Natural Horsemanship should be happy for humans and horses

There’s a whole lot of buzz – and controversy – going on right now about current popular horse training precepts. While much of the criticism is centered on one business entity . . . the hubbub isn’t the result of a single method (or individual). There has been a festering groundswell of distaste for messages that are being put out there that stop considering the horse (and the novices trying to establish an understanding and bond) and, instead, are designed to drive maximum traffic to products or services for sale.

Grand Prix Jumping

It’s hard not to be awestruck by the athleticism of horses competing on the Grand Prix circuit. This is a fun video that shows a group of guys hamming it up to clear the height without the benefit of a horse beneath them. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xbo3yr_horseman-a-dresden-homme-cheval-bab_shortfilms#from=embed To get a little personal for a moment, I did track […]

Spooky Horse? Desensitization isn’t the lasting cure.

While instinct, bloodlines and breed will cause some horses to be naturally spookier than others, most of the horses that come into Halcyon Acres are jumpy and jittery due to angst. They’ve been asked for too much too soon, handled with impatience and intolerance, not encouraged to develop self-confidence or handled by a frightened person.

Ten quick tips for beating the heat with horses

Go swimming. Most horses really enjoy a lake, river or deep pond respite and riding a horse through water deep enough to have their feet leave the ground can be a lot of fun. Just be careful as those legs get moving with dangerous velocity and force. Iif you manage to get one of your body parts in the way you’ll probably break bones. Always keep your legs in front of the shoulder and make sure you’re stable and balanced enough to stay aboard.

What makes a horse too old?

Age in horses is so relative. Many horses continue to work well into their 30s while others are deemed ancient for their initial career at six. Some breeds are best started at a much older age, while some industries are backing horses as yearlings. Of course, much depends on the horse, but the perspective of […]

15 Quick Tips for horse pasture management

Cull horses into smaller areas and rotate frequently. Schedule a rotation management program that gives pastures enough time to regenerate (depends on area, time of year, number of horses, water, etc.). Mow pastures after moving horses off an area or follow them with livestock (such as cows) that can help manage parasite issues and/or eat […]

Fifteen tips for starting young horses

Whether you are a novice or professional, there’s a lot the horse you are working with can teach you about communications. Keep it safe, fun, engaging and interesting for both of you and you’ll be amazed at how much more effective short and collaborative lessons can be than long sessions you dictate alone.

Starting under saddle – how long is too long?

Friday’s Opinion It seems the older I get, the more I’m inclined to ask the horse how he wants to proceed. Years ago, I’d relish the opportunity to engage a horse in a battle of wills that demonstrated my mettle and glue.  Granted, it’s hard to know how much of my collaborative approach comes from […]