Training and Handling Horses

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

  Natural horsemanship has enjoyed a dramatic increase in popularity over the past decade from horse lovers of all disciplines.  Unlike other training and riding philosophies that “break” a horse's spirit, natural horsemanship strives to work in concert with the horse's innate conduct and herd instincts to preserve its natural behaviors. Although there is a broad range of natural horsemanship practices, all share a common understanding of the keys to success. Relationship One key to successful natural horsemanship involves the development of a horse and handler relationship that closely...
  Many horse people understand that longeing is excellent for exercising horses, but few realize that both horse and rider benefit from this fantastic workout. Horse and rider develop better balance, strength, and confidence when riding on the longe line. A basic longe line exercise session should consist of a variety of drills. Remember to walk the horse one circle on the line between exercises. Equipment A safe round pen or arena A knowledgeable assistant to longe the horse Properly fitting saddle and bridle (don't forget to remove reins) Quality longe line A longe whip for...
Young Girl getting a longe lesson
  A horse without ground manners is an extremely dangerous animal. They should be the first thing taught to a juvenile or unbroken horse. Any adult horse that has not yet been taught ground manners should learn them. With good ground manners, a horse is easier and safer to handle and is better prepared to take the saddle. Space Horses are large animals and can easily overpower a human. Training a horse to stay out of your space will help prevent crowding, keep the horse from jumping on you, and prevent the horse from stepping on your feet. A bold horse that is always in your space is not only...
A spooky horse presents considerable risk to a rider. Many serious accidents occur when a horse reacts negatively to something unfamiliar. Using natural horsemanship techniques you can teach a horse to be brave through any challenge. Putting the time and effort into de-spooking is well worth it. De-spooked horses are safer and more enjoyable to ride. Prior to Training Saddle your horse with your usual saddle and bridle. Do not forget to put on a helmet. Mount and warm your horse up as normal. Be sure your horse is responding to all of your cues. Ask the horse to turn to the left and right and...
If you closely watch a group of horses interact you’ll quickly see that they speak loudly through their body language even though it may be subtle. For instance, the head, or alpha, mare may quickly clear a path by just lowering her head a bit and laying her ears back instead of baring her teeth and charging at whichever horse is in her way. Her herd mates know she means business when she just simply lays her ears back and they move. Horses are in tune to these slight changes, however as humans we are often oblivious to horse’s mannerisms. Missing these subtle body cues in a horse with...
So you’ve finally got that third, fourth or even fifth horse that you’ve wanted to complete your backyard herd.  Now what do you do to get your new gelding or mare acclimated into his or her new companions – how do you keep everybody safe and happy and make the transition as smooth as possible? There are certain steps you should take before just throwing the “newbie” in with your herd – Step 1 – Let the new horse become accustomed to his surroundings for a few days. Walk him around the barn and the pasture where he will be staying and let your other horses see him.  They will most likely come...
New horse in the pasture
Understanding Clinics A horse training clinic is typically an event where an out-of-area instructor or trainer comes to a local barn or riding facility and offers the opportunity for local riders to take lessons from them. Clinics can be as short as a day or as long as two weeks. Most last between two and three days and take place on weekends. Horse and rider pairs are expected to stay at the facility for the duration of the clinic, watch one another's rides and listen to lessons the clinician offers while working with individual riders and groups. Clinics are offered in different riding...
If you’ve ridden a horse that acted up when you asked them to go away from the barn, then you have experienced a barn sour horse. Being barn sour is not only a potentially dangerous habit, it’s also one of the hardest vices to cure. A horse can be broke of the habit or behavior, but frankly the potential to regress is always there and requires maintenance instead of a training session. The barn is the place where a horse gets attention and rest. It’s also the place where they usually get to quit. If your horse is stalled it’s also the place where they get fed. On the flip side, the arena or...
A working knowledge of equine body language is essential for all horse owners. A horse conveys its feelings through various body postures and actions. The art of understanding equine body language is not something that happens overnight. The best way to learn about equine body language is to examine the way a herd interacts and learn how they communicate. Try to guess what each horse feels. A lot can be learned from observation alone. A horse expresses feelings to us the same way it does with another horse. Becoming familiar with the four basic equine emotions and their body language signs...
Reading Equine Body Language
Conditioning is the key to avoiding injuries in the competition arena. If your horse is prime condition, not only are they going to perform better but you’ll also avoid injuries that can come with the stresses of performing. Check with your vet first to make sure your horse is healthy and sound enough to begin a performance conditioning program. Your vet can help you determine what weaknesses your horse may have that may need special consideration. Ask your vet to give you a true assessment of your horse’s condition so that can develop a training routine. Conditioning is not only about...
Horse practice

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