Author: Charles Wilhelm

Personality and How It Can Effect the Training of Your Horse – Part I

We often hear about the herd instinct and the role it plays in leadership and the development of a relationship with a horse. What we don’t hear much about, are the personalities of horses. I’ve worked with many horses over the last 20 years. I have probably worked between 25 and 30 horses every month. I’ve seen a range of personalities and out of that I have identified some very distinct personality types. In fact, I wrote a book called Building Your Dream Horse and I describe seven different personalities. The personality of a horse is an important factor to consider when choosing a horse and personality also impacts the training of a horse.

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A Word on Hoof Care

Hoof care is an important element in the care of a horse. With a
young horse it is really important to start foot care early.
Handle the feet as soon as a foal will allow it. You can prevent a
lot of conformation problems by trimming early. Sometimes a
hoof grows upright and boxy instead of at an angle like a
normal hoof. This is called a clubfoot.

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What to Consider When Looking For a Horse

Spending time on the road, I have been asked many times, “What is your favorite breed?” My favorite breed is any breed that has a good mind and good feet. A horse that is flighty with a high emotional level will usually never totally settle into a good safe riding horse. A horse with small feet will usually have lameness issues.

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It’s a Cinch

When the big day comes to saddle up for the first time, it is usually not a really big deal when you have put the time in on ground work and you have a solid foundation. When you have worked with your horse to desensitize her to the saddle blanket, the next step is to get her accustomed to the cinch. A horse’s belly is a very sensitive area.

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First Rides

We have been talking about working with a young horse, foundation training, groundwork, saddling and getting your horse used to the basic equipment (bridle, bit, blanket, saddle). Now it is time to take that first ride. The purpose of the first two or three rides is to get your horse comfortable with you or her back. You must focus on translating the ground exercises you have already taught her into under-saddle cues.

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