Category: Clinicians

Tips for Mounting Properly

We’ve reviewed what the term “aids communication” means and why it is so important to success in communicating with our horses. In the next few articles I am going to share training techniques built on the use of the rider’s natural aids, meaning her seat, legs, and hands—not artificial training aids or gimmicks! You will learn how to teach your horse to respond more willingly, without using force.

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Snaffle Bits

There are a lot of opinions out there about the snaffle bit. Everyone, from your local trainer to a national level trainer, has a point of view on the right type of snaffle and how it should be used. There are also many styles of snaffle bits including a full-cheek snaffle, a lose-ring snaffle, an offset D-ring, an O-ring, an egg butt and more.

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Horses Give More Than They Get

When you own horses, and especially if you keep them at home, sometimes it seems like your whole life revolves around doing their bidding—food service, housekeeping, valet service, maintenance. Most people who dream of bringing their horses home (after boarding them forever) are stunned to discover they have even less time to ride. Why? Because of all the other chores that need doing!

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A Devoted Horse

Horses rise or fall to your level of expectation, no matter how high or low. If you think he’s going to spook at something, he generally will. If you think he is going to throw a fit about getting in the trailer, he will oblige (especially if his emotional outbursts have gotten him what he wanted in the past). On the other hand, when your expectations are high, and you have clear parameters of obedient and compliant behavior, he steps up.

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The Horse Who Runs Up From Behind

To review, we have discussed important steps to prepare for training on the trail, including reading the horse to recognize his inner energy level and working with him to release it, preparing the rider through warm up and stretching exercises, and building safety and confidence on the trail.  I’ve also covered training tips for dealing with the horse who wants to always be in the lead. 

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Think Forward: Ride Yourself Out of Rough Spots

When was the last time you felt a lack of control while riding your horse, even if only for a moment? Was he spooked? Did your horse freak out because the other horses took off? During a tantrum your horse threw about leaving his herd mate?

In the moment of panic—let’s say right after your horse spooked at a rabbit—most riders grab the reins and clench hard when they first feel a lack of control. Often, they fail to shorten the reins first, so the reins are too long, causing the rider to lean back, hands flailing and out of balance too.

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What is a Clinician and What Qualifies a Person to be a Clinician?

A clinician is an individual who works with a horse in front of an audience coaching and demonstrating training methods and techniques. A clinician must have several qualities and to me, the primary one is to be a good horseman. I should really say horse person as there are may women who do an outstanding job with horses. I believe that the key to being a good horseman is communication. Not only must a clinician communicate with the horse, but also with the audience or student.

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Aids Communication: The Bending Aids

I have been reflecting on the importance of the turning aids compared to the bending aids a rider uses. This issue is so important, I would like to revisit our discussion of these aids and add some clarification.
To review, the turning aids are the outside leg and outside indirect rein, supported by the inside leg and inside rein.

Bending is when the horse arcs his body, from the poll (top of the head), through his spine, to the dock (top of the tail). The bending aids are inside leg and inside open rein, supported by the outside leg and outside rein

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Aids Communication: The Seat

I am going to discuss one of the rider’s most important, yet often, overlooked aids. Can you guess which one it is? If you said the rider’s SEAT, you’re right!

I will explain how the rider uses her seat by using the example of upward and downward transitions. As the rider puts weight in the saddle, the rotation and movement of her hips gives the horse the indication to go forward.

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