The Best Exercise To Do When You Don’t Have Much Time

In the training program at the ranch we never, ever ride a horse without first starting with a bit of ground work. Even the most well trained horse can have an off day and my staff and I always take the time to check what the horse’s physical, mental and emotional states are prior to riding. This also helps us see what the horse’s level of resistance may be.

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Use Of The Seat And Leg Aids

The leg and seat aids are what I call body aids. They work with the reins in communication with the horse. As riders, we want to be balanced on our horses, what I call balanced riders. We want to ride in the center of the horse and we want to stay perpendicular from our ears to our heels. We can shift our weight back to communicate with our horse that we want a change. I am not talking about leaning way back but just moving the shoulders back about one or two inches.

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It’s A Cinch – Saddling For The First Time

When the big day comes to saddle up for the first time, it is usually not a really big deal. If you have put the time in on ground work and you have a solid foundation you should be ready to saddle. If you have worked with your horse to desensitize her to the saddle blanket, you now need to get her accustomed to the cinch. A horse’s belly is a very sensitive area. Out in the wild, the legs and belly are really vulnerable areas.

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Use Of The Rein Aids

I am often asked if it is correct to ride with a loose rein or if contact should be maintained. The different riding disciplines have different ways of using rein aids, however, in discussing the rein aids, it is best to start with the basics. It is important to understand the use of the reins and what rein movement means. Reins are aids used to direct a horse. The left and right reins tell the horse where we want to go.

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Teaching A Horse To Ground Tie

Teaching a horse to ground tie is one of the easiest commands to train. I’ve seen some elaborate ways of teaching a horse to ground tie. Some trainers put a line on the halter and a second line between the front legs and through a surcingle. If the horse moves forward, the trainer pulls on the lines. Some trainers tie the horse to an object on the ground which teaches the horse where it needs to stand. I use a much more simple method.

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The Western Pleasure Horse, Part 3

Welcome back to Western Pleasure 101. This is the final article in the three-part Western Pleasure series. First, I’d like to thank ridemagazine.com; the readers; Sandy Baldwin, who has put my words into print, and my clients; who have supported this project. These articles are for individuals who are not able to commit their horses to full training, but who are still interested in Western Pleasure.

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The Western Pleasure Horse, Part 2

This is the second article in our series on the western pleasure disciplines. These articles are intended for riders who want to get into western pleasure and can’t go to a training barn or who would like to do it on their own, as there are many shows where an amateur or novice can participate. My previous article discussed the selection of a horse. This article discusses a bit about the history of western pleasure, what we’re looking for in the western pleasure horse, and what can be done to train a horse for a western pleasure show.

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The Western Pleasure Horse, Part 1

This month is the beginning of a series of three articles for amateur riders who wish to show in western pleasure and are working without a professional trainer. This first article will discuss the the importance of selecting the right horse for the western pleasure show.

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Meet The Trainer

Kind and talented, this man will undoubtedly capture your admiration and your horse’s respect.

He asks the horse for a perfect, polished slide stop, hands quiet, the horse willingly responsive to the hackamore. He strokes the horse’s neck, steps off, and leads the horse over to the golf cart. A whistle brings a gaggle of dogs from various points around the ranch. They all load up and somehow balance themselves on the cart. Off they head for the barn: horse, trainer, dogs.

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