Palm Partnership Training™
Building a Partnership with your Horse
You and your partner touch. With almost imperceptible signals you dance together.
Your steps are light, your turns graceful and balanced. There is trust between you as you
confidently master more difficult maneuvers. You move as one with your horse in
beauty, in the partnership called “riding”.
You may be a trail rider or barrel racer, ride hunt seat or Western Dressage or Western.
Whatever your passion, there’s no greater reward than learning how to dance, in
partnership with your horse. This comes from the rider knowing herself and having
confidence and skill built through experience. With this knowledge, unrestricted
communication and feelings can flow between rider and horse allowing them to bond as
A partnership with a horse is different than any other sport or hobby. No other animal
has such a relationship with humans. Only the horse allows us to sit on its back and
yields in partnership to us. It’s a team effort between horse and rider based on love,
acceptance, respect and kindness.
Summer is a great time for riders to go back to the basics to learn how to create a more
successful partnership with their horses. The first step is to understand your equine
partner’s personality. Some horses, like human dance partners, are more sensitive than
others. Some have more knowledge; others need training.
Do horses really desire love from us? It depends on the horse’s personality. Some horses
seem to crave attention from humans. Other horses are more aloof. Just like with any
partnership, the match of personalities between each partner is critical in making them a
The horse and rider and bring out the best, and the worst, in their partnership. Not all
horse and rider combinations are properly suited or “matched” to each other. A mismatch
can lead to frustration, and compromise safety for both horse and rider.
Whether you are riding as a hobby or have goals of serious competition, finding the right
match is the most important ingredient in forming a successful horse and rider
partnership. You must get the right partner to ride safely, have fun, and achieve your
I’d like you to evaluate how your personality and level of experience matches with those
of your horse. When you ask your equine partner to dance, whether your dance is a trail
ride or a barrel pattern, are you getting positive responses? Does your horse respond to
you consistently, with confidence and respect? Or is he disobedient, sullen, and
disrespectful of you?
Your Next Step…
Is to search for the right equine personality for you. Look for a horse that is interested in
its surroundings, whose ears are pricked forward, and whose soft eye shows interest, not
alarm. It’s the horse with the positive attitude. It is a partner who will be able to do many
different disciplines and will make riding fun.
Riding is like dancing. It takes two to tango. As you and your horse grow together in
experience and skill, you will form a partnership that will bring you pleasure and fun. It’s
a partnership built on understanding and respect, the principles that make dressage the
basis for all riding. In my next newsletter, I’ll share some tips on how to find the “right”
equine partner. So let the dance begin!
Lynn’s Training Tip
If you interested in learning more about selecting a horse, the importance of confirmation
to function, and how to build the foundation for a successful partnership, my videotape
“Hunter Under Saddle” can help. I made this video several years ago, but it includes
timeless tips on how to select and start a young horse. You’ll follow me as I analyze the
athleticism of several young horses and point out desirable and undesirable performance
characteristics that are especially important for a show horse. You will learn the step-by-
step training process from starting a horse, right up to the first ride. This 90 minute video
is chock full of training lessons you can teach your young horse or use as a refresher to
improve your horse’s performance. Just visit my website www.lynnpalm.com and click
on “Products” to learn how you can improve your partnership with your horse.
Until then, follow your dreams!