horse?”. The short answer is “because we have always done things on the left side”. The long answer takes us back to the beginning when horses where first used and domesticated.      Along with the riding and domestication of horses came the using of horses during warfare. Long pikes and swords were the weapons of choice in the day. Most knights and fighters were right...
Performing smooth transitions with your horse is essential to placing well in the show ring. Judges will often use gait transitions as a way of weeding out the competition and determining placement in the class. They look for things such as pushing on the bit, or taking extra steps during transitions to determine how well one horse performes over another. Preparation is the key to a smooth gait transition. Whether you are asking for a walk to a canter or a canter down to a trot, your horse should be prepared for these changes in gaits. When a rider doesn’t prepare their horse for an upcoming...
Dressage Horse
  A young horse is akin to a child who is naïve and immature. With training, patience and energy must be spent on young horses in order to encourage focus and learning. Begin training a young horse before it reaches 4 years of age and develops an exceptionally strong will. Limit training sessions to 30 minutes. With a short attention span and a remarkably playful spirit, a young horse soon becomes bored and loses interest. Keeping in mind a few training tips is essential to your success. Bonding and Trust Become familiar with the natural body movements of your horse before beginning any...
young horse in pasture

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