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by Downunder Horsemanship

Put Miles Under Your Horse’s Feet

Everyone wants their horse to be a safe, dependable partner they can trust in the arena or on the trail. A key factor in getting your horse to that point in his training is putting steady miles under his feet. When Clinton apprenticed with Australian horseman Gordon McKinlay, the two would muster cattle for nearby stations. Many times, they’d ride green-broke training horses to give the horses experience.

“Gordon would tell me all the time that a well-broke horse needs three things: long rides, wet saddle pads and concentrated training,” Clinton says. “Mustering cattle on those young horses gave us the opportunity to work on all three. We’d be gone for most of the day, so they were getting long rides. During periods of the ride, we’d lope and have to get after the cattle, so the horses got wet saddle pads. We’d also have the opportunity to bend the horse’s around and work on softening and suppling their body.”

Oftentimes, the horse they’d leave on felt like a completely different horse when they’d return. “Gordon would always say, ‘Leave on a young horse, come back on an old one.’ There’s something about putting steady miles under a horse’s feet that gets him to settle in and tune in to you,” Clinton says.

Listen to Clinton explain this lesson he learned from Gordon in the Methodology Series video “Leave on a Young Horse, Come Back on an Old One” on the No Worries Club website or log on to the Downunder Horsemanship app. The app is a free download from the App Store and Google Play.