Horse Training

Equitation Over Fences Analysis

May 6, 2014

In Part 2 of this horse-training series, discover the last two tips that will help you maneuver your horse through an equitation over fences course.

In this equitation over fences pattern, taking the first jump without any bend in your horse might cause your horse to take unnecessary strides.

Navigate a challenging equitation over fences patter with the horse-training help of two AQHA Professional Horsewomen.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

At the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show, AQHA Professional Horsewomen Linda Crothers of Mocksville, North Carolina, and Cindy Reddish of Palm City, Florida, gave a Nutrena Ride the Pattern clinic on the equitation over fences prelims pattern, also touching on hunt seat equitation.

With Linda riding to demonstrate and Cindy holding the pattern in her hand, the two pros talked back and forth on strategies for the course. What follows are the highlights of the strategies they discussed. In Part 1 of this series, Linda and Cindy covered the importance of bending lines in this over-fences pattern. Review bending lines before learning about the next two important factors these horsewomen bring up: The rollback turn and trot jump strategy. Read the rest of this entry »

Equitation Over Fences Analysis

April 29, 2014

In Part 1 of this horse-training series, maneuver through an equitation over fences course with two AQHA Professional Horsewomen.

In this equitation over fences pattern, taking the first jump without any bend in your horse might cause your horse to take unnecessary strides.

In this equitation over fences prelim pattern, taking the first jump without any bend in your horse might cause your horse to take unnecessary strides.

By AQHA Professional Horsewomen Linda Crothers and Cindy Reddish in The American Quarter Horse Journal

At the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show, AQHA Professional Horsewomen Linda Crothers of Mocksville, North Carolina, and Cindy Reddish of Palm City, Florida, gave a Nutrena Ride the Pattern clinic on the equitation over fences prelims pattern, also touching on hunt seat equitation.

With Linda riding to demonstrate and Cindy holding the pattern in her hand, the two pros talked back and forth on strategies for the course, and what follows are the highlights of the strategies they discussed. Come back next week for Part 2, where the two horsewomen discuss the use of rollback turns and trot jump strategy in this pattern. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Training for Team Roping

April 22, 2014

Delve into the world of team roping with three easy steps.

Learning the proper team roping techniques from the start will be beneficial when you add steers to the mix Journal photo

Learning the proper team-roping techniques from the start will be beneficial when you add steers to the mix. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

It looks so easy when it’s done right, but team roping requires perfect timing, teamwork and a pair of horses who know exactly what to do and when to do it.

Between the two of them, Sunny Jim Orr and Billy Allen have more than a handful of world championships. As Sunny Jim says, training for the sport of team roping starts on the ground.

Team-roping gear doesn’t have to be expensive. An old saw horse with some tape and horns will make a perfect model for heading practice. As for heeling practice, a couple of posts driven into the ground will work perfectly for throwing a heel loop. Read the rest of this entry »

Race Horse Training

April 15, 2014

Trainer Russell Harris shares his inside secrets for creating a good gate horse.

Horse racing starts at the gate and how a racehorse departs from the gate can have a big effect on his performance

Horse racing starts at the gate, and how a racehorse departs from the gate can have a big effect on his performance. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Racing Journal

Working the horse-racing gates can be a dangerous job, but renowned trainer Russell Harris works with his young racehorses to make the process a little safer.

Gate training begins with familiarizing the horse with the gate. This includes letting the horse have a good look at the gate, then walking him through repeatedly.

Russell says his key to creating a good gate horse is patience.

He keeps these seven steps in mind when training young horses to start on the racetrack: Read the rest of this entry »

Five Tips for a Proper Forehand Turn

April 8, 2014

In Part 2 of this series, uncover five more ways to improve this essential horse-training tool.

Its crucial that your horse understands how to move off of leg pressure to execute a forehand turn effortlessly.

It’s crucial that your horse understands how to move off of leg pressure to execute a forehand turn effortlessly. Illustration by Jean Abernethy.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Michael Colvin in The American Quarter Horse Journal

In last week’s post, we covered the common rider errors that lead to forehand-turn confusion, and the first step in fixing your turns. Review Part 1, and then let’s continue with more essentials:

1. Understand the aids. Let’s say we’re doing a left forehand turn with two reins: The horse’s nose revolves left as his haunches move to the right.

First, you must stay centered on the horse, keeping your balance in line with the horse’s balance. You’re going to use both legs and both hands, but your left leg and right hand are more prominent aids.

Both legs stay close on the horse, with the left leg stronger, pushing the haunches. Your left leg is not pushing the hips to the right, it’s really asking the horse to step up with the left hind leg toward your right hand. You must use some right leg for balance and to keep the horse forward. Read the rest of this entry »

A Horse-Training How-To: Forehand Turns

April 1, 2014

Part 1: Learn how to execute a correct forehand turn with these tips.

To execute a proper forehand turn, you must have the correct balance between leg aid and pressure on the horses mouth Jean Abernethy illustration

To execute a proper forehand turn, you must have the correct balance between leg aid and pressure on the horse’s mouth. Jean Abernethy illustration.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Michael Colvin in The American Quarter Horse Journal

Being able to do forehand turns and haunches turns (pivots or spins) with your horse gives you complete control of your horse’s body. If you can do both of those things, then you are able to do any number of maneuvers that come into play once you can isolate and maintain control of both ends of your horse – sidepasses, counter-canters, circling a cow, etc.

That’s why in western horsemanship and hunt seat equitation, you are asked to do these turns. They allow you to show off your basic skills. The more precise you are with them, the better. If you can add speed, it increases the degree of difficulty and improves your score. Read the rest of this entry »

A Critical Horse-Training How-To: The Emergency Stop

March 25, 2014

Execute the emergency stop properly with the help of AQHA Professional Horseman Curt Pate.

Curt Pate uses the emergency stop for more than just emergencies He also utilizes it as a horse training tool

Curt Pate uses the emergency stop for more than just emergencies. He also utilizes it as a horse training tool. Journal photo.

From America’s Horse

Unless you truly have a bombproof horse, you’ve probably had a horse spook underneath you.

When a horse spooks, his survival instincts kick in, and I don’t think any type of “emergency stop” is effective then. For one thing, horses’ reaction times are so much faster than humans’.

So when a horse spooks with me, my first priority isn’t to stop him; it’s to center myself and stay on.

Then when you get your thoughts collected, you can do the emergency stop. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Training for the Trail Class

March 18, 2014

Master the water box with these four tips from AQHA Professional Horsewoman Tami McClure.

As the horse goes through the water box Tami McClure makes sure to keep slack in the lead rope so she doesnt interfere with his head or discourage the forward motion

As the horse goes through the water box, Tami McClure makes sure to keep slack in the lead rope so she doesn’t interfere with his head or discourage the forward motion. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

“Oh, no! A water box!”

It’s a line often heard when a trail course is posted. Panic strikes riders who face the dreaded water and expect trouble from their horses. It doesn’t have to be that way. AQHA Professional Horsewoman Tami McClure, of Caldwell, Idaho, says that understanding a horse’s natural fear of water and keeping it in mind during a sound training program can help you and your horse beat the water-box blues.

Tami offers these four tips for training your horse to go through a water box: Read the rest of this entry »

Boxing With Your Horse

March 4, 2014

Boxing classes can act as a horse-training stepping stone into reined cow horse competition.

To be in the correct position when boxing you should be parallel to the cow with your horses nose between the head and shoulder of the cow

To be in the correct position when boxing, you should be parallel to the cow with your horse’s nose between the head and shoulder of the cow. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Have you always wanted to do reined cow horse but you aren’t quite confident enough to turn a cow down a fence or you’re just not comfortable with all aspects of the class?

Then the boxing class might be just what you’re looking for.

“The boxing class is designed to be an introductory class to the fence work,” says AQHA Professional Horseman Jake Telford of Caldwell, Idaho. “It’s a good way to get started into the reined cow horse.”

The exhibitor still has to perform the rein work pattern but only has to box the cow on one end of the arena in the cow work.

“Boxing gets you in that show situation for you to learn,” Jake says. “The boxing is the place where you get the feel of that cow, get control of that cow and get close to that cow so you get a good long run down that fence for a fence turn.” Read the rest of this entry »

Curing Your Horse’s Bad Behavior

February 25, 2014

Fix your horse’s vices before your next vet appointment with these horse-training tips.

Its important for horses to have basic ground manners so that veterinarians and other care providers can perform their jobs safely and efficiently Journal photo

It’s important for horses to have basic ground manners so veterinarians and other care providers can perform their jobs safely and efficiently. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Dr. Brian Carroll of Oklahoma City Equine Clinic and Dr. Andy Anderson of Equine Veterinary Associates in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, have heard it all. And they’ve had to put up with some terribly behaved horses at their clinics. Horse owners can prevent their horses’ bad vet-visit behavior with proper training at home.

“A high percentage of horses get nervous at clinics because they’re not broke,” Dr. Carroll says. “If they’re broke to lead and they’re well behaved, then as a veterinarian, you can walk up to them, introduce yourself, tell him you’re there, pick up his leg to examine it without him having any undue stress.”

Both vets agree that part of their duty as veterinarians is to inform customers of ways they can improve their horses’ behavior. Read the rest of this entry »

Perfect Your Barrel-Racing Path

February 18, 2014

Review these horse-training exercises from world show finalist Missy Wallace.

Your horse can benefit from practicing the pattern at every speed starting slow and gradually adding speed Journal illustration

Your horse can benefit from practicing the pattern at every speed, starting slow and gradually adding speed. Journal illustration.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

Multiple AQHA World Championship Show finalist and Professional Horsewoman Missy Wallace of Poolville, Texas, has perfected the fastest path around the cloverleaf pattern.

Her secret? Consistent entrance and exit points. They’re different for every horse, and if you keep them in mind, you’ll keep your barrel horse in a better position for faster times. Your only adjustments to the equation will be your horse’s distance to the barrels, which varies with your horse’s size, experience and athleticism.

So study the Wallace Clock, and get your walking shoes on. You’ll be in the fast lane in no time.

(Note: The entrance and exit points explained are for horses who take the right barrel first.) Read the rest of this entry »

Dressage Exercises for Any Horse, Part 2

February 11, 2014

Use these three additional horse-training exercises to create a supple and balanced horse.

Suppleness requires a change of bend change of gait and a lateral change

Suppleness requires a change of bend, change of gait and a lateral change, as shown here by Honey Bright Dream. Photo courtesy of WNC Photography.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

The whole point behind dressage is to make the horse a better athlete, to “gymnasticize” him. You do this with suppling exercises, like the ones featured here and in Part 1 of this story.

A reminder: If you’re used to thinking about the terms “inside” and “outside” relative to your position in the arena, you’ll need to retrain yourself. When dressage riders talk about the inside and outside, they’re referring to the concave (curving inward) and convex (curving outward) sides of their horses. The concave side is always the inside, and the convex side is the outside, regardless of where the rail is. Read the rest of this entry »