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Rainy Day Rewards

December 5, 2011

Barn-aisle exercises with AQHA Professional Horseman Brent Graef.

Do rainy days have you chanting “Rain, rain, go away”?

Wet, chilly spring days don’t always provide the most advantageous riding time, but don’t just stay inside and veg; get some training time in – inside the barn.

AQHA Professional Horseman Brent Graef of Canyon, Texas, offered some valuable barn-aisle exercises in the January-February 2009┬áissue of America’s Horse. Now, he’s providing other groundwork exercises that will help your horse relax, be more supple and trust you more. Still more flexion exercises can help improve your canter departs and lead changes.

Who could say no to that?

And here’s the even better question: Who could say no to that kind of expert training advice – if it’s free and if it comes packaged with the set of exercises that appeared in a previous issue of America’s Horse?

Download the FREE Barn-Aisle Exercises report, including both sets of exercises. You can print them out and take them to the barn aisle with you.

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Brent and other AQHA Professional Horsemen and women are valued partners in AQHA’s educational efforts. We all are committed to helping horse enthusiasts become better horsemen.

“Barn Dance” by Brent Graef provides ideas to make down time, like a rainy or stormy day, productive. Brent instructs on one of the most often misunderstood, misused skills of horsemanship: Understanding where a horse’s feet are. I enjoyed his explanation of how he concentrates on one front foot, how to recognize the instant it leaves the ground so you can capture the exact moment you need to achieve – speed up, slow down, go sideways or even backwards.

“Brent’s mention of “soft hands,” to squeeze and lift the lead rope when asking the horse to make a change in that step, is such a very subtle signal, which allows the horse the space and dignity to move its body where/how you want it.

“How many people never learn to know where the horse’s feet are? Many people give a signal at any random time and expect the horse to provide the correct position that they are asking for, not realizing that it takes coordination on the part of the horse to make four feet perform correctly and do what they have been asked to do.”

Maret Watson
Alberta, Canada