Maybe dogs and horses aren’t so different
I’m not a big fan of tricks for treats. I was steadfast in my resistance to this with horses through all the “new and improved” training techniques over the decades that heralded food as a “positive training” motivator. That’s good for creating muggers and distracting the horse from what you’re trying to communicate, but not […]
What is ground work with horse training?
From the way some present it, you’d think good horse training ground work requires a deep knowledge of trick training, horse whispering (a misnomer for sure), professional stature or hundreds of hours in planned activity. Nope. All you really need is common sense mixed with a bit of horse sense. That’s something that can be […]
Young Horse Training Tip #4: Pasture time is training strategy
It’s not fair to expect a young horse to be focused on your requests if he’s not allowed time to kick up his heels. A tiny paddock available through the back stall door isn’t enough. If your horse is at your home, there are many ways you can design space with what you have. Sometimes […]
Young Horse Training Tip #3: Ride every other day
Trial and error is always a big teacher when it comes to young horse training. Sometimes, what you discover will surprise you. For many years at Halcyon Acres®, young horses were lucky to get a day off each week once training started. Probably a big part of this thinking came from the racetrack, where young […]
Young Horse Training Tip #2: Keep Lessons Short
Try it. Give it a few weeks, or even better, a couple of months. You’ll be shocked at how quickly your young horse surpasses the neighbor’s project being drilled for hours a day. It may not make sense to you, nor be the norm at the training facility down the road, but it works. Young […]
Young Horse Training Tip #1: Listen to what your horse is trying to tell you
So much is lost when we focus more on telling a horse what to do than what he’s trying to convey. The joy that comes from making a connection can’t be fully expressed in words. There’s that ah-ha moment in young horse training when human and horse understand. It’s surreal and often sudden. You’ll never […]
Are you listening to what your alpha horse is trying to tell you?
Even with alpha fillies and mares, there’s usually a good reason for an animated objection to a request. It’s rarely because they’re being belligerent. Before you jump to correct a horse for bad behavior, consider what your alpha horse is trying to tell you. If it’s a fair response, let it go and move on. […]
Mean horses can surprise you in good ways
What makes me so fond of this guy (he’s not the overt endearing type) is his decision to fight what drives him, preferring a more engaging and fulfilling partnership approach to life. I don’t ever recall seeing a horse work so hard to stifle instinct drivers for a different reality.
Sometimes young horses and mature riders are a good fit
Special young horse teaches trainer a new lesson It stands to reason that putting a young horse with a green rider – or a more mature tentative rider who harbours deep fears from prior injuries – is a recipe for disaster. This year, I was again reminded that there are no absolutes. Once in a […]
Do you have jitters about that first ride off the property ride with your horse?
Act fast (before June 4th) to grab our e-booklet Preparing you and your horse for the first off-the-property ride for free Novices and professionals alike get butterflies (and sleepless nights) thinking about how that first ride away from home might go. Of course, for experienced riders this usually involves a first for the horse, where […]