April 2014

Addressing Problems With Your Horse’s Bit

April 14, 2014

Examine these horse-training solutions when dealing with a horse that doesn’t want to accept the bit.

ask_expertQuestion:

I have a 6-year-old gelding that is 15.3 but stocky. Right from the beginning of his training, he has had a very hard time accepting the bit, even before any pressure was applied to it. He never got over the desire to spit out the bit and still can hardly wait to get it out of his mouth. I have always tried to handle his mouth carefully when he is bitted. Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Showing: Reining Pattern No. 2

January 8, 2014

An AQHA professional walks you through this action-packed AQHA-approved reining pattern.

An AQHA Professional Horseman walks you through successful a warm-up and execution of reining pattern No. 2. Illustration from the AQHA Handbook of Rules & Regulations.

An AQHA Professional Horseman walks you through successful a warm-up and execution of reining pattern No. 2. Illustration from the AQHA Handbook of Rules & Regulations.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Matt Mills in The American Quarter Horse Journal.

In Pattern 2, it’s really important that your horse guides well because you’re loping right off in the first maneuver, and you’re demonstrating how well your horse can steer. If your horse is not willingly guided, then this particular pattern is not a good one for you.

You begin this pattern loping off to the right in a slow circle. Because this is the first maneuver in this pattern, it should be the last thing you do in preparation in the warm-up pen, practice that small slow lead departure.

If your horse doesn’t steer well, then when you walk to the center of the arena on this particular pattern, don’t stop at the center before moving into your slow circle. You have forward motion already initiated, and it’s simply easier to get the horse to steer. Just walk to the center and lope right off into a small slow. The pattern does not say you have to stop. It says you have to walk or stop prior to starting the pattern.

However, if your horse steers well, stop in the middle before officially starting the pattern. Read the rest of this entry »

Cardiac Conditioning

January 7, 2014

Proper horse training can produce cardiovascular changes to create speed.

No matter how much training a horse and rider have, without proper conditioning, it will be difficult to compete on the track or in the show pen. Journal photo.

No matter how much training a horse and rider have, without proper conditioning, it will be difficult to compete on the track or in the show pen. Journal photo.

By Dr. William E. Jones in the Q-Racing Journal

Whether you’re trying to add speed to your racing Quarter Horses, timed-event horses or are just trying to condition your horse for the show season, understanding cardiac training can help you tailor your horse’s training program.

Research in equine exercise physiology was first aimed at basic studies, which revealed many of the unique physiological characteristics that make the horse such a superb athlete but produced little useful information that could make a difference to a speed-horse trainer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Plus-Worthy Reining Circles

December 17, 2013

Horse-training tips to put “wow” in your circle transitions.

Impress the judges with drastic speed changes in your reining pattern circles. Journal photo.

Impress the judges with drastic speed changes in your reining pattern circles. Journal photo.

By AQHA Professional Horseman Bob Avila in The American Quarter Horse Journal.

Ever watch a reining pattern and wonder how those riders get such spectacular transitions from their fast to slow circles? AQHA Professional Horseman Bob Avila says it’s easy to teach.

Reining is a show, and you have to play for the crowd, and part of the crowd is the judge.

It looks really cool when a horse goes from a big fast into a small slow circle. But you mark more when you have that abrupt change and boom right down to where the horse almost comes to a stop as he goes into the small slow.

Sometimes, though, when a horse comes down in the middle and slows down, the neck will raise and stiffen up. That judge will see that, and that’s not good.

You want a horse to come to the middle of that arena and abruptly come to a small, slow circle, but stay relaxed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top Trending Articles on Daily

December 16, 2013

Check out this month’s 10 most popular articles on America’s Horse Daily!TwobitTeeblack1-300x276

From grooming to showing to training and health, America’s Horse Daily has an article to meet every horse owner’s needs. Learn what to do in cold weather to keep your horse’s water from freezing this winter. Take advice from industry professionals about the most flattering forelock finish for your halter horse and even how to develop the balanced hindquarter muscling that you always strive for. Check out this collection of top trending articles to learn more! Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 FREE Reports

December 13, 2013

Check out the 10 most popular FREE reports on America’s Horse Daily this month!

TwobitTeeblack1-300x276Are you registering your first foal and need a handy guide to American Quarter Horse markings and colors? Maybe you’re spending time indoors out of the gloomy weather with do-it-yourself projects and need some ideas. Learn how to make mounting blocks, how to tie halters and more with AQHA’s popular, downloadable reports.

America’s Horse Daily has dozens of FREE reports to help you become a better rider, trainer, competitor and horse owner. Download as many free reports as you’d like, and print copies for your barn, home and trailer. Share them with family and friends, and have a blast in the barn this Fall.

  1. Horse Color and Markings ChartThe 17 AQHA recognized colors and variety of markings can become overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. AQHA makes it easy with this easy-to-use chart. Get descriptions and photos of horse colors, markings and more.
  2. Coat Color GeneticsCoat color genetics don’t have to be mystery. AQHA makes it easy with a comprehensive report that helps horse owners learn the difference between difficult colors, such as buckskin and dun, as well as help determine the future color of a foal based on genetics.
  3. Horse Wound CareAre you prepared to handle all of the cuts, bumps, scrapes and wounds that your horse will inevitably throw at you? Educate yourself with this report to know when to call a vet or when to treat an injury at home. You’ll learn the components of a proper first-aid kit and have access to a five-step picture guide on how to bandage minor leg wounds.
  4. Laminitis TreatmentLaminitis, an often dreaded prognosis for horse owners, refers to inflammation of the laminae. And guess what — it’s treatable! Dr. Michael Steward, a vet from Shawnee, Oklahoma, explains the success that he has found in placing wooden shoes on laminitic horses. Learn more in this report.
  5. How to Make a Rope HalterRope halters are practical, inexpensive and a great training tool. Two experts at Columbia Basin Knot company share their step-by-step process so that you, too, can build your own knotted rope halter for your horses.
  6. How to Build a Mounting BlockSometimes you just need a leg up. Why spend money on a mounting block when you can easily make a personalized one of your very own. AQHA consulted a woodworking expert for easy-to-follow, beginner instructions for building a homemade mounting block. It’s a must-have for any barn!
  7. HYPP Survival GuideThe HYPP trait is demystified in this report. You’ll learn HYPP’s three designations, the symptoms, prevention, feeding instructions and how to test for this genetic defect.
  8. Horse Trailer Loading TipsPatience is the name of the game when teaching a horse to trailer load. In this report, the late Bill Van Norman offers helpful advice for those trailer training a horse for the very first time.
  9. Horse Training Fundamentals -AQHA Professional Horseman Ken McNabb teaches the basics in groundwork, collection, shoulder control and other techniques useful for horses of all ages and stages. Whether you’re a serious competitor, a weekend warrior or leisurely trail rider, you can benefit from these essential tips.
  10. Showmanship BasicsTrainers Brad and Valerie Keams give you tips and tricks about every aspect of showmanship from basic maneuvers to picking out the right show halter for your horse.

There are even more FREE reports on America’s Horse Daily. Download, enjoy them and share with a friend!

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Borrow a Trainer: The Sitting Trot

December 10, 2013

Horse training becomes easier if you’re able to learn body control and master the sitting trot.

Learning to correctly sit the trot goes back to the very basics of what makes a functional rider – correct body position.

Learning to correctly sit the trot goes back to the very basics of what makes a functional rider – correct body position. Jean Abernethy illustration

By AQHA Professional Horsewoman Lynn Palm with Christine Hamilton in The American Quarter Horse Journal

To sit the trot, you have to understand that the rider’s position determines vertical shock absorption.

The ultimate goal is to sit the trot and keep a deep seat.

In the show ring, you will have an edge if you can master sitting the trot, following the motion of the horse with your hips in a smooth, subtle way.

For your hips to be able to move freely with the motion of the gait, you must be loose and supple through the hips. It is a very subtle, but quick, forward and back action.

Read the rest of this entry »

Reward With Rest

December 3, 2013

Rest is an important horse-training tool.

Rewarding a horse with an earned recess seems to speed up the training process. You have to give a horse a job to do, so the break means something. Journal photo.

By Joe Wolter in America’s Horse

Remember recess?

You quit concentrating for a little while and just enjoyed yourself for a few minutes. Can you imagine what school would have been like without recess?

I never used to think about recess when I was training horses.

At some point, I noticed an interesting coincidence: I’d be really intent on teaching a horse something when the phone would ring. I’d talk to whoever it was for awhile, then I’d hang up and go back to concentrating on my horse. And they’d be better!

Read the rest of this entry »

Call Up the Quarters

November 19, 2013

Improve collection for any event with this horse-training tool.

Strong hindquarters and proper collection aid every horse and rider team, no matter the disciple or event. Jean Abernethy illustration.

Strong hindquarters and proper collection aid every horse and rider team, no matter the disciple or event. Jean Abernethy illustration.

By AQHA Professional Horsewoman Michelle Just-Williams with Christine Hamilton in The American Quarter Horse Journal.

I have a simple exercise that I use to help strengthen a horse’s back and hindquarters, and to help him learn to use his hind end.

While the horse is tracking straight and forward, ask for increased collection and a shortened stride for a few strides. Then release, allowing the energy to move forward into a lengthened stride, all while maintaining the gait – walk, trot or canter. After a few strides, again ask for collection and repeat.

Asking for that increased collection is “calling up the quarters.” Push the horse’s hindquarters up underneath your seat with leg, rein and seat carriage. The horse has to tuck the rear and reach up underneath himself while maintaining forward energy.

Learn from AQHA Professional Horsemen and -women Carla Wennberg, Lynn Salvatori-Palm, Andy Moorman, Al Dunning, Patti Carter and Stephanie Lynn in AQHA’s  Borrow a Trainer report, which includes lessons to improve self-carriage, lateral movements and more.

Read the rest of this entry »

Horse Training for the Fence Work

November 12, 2013

Angled positioning will help you get better fence work.

Sharp turns will improve your score in boxing and fence work. The cow must honor the horse when he steps up to the head. Journal photo.

Sharp turns will improve your score in boxing and fence work. The cow must honor the horse when he steps up to the head. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal.

In working cow horse, strategy can make the difference between handling your cow efficiently and letting her run down the rail without you.

Right From the Start

The point of boxing is to teach your cow to honor your horse. To do that, you need to “train” the cow to move away from your horse when you’re in her eye.

Read the rest of this entry »

From “Cinchy” to Steady

November 5, 2013

With patient and reassuring horse-training techniques, you can help horses who hate to be saddled.

The best rehabilitation for “cinchy” horses is to have many positive saddling experiences. Journal photo.

The best rehabilitation for “cinchy” horses is to have many positive saddling experiences. Journal photo.

By  Brent Graef in America’s Horse.

There can be many reasons a horse doesn’t like to have the cinch tightened. The main reasons seem to be:

1.    A fear of being hurt, usually stemming from memories of someone cinching up too quickly, causing pinching or surprising the horse.
2.    Physical pain when the saddle is placed on the horse or when the cinch is pulled snug.

Read the rest of this entry »

English Bits, Part II

October 29, 2013

From flat work to over fences: Learn which English bits are best for horse training in this two-part series.

Professional horsemen share their advice on choosing the appropriate English bit for over-fences work.

Professional horsemen share their advice on choosing the appropriate English bit for over-fences work. Journal photo.

From The American Quarter Horse Journal

The numerous variations and types of horse bits can be a little intimidating for horsemen. Different events, training purposes or horse preference could determine which bit is most appropriate. The most common English bit is the snaffle, but there are far more options than you may think. There are many different mouthpiece options for a snaffle – from the smooth mouthpiece to a rubber bit to one with a twist and a little more bite. There are also leverage bits, including snaffles with curb chains, Kimberwicks and Pelhams.

AQHA Professional Horsemen and judges David Connors of Colts Neck, New Jersey; Jerry Erickson of Sanger, Texas; and Sandy Vaughn of Hernando, Florida, all weighed in on the best bits for English horses.

Read the rest of this entry »