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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Speed Demon: Teach your horse to slow down on command

My 12-year-old Appendix Quarter Horse is always in a hurry—even to get around the arena! I’m always pulling back on her mouth to slow her down, but she speeds up again right away. We’re in a constant battle. My friend suggested I use a stronger bit, but I hate the thought of putting even more pressure on her mouth. What can I do to help her slow down so we can both have a relaxed and peaceful ride?

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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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Working With a Young Horse

The best place to work with a young horse is in a round pen. Begin by letting the horse be at liberty to move freely but with the object of getting the horse to go forward. This may be too much for some young horses. When I worked with my three-year old filly she felt enough pressure that she wanted to go through the round pen rails instead of around inside them.

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Why does my horse rear?

I have a 12-year-old quarter horse gelding that hops up off his front legs whenever I ask him to go somewhere he doesn’t want to go like across the creek or out of the barn yard. Or if I stop to talk to someone coming home from a trail ride, he fusses and hops and will eventually rear straight up if I don’t let him go.

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Western Dressage: Test Levels

The greatest advantage of the Western Dressage discipline is that you know what you have to do with each levels and test. It is not like going to a hunter show and having to learn the day of the show the course for Equitation or Hunter over fences, or a western show and having to learn the new trail or horsemanship patterns.

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What is Foundation?

I’ve done a couple of articles on this topic but I always think this subject is worth revisiting. So what is foundation? It is the basic training that makes up the building blocks of performance. It is the point where you start with a horse and revisit to reinforce behaviors or correct them when the horse goes off track. Or, in other words, it is the skill set that makes up the foundation of all training.

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