Prepare Your Horse for a Safe, Fun Trail Riding Experience
Clinton Anderson from Downunder Horsemanship has developed an effective method to train horses, regardless of their age, history, or any behavioral issues and past traumas. Join him on his weekly endeavors of tackling some of the most challenging situations with problem horses, and with problem owners. This week, we get a sneak peek from Clinton’s training session with riders practicing the Intermediate level exercise Post ‘N Circle.
In this episode, we watch Clinton in the heart of one of his in-person training experiences. Anyone who has seen Clinton in action understands that this is an exciting way to learn new skills and apply them to their own training regimens. The goal of this exercise, like most, is to prepare your horse for a safe, fun trail riding experience.
Clinton has set a series of orange cones all around the arena, about 20 feet off the fence. He begins the exercise by telling the horsemen to spread out around the arena and trot their horses. He wants them to keep both hands on the reins but not to be putting any pressure on their horses’ mouths. He has them trot off to a cone, circle around it, and then head to another cone and repeat the process. Each time the riders come up to a cone, he wants them to circle the cone at least three times but no more than six. This allows for repetition and for the horse to learn how to soften his body and arc around the cone. Clinton tells everyone that if their horse is in a hurry, do more circles around the cone. This shows the horse that there’s no reason to be in such a hurry because the only thing he’s rushing to is more work. Eventually, he’ll learn to relax and slow down. If the horse is not in a rush and is listening well, Clinton tells the riders to only circle the cone three times and then head off to the next one.
Clinton reminds the riders throughout the exercise to not take their eyes off the cone they’re riding to or when circling it. This helps the horses learn to follow their riders’ focus.
During the exercise, a couple of the horses break into a lope when going from cone to cone. When that happens, Clinton says to let the horse lope to the cone and then spend more time circling it to discourage the horse to be in such a hurry. What you don’t want to do is try to stop the horse from loping by pulling back on the reins. Let him commit to the mistake and then correct him. With repetition, the horse will learn to stay at the gait you put him in.
After practicing the exercise at the trot, Clinton tells the riders to move on to the lope. Now, instead of trotting between cones, the riders lope their horses. Two strides before they reach the cone, they sit down in the saddle to cue the horse to trot and then trot around the cone. The whole time they’re circling the cone, the riders look straight at the cone.
To get the most out of the exercise, it should be practiced between 30 to 40 minutes every day for a week, especially if a horse is green and inexperienced. The exercise will improve his steering and will help you get better control of his gas pedal. Soon, you’ll see your horse go through a massive change because of the miles you put under his feet when practicing Post ‘N Circle.
The Clinton Anderson training method is the key to getting the most out of your partnership with your horse and we want everyone to experience the difference it will make. That’s why we’ve created three new ways to get the content you need at the price you want. Our Downunder Horsemanship app gives you access to your digital training kits and allows you to download videos and training content directly to your mobile device or view them on your computer. The Downunder Horsemanship app also offers over 100 hours of free, in-depth training content. You can also access all of the training material through three different levels by joining our No Worries Club.
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