Setting a Goal for Your Horse and Reaching It

It is good to set goals for our horses and if one of your goals is to take your horse to a show, this article will help you develop a plan. There are a lot of steps between setting the goal and accomplishing it. What I like to do in training a horse is to have a training program planned before I start. It is good to have a weekly, three-month, 6-month and yearly road map. I allow as much time as is needed for each step working with that particular horse. For example, if I start a horse under saddle, normally in about three months, the horse will be 75% to 80% finished. After three months,

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How Horses Like to Learn

Hi, this is “My Royal Lark” also known to my friends as “Wills”. I am a handsome bay Appendix Quarter bay stallion and son of legendary “Rugged Lark”.  I’m Lynn’s favorite partner, or at least I think so!
We know that horses don’t talk… but Lynn is finally off of her computer and now it’s my turn to give you a horse’s perspective on training. Together with Lynn’s 40+ years of professional experience in training horses and riders, we’ve come up with these pointers to help you be more successful in training your horse.

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Know Your Rein Aids

I’m a bit confused about rein aids—how they differ in English and Western riding. I’ve been hearing terms like direct and direct opposition, indirect and indirect opposition. What do these terms mean and when do you use them while riding?

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Balance and Collection

We often hear the words “balance” and “collection” along with a variety of methods of achieving these goals for our horses. There are many different opinions on this broad subject and the short version of my mine is based on many years of experience working with many different horses in a variety of breeds. I have found that some really great trainers who I have worked with over the years share this view. We all agree that a balanced horse is a horse that carries himself.

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Using a Longe Line and Whip for

When working your horse in hand, start with a simple cotton longe line clipping it to the snap on the same side of the halter as you are working the horse.  Never use the snap at the bottom of the halter for ground training.  I only use the bottom snap when I doing routine handling or leading, and only with a horse that is fully mannered and responsive to my commands. 

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Right Equipment for Ground Training

In the last article I stressed the importance of location when conducting ground training lessons with any horse.  If you follow the progression I gave you to introduce each new ground training lesson. you will be giving your horse the best opportunity to learn. If your horse demonstrates he does not understand or is not responsive at any point in this progression, go back to the previous location to repeat the lesson until there is improvement.

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Bucking and Bolting on the Trail

Safety on the trail is always our first concern. A horse that bucks, bolts or even rears when out on the trail is unsafe for the rider and for anyone who is near. This behavior is not acceptable and training is needed however, it is important to understand why a horse would behave this way. It appears that this happens frequently and there are multiple reasons why horses do this. Let’s discuss some of the reasons.

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Teaching Your Horse to Accept the Clippers

Do you have a battle with your horse every time you try to clip his bridle path? Is clipping around his ears and feet impossible? Here are some tips on how to get your horse to accept being clipped, or being what I call a “clipper broke” horse. In other words, the horse accepts the noise and vibration of the clippers and stands quietly.

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Working with a Blind Horse

Over the last 35 years I have worked with many blind horses, probably three or four dozen. Most have been blind in one eye, and some totally blind. Through practical experience I’ve found that when a situation like this happens, the horse wakes up one morning and can’t see and life goes on. Unlike the human reaction where we, with our mental processes and rational minds, understandably fall apart until we come to terms with it. We must become familiar with what we have and with our space. We must learn to accept and cope with life. With a horse, blindness comes much easier. They don’t have the trauma of the loss of something and they don’t have the emotional stress. I think with horses that are blind in both eyes, they learn to rely on other senses just like humans, hearing and smell and a level of acuity. Like humans, they utilize their other senses to adapt to the best of their ability.

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Western Dressage: What’s It All About?

For me, western dressage is a dream come true. I was so fortunate to learn dressage training as a young rider. I rode with my mentor, Bobbie Steele, for more than 25 years.
What I learned in the dressage saddle, I went home and practiced with my ponies, my first horse, and my second horse, which was a yearling. Dressage applied to all aspects of training and all horses that I worked with, from the ground to the saddle. Even if a different saddle was used, whether western, hunt seat, saddle seat, or dressage, there was no reason to ride any differently.

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