Ever had the advantage of watching a natural born horse person in total harmony with his horse do nonchalant tricks with it that you wouldn’t have imagined possible , and cause them to look so ridiculously straightforward? And ever tried out the same tricks with your own pony and made a total hash of it? You must have been pretty frustrated.
If you did anything like that, you were guilty, as so many have been, of forgetting that what seems to be perfect harmony is the results of hard coaching repeated time after time till perfection was reached. We people are regularly guilty of desiring too much too fast without going through the due process. In the case of horses and their accomplishments, we forget that each achievement is the sum total of lots of little steps that have practically become second nature as the results of repeated practice. When we curtly try out something new to our horses, we’re going to confuse the wits out of them and achieve nothing apart from total disappointment for both.
Just look at straightforward scenarios involve horse coaching. Take an instance when you’re coaching your pony to back up in between two parallel poles laid out on the ground. It may appear to be the most straightforward of tasks to you, but your pony won’t agree. You may think that all you’ve got to do is get him aligned and moving, but he isn’t going to be happy with the concept of moving thru two poles of which just one is detectable to each eye. This has a tendency to distract the horse, and they will not even permit themselves to be aligned between the poles. If they’re somehow aligned, they will try to work out what has happened by moving their rear ends to one direction. And if you come up with a way to get over that problem then the pony will keep barging into one pole or the other, instead of backing up in a straight line.
Unless you are informed on horse psychology, you will get frustrated. If you do know horses, you will appreciate that horses need to get comfortable with any new action before they can be made to do it. In this case, your pony desires to get used to a pole on each side. You can expedite the process by breaking it up into little bite-size chunks and handling them one at a time.
First, get your pony to stroll forward between the 2 poles a couple of times, so that he gets used to seeing them there and to seeing one pole with each eye. After he goes through like a shot, ramp up the coaching one notch. Get him to stop at random points while progressing between the poles. Get your pony to repeat this till it becomes 2nd nature for him. Finally, get him to take only 1 step backward. Let him take that step and ruminate on it. The stop after just one step is his reward for doing what you wanted him to. Take him thru one or two one step forward and one back cycles at various points between the two poles. Then take him back thru more than one step, even with his body out of alignment with the poles. When he is totally used to the concept of going forward and back a couple of steps (keep increasing the distance), you can walk him forward from one end of the poles to the other, and then get him to back right up. He may start dodgy, but he’s going to pick up and soon he is going to be progressing thru the poles either way like he’d been doing it all his life. Remember the old Chinese saying about a journey of one thousand miles beginning with one easy step, it is especially applicable for horses.
You can begin by teaching your horse while you are on the ground, then when that stage has been successfully mastered; you take it to a higher level by getting your pony to do it while you are astride him. Start slow and simple and soon enough you will find that your pony is setting the pace, a faster one.
If I had received a cent for every time I repeated something to a horse, I would’ve been a millionaire by this point. I start by hammering it into a horse’s head I’m actually attempting to communicate something to him. When he has eventually got the idea that I’m really trying to let him know something, I want to tell him whatever it is that I needed to let him know such a lot of times I start sounding like a scratched LP record. This causes me to do stupid things sometimes. I train several horses at diverse steps of coaching concurrently. In itself, this is problematic, because I have track of where I am with each horse. If I’ve a particularly tough time with any pony, then it takes me a while to remember where I was with the remainder of the horses? And frequently I don’t do a good job of recollection. The plus side is, when a horse ultimately begins to get an inkling of what I’m on about, he frequently starts liking it, and then the teaching gets much easier.
My clients have all heard from me that a homo sapien breaks a set habit only after 2,000 repetitions of the ?drop the habit? Tune have been drummed into his head. A homo sapien also need nothing less than 2,000 repetitions to pick up a new habit, and ultimately, he is making a habit a comatose uncontrolled response just when it’s been drilled into him 10,000 times. When I explain this to my clients, they get it; they know what can be predicted when they give me a horse to coach. You’ve got to have a look at the opposite side of the coin, the horse’s perspective. When he first is brought to me, he doesn’t have any idea he is getting ready to attend school. He actually doesn’t even really understand what a school is. He would be astounded if he were informed that he is going to be taught lessons, and that he is anticipated to learn them well. When you look at it from this point of view, you become more understanding of horses.
The repetitions may alter with each horse: each has his own learning curve, just like human students.
You might make bar charts out of a horse’s learning curve. A horse can be bafflingly inconsistent: he is going to do good, bad, better or worse with each repetition of the same lesson. Clearly, when you initiate the lesson, he will be at his worst. Just assume that your horse’s response to repetition number 121 has been pleasing. Just when you are feeling like giving him a pat, he absolutely muffs repetition 122. Your urge to pat him with your hand all of a sudden becomes a craving to pat him with a sledgehammer. But you can’t afford to show your disappointment, so you swallow the bile and go on to repetition 123. He will potentially surprise you once more. When you have reached repetition 307, say, you’ll find that all of a sudden he’s had an ‘Eureka!’ moment. He has got the idea, you are actually teaching him something. Though the occasional glitch may continue to surface, you may just about have smooth sailing with him after that.
You will get plenty of variations due to individual pony traits, but the general pattern will be the same. Once you’ve got past the great wall round the horse’s brain, you will be able to see quicker progress. The more time you spend with the pony, the better he learns. He may even surprise you by behaving like he enjoys the lessons.
When does a horse become a good learner? 2 factors decide this point: your teaching methods and the horse’s nature. My general experience with the more difficult horses has been that it can take five days every week of classes over 3 months to succeed, but I must advise you that it is best you don’t work to fixed schedules with horses. Don’t also push your horse too far or too fast. Think repetition, and then think more repetition. Your pony at the initial stages might be wondering why it is that you are trying to show him things he just can’t do. Tenacity is going to win that battle for you.
One of the most frustrating experiences a horse owner can have is to get into a position where he or she needs to move their pony somewhere far, but can’t do so because of the absence of a trailer or horsebox. For horse owners who have never owned a trailer, getting one can seem like a hopeless dream.
I have news for you if you are one of those exasperated pony owners. You can move your horse around without a trailer, however it calls for an innovative approach. You must also be prepared to make some compromises.
If it is a question of transporting your horse to the vet, an often unavoidable need, you may get an offer of help from someone in your yard. If nobody offers assistance, you need to ask for it, assuming that there are people with trailers, because without asking you may not get, and without getting you aren’t going to be able to take your horse to the vet. It is usually possible to show your good intentions by offering to pay for the fuel consumed and the usage. If you’re intimate with someone who owns a trailer, you can try and fit your competition dates with theirs for the same events, so your horse can hitch rides. Obviously, this suggests that you may have to sacrifice your own preferred events for the events your champion prefers. If you’re essentially really lucky, you could even convince your benefactor to take your horse to your own preferred events once in a while. Who knows, you might actually open your benefactor’s eyes to the charms of events he hasn’t participated in so far. That would indeed work to your advantage.
You need to also participate in events in your own immediate vicinity. The possibility is high that there might not be enough variety or quality of performance in your immediately area. Your options would be very limited as you would have to ride your horse to the events and still keep him fresh enough to participate. Fundamentally, you can just ‘warm up’ your pony before the event. You also need to consider that after the event he must be ridden back home, and that would further restrain the events you could take part in.
It is awfully expensive to hire a horsebox, nonetheless it will generally be worth it if the event you are attending is particularly distinguished or if your pony has exceptional possibilities of winning something. You might also see if there are more horse owners in the vicinity with whom you could split costs, assuming they will be at the same event you are. Before you complete a contract for hiring a horsebox, confirm that a driver is included in the contract. If no driver is included, and you’ve got to do the driving yourself, you have to have the correct driving qualification and adequate insurance.
Another option is to buy a horsebox jointly with some others. This is not going to be simple, as you will need to be wonderfully coordinated on who uses the horsebox. If your events coincide, there’ll be no problems, but that is a clearly doubtful likelihood. You can only enter into this type of arrangement with someone you are really intimate with, and with whom you enjoy complete mutual trust. Even then, you should execute a comprehensive contract on who pays how much for shared use, individual use, damages, repair jobs and so on. A little argument can destroy an intimate relationship, so you really have to exercise the greatest of care.
Whatever way out of your horse-box-less troubles you find, it should hopefully give you the probabilities you have been desiring for your horse. Even partial mobility is far preferable to no mobility. Each event you can attend without your own horsebox is an additional bonus. Just make absolutely sure that absence of your own horse transport does not become an impossible wall for both you and your pony.
By nature, horses are gentle and trusting, unless they have suffered abuse. A horse that has been abused, mistreated or hurt will be the other way around: it’s going to be dubious, and it is really difficult work to make an abused horse trust folk again. Obviously, all horses are not the same in their natural outlooks: some are rather more peaceful and trusting, and some take some time to absolutely accept their human trainers and riders. No matter what your horse’s nature is, it is vital that you show all of the patience and tolerance required to develop a jointly trusting and accepting relationship with him. Only then will your pony feel secure with you.
You may typically have to give extra space and time to a horse that has not suffered mistreatment but is rather shy of nature. You should begin breaking the ice by simply spending time in his vicinity. Move around him, ‘no sudden or violent moves, please!’ speaking softly. When your pony appears to have got used to your presence, approach him slowly and stand close by holding out a treat. Ensure your hand is opened flat and horizontal with the treat on it, and make sure also that you don’t get your fingers nipped, a distinct probability with a pony that has no experience with being fed out the hand.
Eventually the pony will move up to you and take the treat offered. When he does that, stroke his muzzle, moving really slowly and easily. Don’t make mistakes like grabbing the halter if he has one on. You shouldn’t give the pony any suggestion whatsoever that you are there to trap or capture him. Your experiences with your pony should always be positive, particularly during the initial stages. You need to take care you’re not dressed in a fashion that some item of attire flaps around making noise, or hits the horse making it shy, even though it was unintentional. If you’re wearing a hat, ensure it is fastened; you shouldn’t let it get blown off by the wind spooking the horse.
At the beginning of coaching, always break your horse in to new activities and new objects extremely gently and slowly. You should go at their pace, not your own. If a pony gets spooked or essentially hurt by something that you forced it into, you are going to lose its trust, and lost equine trust requires awfully difficult work to get back. You can prevent negative developments by going slow and observing your horse’s nature all the time. When you are acquainted with his nature, you’ll be in a position to adjust your approach to him as needed.
Never try to force a spooked horse into a corner. In general, horses try to avoid making any sort of contact with folk as far as they can help it, but when they feel trapped, their survival instincts will take over, meaning defensive actions like pawing, kicking, biting or running over objects or folk in their way.
Reconstructing connection with mistreated and abused horses will definitely take an exceedingly long time. Unless you’re a really experienced and qualified horseperson yourself, the best way to work with such horses is to use the assistance of a trainer who has successfully worked with rehab of abused horses. They can be extremely challenging, and it is likely that despite all efforts they’ll never trust any human being absolutely again. You’ve got to be very aware of the signals they send out.
Unfortunately horses, like homo sapiens, can pick up some habits here and there. Here is the 1st part of 8 equine vices you have got to nip in the bud whenever you catch them.
Cribbing: When a horse cribs, it implants its upper teeth in a compact surface like the walls of its stall and after arching its neck, starts to suck air in. Obviously, this is a damaging habit as it can end up in significant damage to doors, fences and stall walls. This bad habit is no good for the pony either, as it can cause colic. The unfortunate aspect of the cribbing habit is that once the pony starts, you’ll find it practically impossible to get it to stop. You can buy collars that are tailor made for cribbing horses: these collars work in just such a way that when a horse tries cribbing, the muscles in his neck and temple are subject to the kind of pressure that makes him lose interest.
Shying: Horses often back away from something due to fear or nervousness. They can back off when they come across something they’re not conversant with and don’t trust; they may also back away if they don’t want to be touched. While nearly all horses shy at one point or the other, you undoubtedly want to avoid a horse with a pronounced shying disposition, as it can be perilous. If your pony is an inveterate shier, you can teach him with care and patience to get over his nerves and chill.
Biting: Lots of horses don’t hesitate to show their teeth, and use them at defined times, like when a girth on them is being tightened. Horses tend to nip if they don’t like something. While you shouldn’t be concerned about the occasional nip you need to try and keep it from being a habit. Horses with steady nipping bents can be dangerous to others, especially youngsters. Biting is a vice that may be set right.
Pulling Back: A pony has a tendency to pull back when he is not yet ‘broken in’ to being tied, and someone makes an attempt to tie him. This actual vice could be a dangerous prospect. A horse that’s pulling back is likely to trip and fall on his butt; even worse, he will hurt people in the vicinity. You must train your pony to become used to tying. I begin my coaching for my horses with some ground tying. A keyed up pony with a known history of negative reactions to attempts to tie him is certainly not to be used by children and novices.
A question that I receive frequently from my students is: when do we start counting strides? When used right, counting strides is a really practical tool that will help you and your pony make light work of a colmbination of jumps. I indoctrinate my students to follow this rule of thumb for counting strides: do so when you come across related lines of maximum eight strides. A lot of jumper/hunter courses include several jumps of this length. Hunter courses normally are composed of a couple of related distances requiring counting. You do come across courses in large jump fields with lengthier lines that really must be counted, but they’re mostly designed for top bracket horse riders.
Jumper courses differ somewhat from hunter courses where stride counting is concerned. Jumper courses allow more creativity on the issue of the amount of strides you take with your horse. The maximum 8 rule typically applies; nevertheless jumpers can add strides or subtract them dependent on their horses’ stride spans, the event type and the class of competition. Typically , horses need to gallop in jumper speed classes, and this lengthens their strides, and thereby, reduces their number.
Judgment is subjective in hunters, and footage signs, if provided, can help determine the amount of strides needed of any pony. When a course planner shows a line to be seventy-two feet long, he intends that horses take 5 strides over that line. Judges are mindful of this and use this info to help in figuring out the standard of competitors. A horse that seems to zip down a 72′ line would always have a shorter stride than a horse that appears to ramble down. At these events, stride counting is a must as it helps you adhere to what the judge will be looking out for. You know where you stand when you do six strides in a 72′ line and fail to pin well.
There are numerous interpretations to bending lines where there is no footage posted. Where there is no footage posted in long lines, judges will undoubtedly predict that competitors may vary significantly in stride totals. The same line could see competitors totalling 9s, tens and even elevens. In unmarked long lines, judges usually don’t hold competitors to any prescribed number of strides.
The intricacy of horse riding events has grown as time goes by. Stride counting is pretty much a prerequisite in today’s arena of equine events. In this post, I have barely covered the fundamentals of stride counting. I might stress on learners that it’s necessary they get together with knowledgeable instructors to ‘walk courses’ riders develop experience from every course ridden, and soon they’re going to reach the stage where stride calculations become 2nd nature.
When you are employing a horse trailer, it is obvious that you have to exercise lots of care to be sure it is safe for its occupants, for you in the towing auto and for all other drivers you come across.
You need to ensure all items on the tick list given below are checked out whenever you use your trailer:
1. Once you have loaded your horses, carry out a very close inspection. Are the stalls properly secured and the doors tightly closed and latched? Is there any object around loose that might move around and probably harm the horses? Is the trailer soundly hitched, and are the brakes and lights working ?
2. Each trailer features a heavy load limit advocated by the maker. Never exceed your trailer’s limit. If you look over your trailer fastidiously, you’ll see the maximum endorsed weight somewhere distinguished. You are risking losing control while in motion by exceeding the weight limit. Never forget that for the purpose of stableness, the car utilised for towing the trailer should always be much heavier than its trailer.
3. Before you set off, plan out the journey. Have a preferential route and as many alternative routes as practicable. Try and get information on road closures or serious congestion points and plot your route so that you can avoid them.
4. Drive fastidiously, within all speed limits and without jerkiness to relieve pointless stress on your pony passangers. Drive like you have got an open container of sulphuric acid on your dashboard, straight in front of you. Negotiate corners, sharp turners and traffic lights with care. Look forward and try and predict.
5. If you’re going a good way, split up the journey with steady breaks. Each time you take a break, carry out another extensive inspection of the hitch, your trailer and its passangers.
6. Have a Plan B just in case your towing car or the trailer breaks down. Confirm your trailer is covered in your breakdown coverage.
7. Never travel without a complete first aid kit and emergency supplies.
8. Be sensibly equipped for smaller contingencies on the road. Your kit ought to include jacks, jump wires, WD-40, strong flash-lamps, luminous safety cones, insulated duct tape, spare tires and equipment for changing tires.
The Friesian breed horse, a slightly rare horse of black color, traces its origins back to a Dutch province, Friesland. The Friesians give great importance to the breeding of and dealing in their horses. Most monks in the numerous pre-reformation monasteries of Friesland were engaged with breeding of the Friesian horse. These black northerly jewels have since become international items.
Friesian horses are awfully chic, straight out of Grimm Bros and Hans Christian Anderson stories with extended, wavy tails and manes. These horses are a byword for their decidedly surprising friendliness, manners and gentleness. Friesian horses have such calm natures that it is a typical sight in Holland to see them led around with merely a halter. They have become exceedingly popular in the remainder of Europe and the US, and are widely seen in dressage events. They also are used extensively for pleasure riding. Friesian horses and horses with Friesian blood excel in dressage because of their advanced intellect, pleasing appearance, body control and turbo charged power. They’re animals of great intelligence, with very co-operative nature.
The Friesian is pretty much unique in its characters: there is not any other horse that matches this breed for the qualities it has. This breed is elegant enough for professional events and powerful enough for use in farms. The Friesian saw action with medieval knights, cavalry units of the 17th century and infantrymen in World War II. This horse is always dressed up in black, with significant features being the luxurious mane and tail, the forelock and the fetlocks.
The Friesian of the current day incorporates two different conformations. The baroque Friesian is extraordinarily strong, and the more modern sport version is finer of bone structure.
Breeding laws for this horse are stringent, and the world has less than a 100 approved studs, of which about 20 are going to be found in the US. It is actually because of these numbers that high-pedigree Friesians are regarded as a rarity here. A highly controlled selection process over centuries gave this horse its distinct movement styles, as also its liveliness and intelligence, not to mention its reliability. For all its gentleness, the Friesian is equally as proud as its human namesakes.
Though it may be hard to conceive of now, this breed came near to extinction several times over the course of history. In the Second World War, serious rationing of fuel forced use of the Friesian’s for farming and carriage pulling. This gave a chance for the horse to get back acclaim and for the population of this breed to get back to healthy levels again. The Friesian is simply the world’s best carriage horse. It is very popular in the movie industry for its rather flashy looks. The present renown of this breed can be traced back to its role in the 1985 film Ladyhawke. This role brought the breed into the world limelight.
Today, the Friesian is more trendy than ever, for both harness and saddle use. Given its acceptance and versatility, it is here to stay.
Join the club, if you find you are having trouble with sitting when your horse is on the trot. All too many riders who are getting trained in the sitting trot face issues maintaining their seat. Lots of these riders have learned the hard way that their seat bones frequently fail to be where they are meant to be: on the saddle. In actual fact you can learn to sit the trot superbly if you try out some straightforward tricks. The results will be immediate.
To begin with, let’s redefine the word ‘sit’ in the frame of reference of the trot. Many riders assume this word indicates passivity. They’re wrong. You aren’t meant to sit like a brass Laughing Buddha while on the sitting trot. You can enhance your position a heap if you change your idea of the sitting trot: regard it as a process that actively involves you, as well.
Poor sitting trots feed on themselves and degenerate further with time. The whole problem starts with the down movement. The ride fails to remain in rhythm with the horse; he starts to drop into the saddle as the saddle starts its journey back up. The result’s a clashing reunion of rider seat and saddle. A horse subject to that sort of impact tends to stiffen up. He will collapse his back, and when a horse does this, the trot becomes a gait that’s not possible to sit.
You can properly sit the trot only when you learn how to closely follow your saddle’s up and back down movements. This job is all the more challenging because you need to learn to do it on your seat bones.
The positive side of all of it is that you don’t need to put your pony to any difficulty while you get yourself tuned into sitting trots. Take it out on a hard chair of wood instead. Sit on the chair with your face to its back, and ensure that the chair is in contact with both of your seat bones. Tighten and loosen each one of the seat bones alternatively, so that one seat bone is up when the other is down. If you find you’re not able to do this, you most likely have weak muscles in your butt; though it’s also possible that your hips and your back might be too tight. You can bring this area of your anatomy to full strength and suppleness with some stretching, yoga or pilates.
Once you are finished with the chair, it is back to your pony. Sit straight, your back should be straight up over your hips and your seat. Follow your horse’s movement with one seat bone at a time. Don’t curve your back, and keep your hips soft and flexible to enable you to follow your horse’s movement closely. If you have correctly aligned your body, your legs should be well relaxed with the impact being cushioned by your in time motion.
Are you ready to get a brand spanking new saddle? Well, you are because you are going thru this article! The million dollar question is, what saddle type would work best for you?
Practically every saddle on sale has been made for a particularly particular use. You actually get saddles for roping, barrel racing, endurance events and a whole lot of other purposes. It is vital, of course, that you actually know the purpose for which you actually intend procuring a saddle. Is it for shows? Are you actually into barrel racing? Are you actually looking for one for easy riding around the ranch? Determining the type of saddle you actually will need is only one 3rd of your preparatory work done.
The second part of preparatory work is related to determining the correct size of saddle. The ideal saddle is the best match for both you and your horse. In contrast, the incorrect saddle can be a source of misery to you really and/or your horse.
That’s why you need to take your measurements with the greatest of care. You actually can download a size guide from any of the number of internet sites. Saddles come in countless sizes and shapes, so have a really clear idea of just what you actually need. Check if there aren’t any mistakes in the measurements.
The final 3rd of your pre-purchase preparations has to do with the kind of saddle you actually need. Some of the finest known brands, which go back a great distance into history, are Circle Y, Big Horn, Tucker and Billy Cook. These brands are deservedly popular. All of them are an American brand, and all use the very best of raw material for their saddles. They have been around for some considerable time, and have enjoyed considerable success in that period. It’s simply because they make some of the best saddles money can buy. If you are not subject to a small budget, any one of these brands is just the best choice.
Based in Powell in Wyoming, Northwest Community College is a public community establishment offering several two year associate degree courses. One of those courses is in Equine Studies. This programme enables students to achieve a powerful base in equine science, with a perfect mix of theoretical instruction and practical participation in riding horses and in coaching and handling them. Scholars are enabled to take up constructive employment immediately on conclusion of these courses; they can alternatively select further education at other establishments.
Dependent on their set of interests, scholars can opt for either of two Associate programme options. Riding and training comprises the 1st option. Scholars are given intensive exposure to riding, coaching and handling of horses regarding the science of management of the horse industry. Scholars who pass out of this course are enabled to gain fast work in:
- Riding schools
- Training faculties
- Summer camps
- Rider exercising
- Boarding stables
Scholars who are not interested in an AAS degree can also enroll in an Equine Care/Basic Riding Certificate course of one year duration at Northwest Community College. This programme makes students proficient riders and well versed in quality horse care, so giving them the type of abilities that they will need to attain success in the world of equines. While on this course, scholars learn equine safety, pony health management, equine nutrition, pony behavior, correct tack fitting as well as riding with safety for both rider and horse. Graduates are empowered for employment as
- Operators of boarding stables
- Riding school aids
- Guides for trail riding
- Sales personnel
- Sitters at breeding farms.
For those scholars who need to be involved in the sale and merchandising aspects of the equine industry, Northwest Community College also offers scholars an Equine Business Management course for scholars wishing to be concerned in marketing and merchandizing in the equine world. For this course, students aren’t required to have a horse.
Students are also able to select the degree in Management of Farrier Business. This degree imbues scholars with the skills necessary for running small firms; it also qualifies them for pro licensing by the American Farrier’s Association.
The College’s equine studies courses emphasize events, both English and Western, strongly. The programme is terribly competitive, and often accepts less than 40 students yearly. The successful candidates are put thru a course that gets them an Applied Science Associate degree in Equine Studies.
Students are prompted to have more than simple basis experience with riding, though it isn’t imperative. This program will benefit students from a 4-H or breed organisation background the most. Scholars are also advised to bring along their own horses. If this isn’t possible , arrangements are going to be made so that a horse is prepared for the scholar before their first class. There are no exceptions to the stable charges scholars are required to pay, whether they have brought their own horse or have been given one on arrival at the college. All horses except gaited ones are fine for use by students in the college’s equine studies programme. It isn’t compulsory that they be registered, but the horses should be sound of health and possess good manners, they’re expected to get along well with other horses.
Riding classes are staged at the College’s Equine Center Complex, where the stables are situated. The Complex has facilities like a heated indoor arena with a viewing studio, storage of feed, an outside arena, paddocks for turnout, a tack room and wash racks, both outside and indoor.
Most of the time, pets are procured in the interests of friendship. Some pets could be expected to perform certain obligations, like guard dogs are. Typically, though, pets are brought in as playmates for kids. The conscientious dog owner may take his pet to obedience coaching schools, so that it can learn good habits like going outside on calls of nature and eating only when ordered to do so.
Some pets like to be near their human owners at most times, like the dog. This proximity makes it simpler to educate them after you have gone thru some classes letting you know what to train your pets in and the way to do it. The feeling among pet owners appears to be that it takes one class a week over 6 or 8 weeks for training to show effect, whether in the animal owners or the pets. It also takes at least 2 coaching courses to get the pets to respond regularly to commands and perhaps 4 coaching courses to establish reasonably complete command over them. It’d be rather nieve to take your new pet to an obedience tutor and expect to get back a totally unquestioning instantly obeying animal in 6 weeks or so.
Yet, horses seem to be the exception. Folk expect miracles of their horse and the horses’ trainers. I’ve seen a lot of first-time horse owners with very little understanding of riding and even less awareness of training taking on the job of training their horses themselves. Unsurprisingly, all these people with no exceptions run into problems. Rather than getting tamed, their horse appear to become uncontrolled and pick up all kinds of unwelcome behavior patterns. When these pony owners finally give up and follow the advice of their mates to send the animals to a pro trainer, they’re expecting the trainer to reverse all the training gone wrong and get the horses to become models of perfect behavior. A good tutor can work a fair deal of sorcery with the animals, but is it truly only the animals that need the training?
Horse owners expect trainers to finish the coaching of their horses inside so many weeks or days. In all their anxiety, they ignore one major element of successful animal training: the coaching of the animal owners themselves. Good trainers can get a pony to do practically everything reasonable the owners expect, nevertheless it will all come to zilch if the owners are also not trained on what is needed from them and how to re-enforce the coaching.
A bad owner can undo a month of good professional coaching in a week.
Think about this: It takes something similar to 2000 repetitions of a command and its enforcement to get rid of a set habit and another 2000 repetitions to condition a new habit. It can take up to 10,000 repetitions to make unconscious acts of habits. Once you know this, you’d be terribly stupid indeed not to realise and accept that the owner needs training in keeping the horse trained just as much as the pony wants training in the first instance. You should also appreciate that it can take some considerable time and effort to coordinate your responses to that of your horse.
Dog owners typically appear to have no problem in committing 20 minutes or so a day to helping their dogs absorb their coaching better. Sadly, it would seem to be very tricky to get pony owners to make the same kind of commitment. One comprehensible reason is perhaps the dog can be kept indoors for the period of time necessary, but the owner has to go outside to the pony. Further, a lot of horse owners are bored by ‘basic’ training routines, which can be more complicated than getting a dog to sit or come to heel or beg.
Unless they are well experienced, horse owners usually don’t grasp quite how much success they might achieve with the right attitude and the right focus. They should learn to take it a lesson at a time, without unjustified expectations of miracles. They must begin with the fundamentals, like following without pulling away while on the lead. It is tricky to train the pony to sit, but without too much effort, it can be made to do stuff like stop and stand in the right position, release to pressure, stand when tied and lead the correct way. These lessons will establish the sort of bond between owner and horse that may later enable excellent rapport while riding or doing any other jobs together. Persistence will shortly bring about a point in time when the owner simply has no desire to stay indoors, but would prefer to be out there doing something or the other with his pony.
There had been a point in time when I felt nice looking down a barn and seeing a line of pony heads with hay nets attached, moving almost in unison as the horses peacefully chewed away. Like a lot of other people, I thought of hay nets as a cost-effective way of feeding my horses, since there is very small waste and they save on hay and bedding.
I still think so. I also thought of hay nets as extraordinarily healthy. I no longer think so. I have come across repeated information that shows that horses feeding from hay nets and hay racks ingest masses of dust and particles. Horses are best left to feed the natural way, with heads down and feeding off the ground.
Any type of dust: from natural dust, from hay, from manure or sawdust could be a major threat to the health of horses. You actually should make extremely sure your horses are spared from ingesting too much dust every day. To a point, dust cannot be avoided, particularly if you have presented your horses a roomy well-ventilated barn.
If you use fans when it is summer, take care over their locations. Fans kick up more dust when they are at floor level. Mount them up on stall frames or walls. Ensure both the fans and the wiring cannot possibly snag or trip up horses or humans. Take great care when sweeping the aisles. First dampen them a touch and then ply the broom very lightly. Don’t try and capture every speck of dust.
Avoid using leaf blowers. It gives me nightmares thinking of what a leaf blower can do. Don’t cross the divide between healthy diligence and unhealthy hysteria. After all of your efforts, some dust is bound to stay, so let it don’t be over the top.
One of my beginner jump students came to with a problem one day. Her horse took fences with a good deal of energy. While she was quite good at handling him, she had feeble muscles in one arm as the result of some old injury. This muscle weakness worsened as she grew tired, and preventedconsistent contact with both reins.
I thought back to my old jumper instructor. He had taught a strategy of ‘bridging the reins’ to me once during my days as a junior rider assigned to retrain a retired racehorse. He taught me so well that I bridge my reins nearly as an instinctive reaction whenever I am astride a spooky or overly strong pony with the disposition to tug over fences. Bridging the reins let me achieve consistent contact and therefore better security. The method does not require making my hands harder; it just supplies them with a backup. This allows me to maintain much better control over my horse.
When bridging your reins, hold them normally, but turn your hands just a little to get the thumbs to face each other briefly while adjusting the reins to a bridge. The rein goes thru the thumb and the finger and then across the horse’s neck to your other hand, where it in a similar way passes thru the thumb and the finger. You have now allowed for a bridge; take your hands back to their standard position and even the rains out whilst maintain the bridge.
Bridged reins give the rider better security if his pony tries pulling on the reins. Rein bridging is a strategy typically used by cross country riders; this system is also of considerable help to riders who are suffering from the unsafe practice of opening up their fingers and letting the reins slip out, and to riders who from whatever causes tend to constantly lose contact. This system permits the rider to recover contact without fuss and without restricting the horse. It is of great assistance to beginners who are just learning all about judging contact. The strategy has the extra virtue of permitting amateur riders to keep aware of the precise locations of both of their hands in relation to one another; it also helps in keeping the hands spaced right and at the right height.
Riders with an inclination to excessively fuss over their reins and horses who tend to excessively fuss over lack of consistency in contact can both benefit from this system.
You may bridge reins with a single hand and use just that hand to jump. By doing this, you avoid leaning onto the horse’s neck and you keep your balance. You are also enabled to execute independent aids like jumping with a hand out at the side. If you’d like to bridge your reins to only 1 hand, take a normal hold of the outer rein and position the interior rein on top of the outside one.
Bridging reins helps you achieve more security, especially when jumping, and also helps you use your hands to help independently.
Most pony folks accept the bit as a mandatory instrument that’s invariably used when training, riding or driving a horse. But does, invariably, necessarily mean that bits are indispensable?
Not really. Don’t know if you’ve ever experienced the fabulous sight of horsemen riding the California and Vaquero styles, but they use no bits? At least, not until such time as their horses are deemed past their prime.
I frequently hear and read somebody asserting that ‘I get more control with the bit’ I even saw a horse forum post once advising readers on the best bits to use with halters to maintain ‘more control’, do you really want to know what bits? My response is NONE! I have addressed the issue of horse control in another article. I think about this issue to be of great criticality.
Before going on to anything more, I begin with 2 long lines on each horse I handle. That also means I throw in two rings, a surcingle and a halter with the long lines. Pretty much unavoidably, my first training is on stops. I take the horse on a slow walk and at some particular point command him to stop with a ‘Whoa!’ I stop walking myself, and that suggests the pony continues on into the longs lines and the halter. This applies force on the horse’s nose. He comes to a stop, and I ease off the pressure.
It has been my experience that no pony ever took more than a day to work out that it was far smarter to stop straight away at the command ‘Whoa!’ than to resume on and grind into the halter and the lines. I achieve twin objectives with this: I’m saying an oral command’s domination and I teach the pony to respond to awfully slight pressure.
Is it actually possible to ride a horse with merely a halter? It is pretty much possible , though there will not be much to show by way of elegance.
You can resort to either the, Hackamore, or the Bosal. I am biased in favour of the Spanish-looking Bosal. If you trained your pony with long lines, you should find this a breeze. The basic trick is to train your pony to respond to the lightest pressure.
This also allows you to surmount some problems associated with bits.
Unless you’re a perfect rider with long experience, you would have a tendency to apply pressure on the bit unwittingly. That obviously makes it very uncomfortable and confusing for your horse. When you are starting out with a horse, it won’t give you perfect stops right away. That forces you to heap on some pressure. This in turn leads to the horse giving more attention to the pain it feels than to your cues.
Probably the largest disadvantage of bits is that riders tend to rely exclusively on them, and eventually they lose their effectiveness as the horses get inured to them. To compensate, riders use bits with increased leverage, which leads to another cycle that ends in futility.
You achieve great coordination when you train horses without bits because they achieve much greater sensitivity.
There are two attitudes you can adopt when referring to horse training, when you have the first of these attitudes, you find coaching slow, hard and drudgery. You wouldn’t be wrong on the “slow and hard” part. If you are blessed with the second attitude, you find training tons of fun. You are moulding one of god’s most wonderful creatures to your specifications.
If you are one of those lucky ones who find coaching fun, you need to believe that you can make it even more fun if you use another pony.
You can use other horses to huge advantage if you are training horses that are still terribly young. Here’s some clarification on what I mean.
I’ve a fairly standard methodology for training foals. My first concern is to get them used to my presence. I even touch them and scratch them and groom them delicately to get them used to human touch and handling. When they are comfortable with me, I put my hat on them. I have my reasons for doing this. My hat desensitizes the foals, ears and other areas around the head. Since it’s a completely new and possibly dangerous object for foals, they have to learn how to trust me that there is no harm intended, especially since the hat impedes full vision.
This is where the other horses come in. Without them, the process would be more lengthened and involve harder work. With them, my objectives are met quicker. Since my horses all hang around in a herd, I put my hat on every one of them close to the foal I’m training. These older horses are completely indifferent to my hat, and so they show no reaction whatsoever. Every time I am taking my hat off a horse, I praise that pony fulsomely.
I achieve a big benefit by doing this. When the foal sees other horses accepting the hat without any reaction whatsoever, it understands the hat is something of no consequence at all, negative or otherwise. And when the foal hears the praise the other horses get after wearing the hat, it understands also that there has to be something excellent about wearing the hat. The natural consequence is that the foal loses fear of the hat.
I once had a definitely revealing experience with four new Morgan mares I got from Montana. They’d not been trained or handled beyond being halter broke. I had 2 adjacent paddocks, and I put the mares in one and utilized the other for training them. I don’t think I have ever had an easier time. All I had to do was bring in one of my trained mares and make a massive show of picking her feet up and cleaning them. Obviously my trained mares endured the process with total detachment. It was a piece of cake attending to the new mares after that. I was amazed when the last mare really lifted her front foot up in expectation as I approached her!
In the first stages, I had to go into their paddock and bring them out one by one for their coaching. About a week later , they were all swarming at the gate, waiting for me, as if each mare was willing for me to choose her first.
When you use a trained pony as a form of motivating factor for an untrained one, you aren’t only adding to the fun side of coaching, you’re also making it very easy for the untrained pony. You’ll be stunned how observant horses can be. I have frequently seen them learn by watching other horses. You can take advantage of this feature if you stick to one practice: praise each trained horse extravagantly for whatever demonstration it helped you give: the praise mellows the untrained horses and makes them hugely receptive.
Horses have similar characteristics to humans, and a few of these can be employed to beat our equestrian coaching difficulties and learning blocks.
Horse riding is a recurring cycle of care, coaching, and then application of the things taught and learned until the pony in question is solid on her cues and knows how her rider wants her to respond in every situation. Before a pony reaches that stage nonetheless , generous periods of time and effort will unavoidably be consumed. And for such equestrian sport as dressage, an equine ballet of beauteous precision, rather more time and effort and disappointment is a prerequisite. Thru the method of training, both trainer and horse can be stressful, compelling, and frustrating. There are times when the very health of a mare being trained may be put at risk—the danger coming from a trainer’s desire for her to learn. Pushing her too hard beyond her tangible learning curve at the moment would only function to stress her out and put negative pressure on her. And administering performance boosters to young horses is similarly inadvisable as too much may endanger their health in the long run.
So it’s a great thing that like us as horse riders who learn on our own, so do our horses learn in pasture when they’re left to their devices.
This may be difficult to believe at first. But to see how it happens, next time you introduce a manoeuvre to your mare, observe her while in pasture thereafter. For instance, teach her to pivot around to reverse direction. This is a very unnatural move—horses go round in a semi-circle to reverse directions at freedom. After a session trying to teach her the lesson, ensure she has a handle on the basic motions, and do not fret about the move not being perfect yet. Give her a break and let her graze for a while. Observe her as she grazes in pasture—instead of reversing direction the natural way (the half-circle) she is going to start reversing directions thru the manoeuvre you taught her. Though the movements might be clumsy as she is yet to perfect them, seeing your pony do the move on her very own is amazing in itself. And as she continues using what she is learned to reverse direction, given time she’d unavoidably get better at it. Every time you let her out onto pasture, she’ll continue using any moves you have taught her in favour of what she at first knew. And the longer she uses them, the better she gets at them.
This suggests if we use this natural behaviour of our horses we are able to teach them up to the point where they no longer display further progress, then just let them out to practice all alone. This extra step in an equestrian coaching regime means we avoid putting too much pressure or administering too many performance improving drugs while letting ourselves rest also. And better yet—horses learn best when their lessons are spaced out at a regular interval and in between lessons they practice at freedom. Their practice-method of self learning is restricted of course; don’t expect them to pull off any graceful dressage moves while in pasture.
Raising new born baby horses is a nice experience, but don’t let the excitement delude you into raising a brat. Remember that that small horse would shortly be as big as or even larger than her mom. And if you treat her the way you’d do your pet dog, you’d inevitably raise a hard-headed pain in the neck. A horse like that isn’t fit for riding, much less equestrian sport.
Baby horses are naturally not ready for horse riding or coaching for sport (though you can teach her to load or something similar). Consider what human babies do almost all of the time till they’re ready for school: they play. Let your foal horse around with other fillies and colts her age range. If you can, take some time to observe her within a herd. If she gets too rowdy, her dam or some other aged herd member would give her a horse spanking to sort her out. Not only is she learning who are playmates, also she is learning who are leaders. Clearly, though you can be a playmate occasionally it’s very wise though to set yourself up as her leader.
This means teaching her when you’re serious and establishing your leadership authority. The most effective way to do so is with reins or bridles. Without them, it’s play time. When they are on, she better not play around. It’s fine to reprimand her on your own way, just be gentler—she is a baby after all. Try early training with mom around, and finally train her away from mom to develop uniqueness and a feeling of being a separate pony away from her mom she may instead be reliant upon. In natural settings they naturally come to an age where they become self dependent. In captivity, you must guarantee this pattern is followed, because they will be together in pens and enclosures most of the time—dam and filly.
Observing the young foal as she grows would provide hints when she is of age for further stages of training. If you suspect she is , always apply lessons in moderation, and be twice as patient as you would on other horses. Don’t use lessons that are physically demanding or mentally taxing—she’s still developing her muscles and her brain. Pushing too hard on the lessons might cause irreversible damage to essential body parts of your foal.
But let’s go back for a second. Lots of folks take horse riding for an informal activity, while some owners intend for their horses to join equestrian events. Either way, most of the time a newly born foal which they will raise into maturity on their own is rare. And because of that, and because the thing can be particularly cute, first time breeders tend to treat it too loosely. As quickly as evidence of stubbornness or insubordination arise, nip it at the bud. You would not need her taking such practices to adulthood—a 900 pound stomping, kicking, biting horse that can barely be contained far less trained.
An equestrian would know that horses are definitely hay burners and consume much of one’s budget. That is the reason why, in financial as well as other aspects, it is tough to keep and care for just one—how much more if you’re a ‘horse addict ‘ and have a herd?
Well, infrequently we allow ourselves to buy something very costly as a reward to ourselves. That may be one explanation why you would go buy yourself a top end horse, a costly and talented steed good at reigning and well-suited for dressage. So let’s say you go buy one. But then, you realize reining is not for you. So you do not really have much use for your horse’s talent while you continue to spend for her feed and work for her care. You make a decision to put out feelers for anyone that could be interested to buy her. In the meantime, you continue to feed her your own special recipe and give her bodywork but at the back of your mind you’re still thinking about selling her to someone else. Well, don’t be shocked if next time you come sit near her she’ll give you a slap on the back of your head and blow snot at you at least ten times as if to point out, “Come on, wake up. You bought me as a reward to yourself, now you want to sell me… this relationship is meant to go both-ways, I’m your dream horse and you are my dream owner.”
And when your pony does that to you, you’ll get the message even if you do not excel on animal communication classes (you’ll find animal communication resources all round the Web).
Even if your steed has a Shao Yin character (one of the five pony type characters) —one that is eager on pleasing folks, although that’s a pretty assertive message from a Shao Yin kind of horse.
But you do not have to wait for your steed to give you the snots. Think twice and remember, she was meant to be your reward and can’t be such all by herself; she wants you to transform her into your dream equine partner. If she is not as troublesome as the rest of your herd, then maybe you need a different type of training for her.
That may be a difficult task to meet, so just regard it as another opportunity for you to grow. In fact , there’s much more to being an equestrian than dreaming about dressage or horse riding, galloping, and reining all day.
How are you feeding your horses? Are you force feeding a uniform feed regime to all of your horses without leaving them any freedom to choose? If that is so it’s about time you retire such a feeding practice and start trusting in a horse’s inbred senses that they might typically depend on. Many an equestrian has a stringent training regimen not only for safe and disciplined pony riding but for a sport as precise and accurate as dressage. The issue is when an equestrian’s tough training regime influences his holistic health care for his horses such that he also gets extraordinarily stringent when it comes to feeding them. Sure, he would probably know lots about pony feed, but a stud or mare has its instinct directing it—and they are often right on the money.
The best feeding regimen is something close to a properly supplemented free choice feed environment. There are headstrong steeds out there that will not take a bite of anything you require them to take. If however you let them get used to free choice feeding routine and you think that giving them liberty to choose is impacting their health negatively, then introduce supplements to their feed. What our equine mates might be truly averse to are those unpleasant shots and additional medicines we usually rush off to administer when they get out of condition.
And there arrives a point, particularly for horses undergoing equestrian coaching for such sport as dressage or physically demanding activities, that they do develop an infirmity of some form. When they do, go on and take a veterinarian’s prescription, but don’t expect your pony to gulp it down with pleasure. The first thing to do is to attempt regular treatments of anything prescribed. If in all of your earnest efforts and methods of administering it your pony seems to find a way not to take it—from leaving just the pills and eating up everything else in her feeding box to gulping it down and spitting it out as soon as you turn around—then there just might be an excellent reason why.
If you have been coaching a particular mare for a long time now, then you know she has her own temperament—but her hardheadedness isn’t caused by just a quirk in her disposition. Trust her instincts like she is doing, and you’ll see. If she signifies a certain bent to eat more of a particular feed, then let her do so. You may be shocked she gets better on her very own choice of feed even without the drugs. Or she might take the medication when she’s going through the indicators of her illness, and hates it when she isn’t. Obviously, she knows what’s helping her along when she is hurting and when it’s required.
Just as a pony trained for sport gives you the advantage of simple and pleasurable riding, you can at least afford them their right to trust their instincts.