Less is More

I have noticed that learning seems to happen all at once for me. I try to be learning all the time, but it often feels as though it doesn’t quite stick until all at once I am exposed to new people, new ideas, or just a series of “breakthrough” moments. This past week has been one

Teach Your Horse “Head Down”

  Having the ability to ask your horse to lower their head, and have them easily respond, will make many tasks easier and safer – whether it is to put on a halter or bridle, clip a bridlepath, or even medicate an ear or eye. Being willing to lower their head when asked is important

What Causes Bad Behavior? Considering Physical Problems

We have all encountered horses with behavioral issues, from bucking to rearing, “girthiness” to rushing fences. What we should always stop and consider however, is that perhaps some of the behavior problems we see aren’t really behavioral, and are instead linked to a physical problem and pain. Sometimes finding a physical problem isn’t easy, but

Should You Post the Outside or Inside Diagonal? Or… what you may really be asking… What’s a Diagonal?

If you have ever watched young competitors at a horse show you have probably heard parents and coaches on the sidelines whispering to their rider “wrong diagonal” or “change your diagonal!” Similarly, many riders both young and old are taught diagonals and then reminded often of the importance of rising with the outside shoulder (at

Developing Steady Hands

Do you struggle with keeping your hands steady as you ride, and with being able to “feel” the reins and follow the horse’s movement with your hands? Developing “independent aids” is one of the cornerstones of good riding, and “independent aids simply means that you can move one body part without everything else moving as

How To Bridle a Horse

In this week’s video we are covering another “everyday” horse skill that can be an area of problems and frustrations for many people – putting on the bridle. For those of us who have been riding for years it may seem like a simple task, but in the beginning it took a bit of work

Emotional Control For Horses and Humans

Emotion is an important topic in training. Emotion has a huge impact on actions or behaviors, and this as true for people as it is for animals. Emotional control isn’t discussed much in traditional horse training although it is still very important as horses can easily become frustrated, agitated, distracted, fearful, etc. Emotional control is

Teaching a Horse to “Target”

As I learn more and more about clicker training I find that there are many uses for this type of training, and that every horse owner or rider can apply it to some areas of their horsemanship. One exercise that I found very helpful as I was learning how to first use the clicker is

How to Halter a Horse

I know this is a basic topic, but addressing the little details of horsemanship that are often overlooked or not well-explained is what my blog is all about! I have received several emails lately where people have shared that their biggest problem is haltering. Either they just feel awkward trying to put it on, or

Understanding Bending

The ability to ask your horse to bend, and to get a willing and supple response, is one of the fundamentals to a balanced ride, no matter what your discipline or activity is. Bending is very simply the ability to create an arc through your horse’s body. The importance of bending is most easy to
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