Videos

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You Must Concentrate on Your Horse

My mother has a small companion dog named Lilly. When mum takes her for a walk, Lilly decides where they go and how fast they go. Mum allows Lilly to stop and sniff under shrubs,

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Neil's Horse Training Philosophy

You must build every horse's confidence, every step of the way.

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Horses and Man's Best Friend

Imagine putting your beloved pet dog on a long lead and chasing him round and round with a flag on a stick.

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A Catching Story

For privacy reasons I’ve changed the person’s name. However, nothing ever changes when it comes to catching horses. Feed always works.

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Shying - It's All About Control

You must have control whenever you ride or handle your horse. Control doesn’t mean being heavy-handed and it doesn’t mean that you have to dominate your horse or show him who’s boss.

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There's Never a Need to Chase Any Horse in a Round Pen

Next time you see a horse being chased in a round pen, please ask yourself:“What’s the answer for the horse and how can he get out of being chased?”“What does the trainer actually want the horse to do

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Your Horse Won't Do Anything Because He Loves You

These days, we live in a world of political correctness gone mad. Many people say it’s wrong to use a bit or to tap a horse with a stick or touch him with a blunt spur. “It’s cruel” they say.

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Separation Anxiety Barn Sour Herd Bound

People write to me all the time asking for help with their horses.

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How to Teach Your Horse to Step Over Obstacles

The problem everyone has with their horse is being able to walk,trot and canter when they want, where they want, at the exact speed they want and to have their horse relaxed and confident at all times

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Bitless Riding

All around the world, people gain great pleasure from riding and handling their horses. It’s a wonderful feeling when your horse learns to co-operate and try his hardest for you.

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Consider Your Horse

Do you think your horse enjoys it When you tie him up to fight Do you really think he’s happy As he pulls with all his might

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An Interview with Neil and Colin Dangaard

ORDER YOUR COPY OF NEIL'S BOOK HERE! www.fearfreehorsetraining.com/the-book

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Horse Experience

Horses have been part of my life since the day I was born. My father and grandfather worked with cattle and horses all their lives and I, in turn, grew up working with cattle and horses.

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Old Wives Tales from the Horse World

Here are some old wives’ tales from the horse world. I’ve heard them over and over, all my life.

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How to Handle a Horse's Legs

Way back in 1989, I did an exhibition at the California State Fair in Sacramento. I was the four o’clock “show” every day, for eighteen days. At the Fair I met Tad Griffith, one of the greatest

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How to Stop Your Horse Biting or Pushing Over You

Your horse learns from every interaction he has with you. Every time you go near your horse, he learns something new. He may learn to lay his ears back and push over you or bite you.

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Horse Rules to Remember

No matter how old your horse is, take him a treat each day and rub his head. If you do this, he’ll soon look forward to seeing you. Start each lesson by going to your horse and showing him it’s easy

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Why I Never Use a Flag on a Stick

Whenever you work with an unhandled horse or foal, the first thing you must do is get a rope around his neck. Without a rope, the horse can run away at any time.

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Never Punish Your Horse

No matter what your horse does or doesn’t do, it’s cruel and pointless to punish him. When a horse shies or doesn’t stop or doesn’t change leads or doesn’t do whatever else the rider thinks he...

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Using Sticks and Spurs Correctly is Not Cruel

Many people have an unjustified prejudice against the use of sticks and spurs in horse training. They think that sticks and spurs are cruel and are used to punish a horse and ‘show him who’s boss’...

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Starting a Horse Under Saddle Online Clinic Preview

Don't miss Neil's Starting a Horse Under Saddle Online Clinic

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Don't Frighten Your Horse

There are some approaches to horses and horse training that are not only idiotic, but cruel as well. I hear and see things every day that make me cringe. Here are a couple of recent beauties:

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Horse Training Home Truths

Here, in no particular order, are a few home truths about horses:

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Straight Talk for You and Your Horse

The aim of every rider should be to have their horse confident and relaxed and moving forward with straightness. This doesn’t mean that your horse moves in a straight line.

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How to Add to Your Horse's Knowledge

Whether you realise it or not, every interaction you have with your horse teaches him something new. Every time you lead or ride your horse, you’re teaching him.

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A Happy Agreement with your Horse

Many people have a happy agreement with their horse, whereby the rider is happy when their horse mostly does as they ask for most of the time.

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Mouthing a Horse

There’s a misconception in the horse world that you need to do something to a horse’s mouth or nose so that he’ll stop or turn. In fact, I’m often asked how I “mouth” a young horse.

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How to Teach Your Horse to Give

When a horse is ‘giving’ it means he’s relaxed, listening, moving forward and trying his hardest for you. Giving is a state of mind. It’s not a physical condition whereby a horse carries his head low

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The Super Sensitive Horse

A horse is a very sensitive creature. He can feel the lightest touch of your hand and the slightest squeeze of your leg. He can hear the slightest rustle in the bushes and feel the smallest fly

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No More Flags on Sticks

Lots of trainers tie a plastic bag or a flag on the end of a stick and call it a “training tool”. When the stick is used, the plastic bag/flag makes a whooshing noise that frightens horses...

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How to Load a Horse Into a Trailer

Loading a horse into a trailer should never be a confrontation where the horse is chased and frightened and pressure is applied until the horse eventually rushes in.

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Starting a Horse Under Saddle

Following are some of the remarks people invariably make when they watch me work start a horse under saddle.

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It's What You Do With Your Horse Time That Matters Most

Asking how long it takes to saddle and ride a young horse for the first time, is like asking how long is a piece of string.

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You Must be Definite and Consistent With Your Horse

You must always be definite and consistent whenever you’re with your horse and you must have definite rules. When your horse does as you ask, you must always make things relatively easy and pleasant

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Humans Are One Sided Not Horses

The near-side of a horse is his left hand side when you’re sitting on his back. His off-side is his right hand side. It’s ingrained into most horse people that horses should always be handled from...

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It's What You Think That Matters

Your attitude and how you think about horses, is the most important part of horse training. Your ability to handle horses isn’t worth a dime if your underlying thinking is flawed.

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A Training Fix for You and Your Horse

People always ask me for advice on how to ‘fix’ their horse. “My horse rears/shies/kicks up/won’t leave the barn/won’t leave his friend/won’t go into the trailer…”

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Your Safety is the Most Important Thing

A friend of mine recently bought a stock horse mare at the local horse sale. “I got a bargain,” he said. “She’s only seven years old and she goes great. Let me show you.”

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Your Horse Never Stops Learning

Whether you realise it or not, your horse learns from every interaction he has with you. Every time you go near your horse, you teach him something. Even when you clean his stable, you teach him

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How to Overcome Shying

One of the most misunderstood problems that people have with their horse is shying. There are all sorts of old wives tales about why horses shy and what to do about it.

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How to Teach Your Horse to Back Up

Teaching a young horse to back up should always be one of the last things you do. Backing up is actually an extension of moving forward correctly and is quite an advanced movement for a horse.

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Stopping is Easy When You Teach Your Horse to Go Correctly

People often think if you can’t stop a horse then he’s ‘hard in the mouth’. So they use a more severe bit and force their horse to run backwards or make him back up time after time.

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You Must Reinforce Your Lessons

Whenever you ride, you must remember that your horse has a mind of his own. He may want to run home when you try to leave the barn. He may think it easier to run along in the trot rather than canter..

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The Horse's Way or The Highway

I’ve seen many of the big name trainers working with horses and I don’t agree with much of what they do or what they say. I don’t agree with harassing horses with ropes and flags or letting horses...

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Chasing a Horse From the Ground Won't Help

When your horse is overfed and fresh and feeling frisky, lungeing him before you ride will help to get the excess energy out of his system. However, if your horse shies, rears, kicks up or uses...

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A Bit of Bit Advice

Walk into any saddlery and you’ll see many different types of bits. There are hundreds of different types of snaffle bits –all shapes and sizes, smooth metal, rough metal, twisted wire etc etc

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Training Horses Is Not a Race

Some trainers claim they can saddle and ride every young horse in half an hour. They often time themselves and make a big deal of how quickly the horse was ridden. This makes no sense.

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Why Your Horse Feels Soft or Hard

People often describe how their horse feels when they’re riding. Some say their horse is soft in the mouth and light and supple. Some say their horse is stiff and hard and they need to flex him...

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Of Horse Herds and Pecking Orders

In every group of horses, there’s always some form of pecking order. When you feed a mob of horses in the paddock, there’s always one horse who will chase the others away so he can eat more

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Timing is of the Essence

Your timing is critical in every aspect of horse training. If you’re even a few seconds early or late with your timing, your horse won’t understand what you want and he won’t respond as you think

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How to Teach Your Horse to Tie Up

Lots of horse owners are obsessed with the idea of tying young horses up. One of the first things they do is tie their foals to a post. When the foal pulls and fights, people often say

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Neil's Horse Training History

I’ve known Neil since he was twenty and shared his love of horses for all those years. While I rode my nicely trained (by Neil) horse five or six days each week, Neil rode at least eight or...

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One Step at a Time

When I was about 14, people often sent ponies to us to be “broken in”. I got the job done on weekends and after school, with my father’s help. Looking back, we took a pretty crude approach.

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How to Overcome Horse Problems

People always ask me how to overcome horse problems or does my book cover this or that specific issue.

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Too Much Feed and Not Enough Work

In my grandfather’s day, horses had to earn their keep. A horse eating his head off out in the paddock wasn’t much use to anyone. Not many people could afford to keep a horse as a pet or...

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Pressure and Relief in Horse Training

Most horse training is based on pressure and relief. Everyone uses pressure and relief in some way shape or form, even those who say they don’t.

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Your Horse Won't Forget Stressfull Experiences

Campdrafting started to become popular in Australia in the late 1970s. I was about eighteen when I started competing at local campdrafts and like most eighteen year olds, I thought I knew everything.

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Don't Put Human Values Onto Horses

Every horse person puts human values onto horses in some way, shape or form. We think some horses are better than others and some are prettier than others.

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Dealing With Horse Problems

Every day I receive emails from people who are having problems with their horses. I’m sure lots of people think there’ll be a magic fix for their particular issue.

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Safety First With Horses

When you buy a horse, the first and foremost consideration must be your safety. Forget about the breeding, the colour, the amount of ribbons and trophies that the horse has won...

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Handle Your Foals Correctly From Day One

When someone has problems with an older horse, they often ask me if they can “re-start” him. I’ve had lots of people say “Can’t I just go back to the beginning and start him all over again?”

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Why I Never Use a Round Yard

Lots of trainers use a forty foot round yard for all their horse training. The main idea seems to be for the trainer to chase the horse around the fence until the horse is tired

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Make Your Horse Easy To Catch

Catching horses has absolutely nothing to do with horse herds, pecking orders, respect or domination. Everyone must remember that it’s not a competition when you go to the paddock to catch your horse.

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Rearing Horses and Other Problems

Many people tell me about the problems they have with their horses. I hear of rearing horses, shying horses, horses that kick up, buck, pull the reins, run home and any number of other issues.

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Horse Back Riding

Horse-back riding conjures up images of a loving relationship between you and a horse, with the two of you cantering off into the sunset in harmonious rapture.

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Horsemanship

Horsemanship is a word that’s heard a lot these days. It conjures images of immaculate horses competing at the highest level and of ‘important’ horse trainers with cowboy boots, lassoes...

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Horse Whisperers

Nothing irks me more than when people call me a Horse Whisperer. Let me say once and for all – I’m not a Horse Whisperer.

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Safety First for Horses

If you want to handle horses, you must have good facilities. Horses can always find 100 different ways to injure themselves. If your fences and yards aren’t up to scratch

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Every Foal Must be Handled ASAP

One of my mates lives in a semi-rural area on the outskirts of Sydney. On a recent visit, my wife and I took a walk around the block from where he lives.

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Horse Training it's not Rocket Science

In every aspect of training, what you want to do must always be more important to your horse than whatever he wants to do.

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Horse Training It's Time for a Change

Everywhere I go I see older horses that are frightened of humans. Riding horses, brood mares, competition horses. Horses of all shapes and sizes, from four years old to twenty four years old.

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What Really Happens When Your Horse Shies

Many times I’ve seen someone take the rug off their horse and leave it on the arena fence while they ride. When they trot around the arena, the horse takes fright of his own rug and shies

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The Leading Edge

Everyone wants to be able to lead their horse calmly alongside. Nobody wants their horse to hang back or rush in front or pull away or run over the top of them.

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Teach Your Horse to Move Forward Not Backwards

My pet aversion is seeing people chase horses backwards on the ground. The last thing I want any horse to do is move backwards away from me to relieve pressure.

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Mind Over Muscle

If you watch a week-old foal playing in the paddock, you’ll see that he already knows how to walk, trot, canter, do flying changes, turns, spins, levade, piaffe, passage, extended trot/canter/gallop

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Horses May Forgive You but they Never Forget

Back in the early 1970s, the Megalong Valley Gymkhana was a horse event not to be missed. The gymkhana ground was just a clearing in the scrub, about two furlongs (400 metres) in length

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The Best Laid Plans

When I trained horses for a living, I rode between eight and fifteen horses every day. Each horse was at a different stage of training and each horse reacted differently on any particular day.

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It's Nice to be Nice to Your Horse

I grew up on a dairy farm in the 1960’s. We milked about 100 cows which was quite a big herd in those days. When I was eleven years old, one of my jobs after school was to feed the calves.

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How To Be a Noted Horseperson

My wife Christine has been a music teacher ever since she left school. She’s taught hundreds of people to play piano, keyboard, piano accordion and organ.

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Respect or Confidence

There are a few key words that we should all think about every time we train our horses. First and foremost is confidence – a word that should be heard far more often in the horse world.

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Horse Training Methods

I’ve lost count of the amount of people who say things like “I’ve tried your method but it didn’t work. Usually I just take a little bit of training from here and a little bit from there and...

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Give a Little Bit

When I was about fourteen, one of my chores after school was to exercise our racehorse. My father always said, “Just sit quietly and canter him up the hill. Don’t take hold of him.

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Fifty Years of Experience With Horses

When I handle their horses, people often say “It’s ok for you, you have a special gift.” This isn’t true. I wasn’t born with any gift for handling horses.

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Horse Training. It's as Easy as One Two Three

Every time you ride or handle your horse, he concentrates on three simple things. When you also concentrate on these three simple things, you’re thinking on the same level as your horse

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In Defence of the Horse

When a horse is frightened, his first means of defence is to run away. When a frightened horse is cornered and can’t escape, he’ll instinctively defend himself by kicking, striking, biting or bucking.

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Be Careful of Quacks

We’re often told that horses are mimics and will copy whatever their “leader” does. I’ve seen trainers run along in a trotting motion when they want a horse to trot alongside them.

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