Horse Training

Halter Horse Training: Your Space, My Space

January 12, 2016

AQHA Professional Horseman Jason Smith offers horse-training tips to teach your horse to respect your personal space.

Remember to stay in your space from the ear back to the wither to get the best out of your horse.

Remember to stay in ‘your space’ from the ear back to the wither to get the best out of your horse.

By Jason Smith with The American Quarter Horse Journal

Whether you call it “shouldering in,” “crowding the handler” or “falling into you,” it’s a habit that needs to be stopped. Listen to what Jason has to say about teaching your horse to respect your personal space.

The Right Place to Learn

When you have a horse that’s shouldering in on you, you can’t correct it at the horse show. It needs to be worked on at home.

Read the rest of this entry »

History and Fitting of Cowboy Boots

December 15, 2015

Horse training starts from the ground up. Make sure your boots fit correctly before training your horses with these tips from Justin Boots.

Training horses requires durable and comfortable boots. Journal photo

Training horses requires durable and comfortable boots. Journal photo

From AQHA Corporate Partner Justin Boots

Cowboy boots have adapted and kept up with ever-changing fads and trends, while continuing to provide the same traditional function they did more than a century ago for cowboys, cowgirls, ranchers and farmers.

Whether you’re wearing your Justin Boots around the ranch, riding, or out for a night on the town, there is a style for everyone. Read the rest of this entry »

Cutting Fundamentals

December 1, 2015

Learn how one horse trainer teaches young horses to react and move with cattle.

Cutting Fundamentals

The rider’s body position is extremely important when it comes to critical timing in cutting. Journal photo

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

The ideal picture of a cutting horse is one of polished concentration and split-second response to the action of the cow.

The ability to excel in cutting depends on breeding, training and an individual’s desire. Read the rest of this entry »

Changing Habits

November 10, 2015

Sometimes, we have to change ourselves before we can change our horse.

Better the bond between you and your horse.

Better the bond between you and your horse.

From AQHA’s “Fundamentals of Horsemanship”

The amount of enjoyment you can have with your horse increases exponentially when you have an appreciation and understanding of real horsemanship. AQHA’s “Fundamentals of Horsemanship” explains the importance of changing your habits to become a true partner with your horse. Read the rest of this entry »

Feel the Rhythm

October 27, 2015

Maintain consistent cadence for a horse-training advantage.

Illustration by Jean Abernathey

Follow these tips to improve your feel and your horse’s rhythm. Illustration by Jean Abernathy

By AQHA Professional Horsewoman and Certified Horsemanship Association master instructor Carla Wennberg in The American Quarter Horse Journal

If you’re maintaining rhythm, you’re maintaining a consistent cadence and pace in a gait. The cadence of a gait is the number of beats – like the three-beat lope or the two-beat jog. The pace is how fast you hear the beats.

The importance of rhythm and movement plays into a lot of different classes, not just horses that are judged on the rail – it’s important in reining, horsemanship, trail, everything. Read the rest of this entry »

Your Horse’s Head Position

October 13, 2015

It’s important not to make problems worse by misusing training aids.

If your horse has a problem with his headset make sure its not caused by you or by bad teeth

If your horse has a problem with his headset, make sure it’s not caused by you or by bad teeth. Journal photo

By Martin Black

Why do some horses have more trouble with their head position than others? This is a common issue with horse people, regardless of whether it’s a trainer with performance horses or recreational riders. Often, the solution is tying the head down or using leverage gimmicks that apply more pressure. In most cases, the person ends up identifying the symptom as the problem. Read the rest of this entry »

Left Brain, Right Brain

September 29, 2015

Knowing how horses operate can help your horse-training efforts.

It’s important to work with your horse from both sides of his body. Journal photo

By AQHA Professional Horsewoman Julie Goodnight

Horses are very one-sided because they have a very underdeveloped corpus callosum, which is the connective tissue between the two hemispheres of the brain that allows messages to go from one side of the brain to the other.

Humans have a very highly developed corpus callosum, meaning we think with both sides of the brain at one time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Your Horse’s Quiet Place

September 15, 2015

Getting your horse to drop his head gives him a serene, quiet place to be. It’s a great horse-training technique.

Help calm a nervous horse with this simple technique. Photo courtesy of Julie Goodnight

Help calm a nervous horse with this simple technique. Photo courtesy of Julie Goodnight

From AQHA Professional Horsewoman and Certified Horsemanship Association instructor Julie Goodnight.

Your horse’s head is like a needle on a gauge – it can signify your horse’s mental state. When his head comes up in any increment, the horse is tensing; when the head lowers, he is relaxing. When the horse is poised for flight, the head is all the way up, and when he is most relaxed, his nose is all the way to the ground. Signs of relaxation in the horse are synonymous with the signs of subordinance, because once the horse accepts your authority, he can relax and doesn’t have to worry, think or make any decisions. Read the rest of this entry »

Ready for Takeoff?

September 1, 2015

Be sure you’re ready for a productive horse-training session with these pre-ride checks from Step 1 of AQHA’s Fundamentals of Horsemanship.

Use these exercises before you mount your horse for a smooth start to your ride. Journal photo

Use these exercises before you mount your horse for a smooth start to your ride. Journal photo

You wouldn’t want to get on an airplane without knowing that someone had checked the fuel and made sure everything was in working order, right? It’s no different with a horse.

Once you’ve saddled up, there are two things you really shouldn’t do:

  1. Get on without any preparation.
  2. Turn your back and walk away from the horse, with him following.

Read the rest of this entry »

Straight Ahead

August 18, 2015

I went seeking a horse-training strategy to help me better understand the concept of straightness.

Clinician Harry Whitney illustrates the concept of straightness by riding Tigers TJ down a chalk line. Photo courtesy of Tom Moates

Clinician Harry Whitney illustrates the concept of straightness by riding Tigers TJ down a chalk line. Photo courtesy of Tom Moates

Excerpted from “Between the Reins: A continuing journey into honest horsemanship” by Tom Moates

“Jubal!” I hollered.

Reflexes snapped my arms back, both reins in tow.

The enormous Quarter Horse – officially known as Tigers TJ – barreled along at a powerful trot. I’d saddled him a little earlier with the intention of working on “straightness.” Charging headlong into a tree was not exactly the kind of straightness I’d envisioned. Read the rest of this entry »

Nervous Horse

August 17, 2015

Heed this solid training advice to get a troubled horse headed toward recovery.

An America’s Horse Daily reader submitted the following question regarding a very nervous, untrusting horse. AQHA Professional Horsewoman Julie Goodnight offers her expertise toward a solution.

Question:

I have a 17-year-old Quarter Horse that has obviously been abused. On the ground he is very respectful and sweet, but he has a very tender mouth and any hand movement while in the saddle causes him to bolt. After taking a serious fall last autumn, I thought to have a local trainer who is gentle-handed ride him for a week so he could become used to being ridden again. When I went to pick him up, he really wasn’t there (in his mind). He had gone somewhere safe and it took him a couple days to get back to normal. The trainer rode him, but it was very difficult for him to get the horse to walk. He was nervous and waiting for the ball to drop. I tried riding him once, but it was so scary. He was ready to blow in any direction. He is so worried he won’t please and will be punished. Is there any hope, or is he just a beautiful Quarter Horse pasture ornament?

Read the rest of this entry »

Shoulder Control

August 4, 2015

Three exercises to help improve your horse’s maneuverability.

AQHA Professional Horseman Ken McNabb talks to the owner of a young horse during a clinic. Journal photo

AQHA Professional Horseman Ken McNabb talks to the owner of a young horse during a clinic. Journal photo

By AQHA Professional Horseman Ken McNabb

Lateral control gives me the ability to put my horse’s body where I want it when I need it there. It’s useful in developing lead departures, creating rollbacks or spins and even simple things like opening and closing gates from horseback.

Working cattle on the ranch, there have been times that the ability to move my horse a couple of inches sideways saved hours of work, so I make sure that lateral movements are a key element of my training program. Read the rest of this entry »