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Training Tips

Training Tips
September 22, 2020

Training Tip: What Bit Should You Use?

Bring up the topic of bits around horse people and you’re sure to enter into a conversation that’ll turn into a heated debate ranging from one end of the spectrum (you need a different bit for every horse in your barn and every situation you ride them in) to the other (only a cruel barbarian […]

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Training Tips
September 15, 2020

Training Tip: Use the Approach and Retreat Method to Build Your Horse’s Confidence

Whenever you desensitize your horse to an object, use the Approach and Retreat Method. Build the horse’s confidence by approaching him with the object that scares him and then retreating (taking the object away) when he stands still and relaxes. The number one rule to remember when using the Approach and Retreat Method is to […]

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Training Tips
September 8, 2020

Training Tip: Buddy Sour at Horse Shows

Show environments can be stressful to horses, and it’s not uncommon for horses to buddy up at the showgrounds and then react when taken away from one another. This is especially true when one horse is left at the trailer and the other one is taken away from it. The one left at the trailer […]

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Training Tips
September 1, 2020

Training Tip: Can You Work on Groundwork and Riding Exercises at the Same Time?

I often get asked if when teaching a horse the Fundamentals if you can work on the groundwork and riding exercises at the same time. People often wonder if it’s better to teach all of the groundwork exercises first, and then start to work on the riding exercises. At the ranch, when we get horses […]

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Training Tips
August 25, 2020

Training Tip: Be Open to Change in Order to Keep Growing as a Horseman

One of the most important concepts you can understand when it comes to training horses is that great horsemen are open to change. 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, as do I, that if you’re unhappy […]

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Training Tips
August 18, 2020

Training Tip: Make Safety a Priority When Saddling a Colt

When it comes to saddling a colt for the first time, I always assume the colt is going to break in two. I would say that 50 percent of colts buck the first time they’re saddled and 50 percent don’t. It’s almost impossible to tell which colts will buck and which ones won’t. Sometimes the […]

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Training Tips
August 11, 2020

Training Tip: Trailering Problem? Understand Your Horse’s Fear

To help your horse overcome his trailering fears, you have to look at trailering from his perspective. As prey animals, with a flight or fight response, horses prefer to be in big, open spaces where they can easily see predators approaching them and then be able to make a quick getaway. You’ll never see a […]

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Training Tips
August 4, 2020

Training Tip: There are No Shortcuts in Horsemanship

Too often, I meet people at tours or we’ll receive letters in the office saying that they have a problem that needs fixed. Everyone wants a quick fix, a magic cure that they can give their horse to have their problems disappear. Believe me, if I had such a magic cure, I would sell it […]

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Training Tips
July 28, 2020

Training Tip: Teach Your Horse to Lower His Head for Haltering

It’s a great habit to teach your horse to lower his head and then tip his head toward you when you’re haltering and unhaltering him. It’s an especially good habit when you’re turning your horse out in the pasture and bringing him in. If his head is low and tipped toward you, it’s a submissive […]

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Training Tips
July 21, 2020

Training Tip: Feel Unsafe Handling a Problem Under Saddle With Your Horse?

When I apprenticed with Ian Francis, he told me: “There are a lot of heroes in the graveyard.” Too many people try to play the hero by riding an unprepared or difficult horse and end up getting bucked off. They break their necks and die because they didn’t use their heads. If you’re having a […]

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