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Training Tips

Training Tips
June 30, 2020

Training Tip: A Good Stud Makes a Great Gelding

One of the best things my mentor Gordon McKinlay ever told me as an apprentice was “If he’s a good stud, he’ll make a great gelding.” I have never forgotten those words, especially when I established my breeding program. Ninety-five percent of the studs out there should not be studs. I know I’m going to […]

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Training Tips
June 23, 2020

Training Tip: Don’t Get Stuck at the Arena Gate

At some point or other, almost all horses develop a magnet to the arena gate. To deter your horse from hanging out at the gate, make being next to the gate feel uncomfortable to him. Right now, your horse is attracted to the gate because he knows that’s how he gets out of the arena […]

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Training Tips
June 16, 2020

Training Tip: Cues to Guiding a Horse

Whenever you want to change directions, turn your horse or guide him in general, always use the “Look, Leg, Rein” approach. No matter what you’re doing with your horse, you always want to be able to use the lightest cue possible to get your horse to respond correctly. When it comes to steering, that’s your […]

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Training Tips
June 9, 2020

Training Tip: Two Culprits of Aggression in Horses

Horses become aggressive for two main reasons. Sometimes they develop aggressive behavior because they feel threatened and think that aggression is the only way to protect themselves. Horses that are trained by people that I describe as Barbarians often fall into this category. The trainer keeps increasing the pressure without giving the horse a chance […]

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Training Tips
June 2, 2020

Training Tip: Hold The Soft Feel Longer

Vertical flexion is something that you’ll build on with each give. First the horse has to understand that when you pick up on the reins and apply pressure with your legs he needs to maintain whatever gait he’s in and give to the pressure. As soon as he understands that concept, then you can ask […]

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Training Tips
May 19, 2020

Training Tip: Use the “Hot Potato Give” to Teach Your Horse to Soften to the Bit

The first step to teaching a horse how to collect is to teach him to give to the bit, period. Always start at the standstill, and then progress through the gaits as the horse understands. The ultimate goal is collection, but in the beginning, it is just a soft feel. When you first pick up […]

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Training Tips
May 12, 2020

Training Tip: Ride Solo When Introducing a Horse to Trail Riding

When I’m taking a horse out on the trail for the first time, I prefer to ride out by myself so that it’s just the two of us. When you get two or more horses on the trail, they have a tendency to want to race one another and get reactive. And, when you do […]

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Training Tips
May 5, 2020

Training Tip: End a Trail Ride on a Relaxed Note

One of the best things you can do for your horse is to let him walk the last hundred feet or so of a trail ride. That gives him the opportunity to relax and cool down so that he returns to the barn or trailer in a good frame of mind. You don’t want him […]

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Training Tips
April 28, 2020

Training Tip: Get Experience With as Many Horses as You Can

If you have a desire to be a great horseman, I encourage you to ride not only as many horses as you can, but a variety of horses. Otherwise, you run the risk of fooling yourself into thinking your horsemanship skills are well-rounded. No two horses have the same personality, move the same or react […]

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Training Tips
April 21, 2020

Training Tip: Add Variety to Your Training Sessions by Incorporating Objects Around the Barn

When it comes to training your horse, your imagination is your greatest tool. The more creative you can be in your lessons, the more interested your horse will be in his job. You’ve heard me say, “Consistency is your greatest ally and inconsistency is your greatest enemy.” And that’s absolutely true.

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