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Training Tips

Training Tips
June 27, 2017

Training Tip: Troubleshooting a Horse That Plays With the Bit

It’s very normal in the beginning for a young horse to mouth and play with the bit when he’s first introduced to it. He’s just trying to figure out what the new piece of equipment is. When I put a bit in a horse’s mouth for the first time, I like to practice groundwork with […]

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Training Tips
June 13, 2017

Training Tip: Mistakes: Everyone Makes Them

If you talk to any good horse trainer about how they got to where they are, they’ll admit they’ve made some mistakes along the way. And if they’re worth their salt, they’ll probably tell you that the lessons they learned making those mistakes were invaluable. I often tell my students, “If you haven’t messed up, […]

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Training Tips
June 6, 2017

Training Tip: The Most Important Concept for Horsemen to Understand

If you want your horse to change, you have to be willing to change first. That is the most important concept you can understand when it comes to training horses. When I was an apprentice for Ian Francis, he often said to me, “To change your life, you must first change your attitude.” Ian believes, […]

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Training Tips
May 30, 2017

Training Tip: The Hot Potato Give

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 23, 2017

Training Tip: Understanding a Concept

When you first teach a horse something, it’s a concept lesson. In the concept lesson, your goal is to get the general idea of the lesson across to the horse. When you first ask a horse to do something, he won’t automatically know what to do. In fact, he’s probably going to do everything but […]

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Training Tips
May 16, 2017

Training Tip: An Exercise to Slow Down a Speedy Trail Horse

If your horse has a tendency to race ahead when you’re riding in a group, here’s a way to teach him to relax. Find a controlled environment like an arena or a large pasture and enlist the help of a friend on horseback. Start at the walk and ride side by side, about 15 feet […]

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Training Tips
May 9, 2017

Training Tip: Collection is not About a Look

Collection should feel light in your hands, not heavy. In other words, don’t worry about where your horse’s head is at; you’re only concerned with how he feels in your hands. I tell people that it’s called a soft feel, not a soft look. That’s the difference between my method and some of the others […]

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Training Tips
April 25, 2017

Training Tip: The Importance of a Good Attitude

Only stop working your horse when he has a good attitude and is respecting you as the leader, or at the very least, has a better attitude than when you started your training session. When horses first come to the ranch for training, especially if they’ve been disrespectful for a while, they get worked more […]

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Training Tips
April 18, 2017

Training Tip: Work on Individual Maneuvers to Avoid Anticipation

If you show your horse in an event with patterns, like reining or dressage, don’t practice the pattern from start to finish during training sessions. Doing so is likely to cause your horse to anticipate the next maneuver and get ahead of you. Taking your horse through the same patterns over and over is not […]

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Training Tips
April 11, 2017

Training Tip: Take Your Horse’s Experience into Account

Be smart about the trails you take your horse on, being sure to take his experience, your experience and the type of trail into account. For example, if you’re taking your horse out on the trail for the first time, I recommend riding in an open area where you have plenty of room to move […]

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