Horse Training Methods

In
Horse Training
category
on
May 11, 2015

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

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
May 8, 2015

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

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
May 6, 2015

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

In
Overcoming Problems
category
on
May 1, 2015

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

In
Horse Training
category
on
April 26, 2015

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

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
April 22, 2015

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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Teach Your Horse to Enjoy a Head Rub

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
April 19, 2015

People often say “but my horse doesn’t like having his head rubbed”. I know this is true in many cases. No horse likes having his head rubbed when he’s first handled.

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For Horse's Sake, Keep it Short and Sweet

In
Overcoming Problems
category
on
April 16, 2015

One of my grandfather’s favourite sayings was “Work beats the best of them, man or beast”. He firmly believed that if you were having trouble with a horse or a man,

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Whoa Boy, Whoa

In
Pulling Back and Resisting
category
on
April 12, 2015

When a horse pulls back, the first thing someone does is yell “Whoa boy, whoa”. When a horse bucks or takes fright you hear the same thing, “Whoa, boy, whoa”.

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Be a Switched On Horseman

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
April 8, 2015

One way to communicate with your horse is to apply pleasantness or withdraw pleasantness. Another way to communicate with your horse is to apply pressure or relieve pressure.

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It's Always Up To You

In
Overcoming Problems
category
on
April 1, 2015

Training horses isn’t easy. When you set out to train a horse the plain fact is that you’re going to have problems at some point. Different problems will arise at different stages with different horse

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Be Careful What You Reward

In
Shying and Control
category
on
March 28, 2015

When you work with your horse, you must be very careful which behaviours you reward. It’s very easy to reward undesirable behaviours without even knowing that you’ve done so.

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Natural Horsemanship

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
March 24, 2015

Many horse people like to think they are at one with nature. They feel it’s perfectly natural to chase a horse in a round yard. They have a warm fuzzy feeling about being a member of the horse herd.

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101 Uses for Your Most Valuable Training Tool

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
March 21, 2015

The first thing I do with every horse is go to him and rub his head. I teach him that life is easy and pleasant when he has his head with me. This is the most important thing you can teach any horse.

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It's Between You and Your Horse

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
March 18, 2015

Many horse trainers make lots of money selling all sorts of gadgets and widgets. You can buy ‘special’ lasso ropes to catch your horse and ‘special’ halters to make him ‘respect’ you. T

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For Horses' Sake, Keep it Simple

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
March 15, 2015

Over the years, I’ve always read everything I could lay my hands on about horses and horse training. Many authors make horse training sound very complicated.

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Fear-free Horse Training Goes Global

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
March 14, 2015

Fear-free Horse Training has gone global. My blogs are being translated and published

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Too Many Horses Can't Cope

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
March 11, 2015

Due to bad handling and bad training, thousands of horses never reach their full potential. Many horses don’t make it past the “breaking in” stage.

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Don't Follow the Leader

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
March 6, 2015

There are about 23 million people in Australia and about 75 million sheep. If you drive out into the countryside, you’ll soon see sheep in the paddock.

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Respect and Horse Training

In
Overcoming Problems
category
on
February 28, 2015

Fear is the biggest factor to overcome when you train horses. It’s very difficult to teach any horse anything at all when he’s frightened.

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Respect and Desensitisation

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
February 26, 2015

I recently watched a video of a trainer trying to handle a horse’s legs. The horse was seven years old and kicked quite badly when anyone attempted to pick up his hind legs.

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How Smart is Your Horse

In
Pulling Back and Resisting
category
on
February 20, 2015

How intelligent is your horse? Are some horses smarter than others? Are humans smarter than horses, or are horses smarter than humans?

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The Horse's Point of View Vs The Human Point of View

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
February 19, 2015

Whenever you work with a horse, you must try to see everything from his point of view. Forget about the human point of view. You must concentrate on what works best for your horse.

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Starting a Horse Under Saddle. Early Riding Lessons

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
February 15, 2015

The best time to establish control and consistency is in a horse's early lessons.

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Ground Lessons For Every Horse

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
February 6, 2015

This video shows the basic ground lessons you can teach every horse.

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How to lunge a horse

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
January 28, 2015

If you want to learn how to lunge a horse, don’t use a round yard; your horse will simply run round and round the fence without learning anything.

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Starting a Horse Under Saddle Isn't Rodeo

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
January 27, 2015

If you go to a rodeo and ride a bucking horse for eight seconds, you could be in the money. Eight seconds is all it takes and that’s not very long. Count it out and see.

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A Horse's Memory

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
January 25, 2015

A lady bought a horse to one of my clinics and said, “I’m having trouble with flying changes. Can you teach him to change leads for me. I’m doing dressage and I need flying changes.”

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Horse Behaviour

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
January 21, 2015

The biggest problem to overcome in horse training is human behaviour. Humans come up with all sorts of theories and methods, then try to make every horse fit their set lessons.

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The Horse's Lament

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
January 3, 2015

The Horse's Lament He puts a dreadful halter on, it’s made from rope and knots And when he jerks and jerks my head, it really hurts me lots

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Don't Sit On The Fence

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
December 19, 2014

I watched a horse starting competition on video the other day. One of the trainers left his saddle in the round yard with the horse, explaining that this allowed the horse to look at the saddle...

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Excuses, Excuses

In
Overcoming Problems
category
on
December 12, 2014

I watched a TV show the other night where a film crew followed rodeo contestants through a season of competition. The programe featured bull riders, saddle bronc riders, bareback riders and two barrel

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No Method, No Worries

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
December 6, 2014

A fellow rang the other day to buy a copy of my book. “I need it straight away because I’m breaking-in my horse and tomorrow I have to tie him up and put the bit on for the first time.

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Here's The Rub

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
December 1, 2014

My wife Christine always spent lots of time rubbing and scratching her horses. Our grey horse ‘Kip’ soon learned to come to her and present the spot that he wanted rubbed or scratched.

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Don't Follow the Herd

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
November 16, 2014

There’s a big debate in the horse training world about whether you should be the ‘alpha’ mare, the ‘lead’ mare, the ‘boss’ stallion or the ‘submissive’ horse.

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Give the Flap the Flick

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
November 13, 2014

When you ride your horse, many trainers would have you believe that the biggest problems to overcome are plastic bags blowing in the wind, umbrellas suddenly opening and a world covered in plastic...

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Another story in the Australian 10/11/2014

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
November 10, 2014

Media ColumnistSydney RARELY can a happy, bubbly, colourful story have so suddenly and decisively metamorphosed into a tragedy as did at last Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup.

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The Australian Newspaper 4th November 2014

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
November 5, 2014

Melbourne Cup 2014: Not fascinated by being whipped into a total frenzy

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Desensitisation Doesn't Make Sense

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
November 5, 2014

A common theme doing the rounds at the moment is that you must desensitise certain parts of a horse and sensitise other parts, in order to ride him and control him.

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Be an Unflappable Horseman

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
November 1, 2014

At every level of training, every horse has a threshold where his flight or fight response overrules his logical thinking process.

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Don't get in a flap. Say Neigh to Tarps and Flags

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
October 25, 2014

Recently I watched a famous trainer harassing a horse with a tarp. The horse was snorting and ‘taking fright’ of the tarp and was obviously very worried.

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Round Yard Reality

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
October 19, 2014

People have an obsession with forcing horses to come to them. When a horse is hard to catch, trainers say you must make the horse come to you.

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Round Pen Myths and Legends

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
October 14, 2014

There are many stories about round yards and chasing horses.

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Teach your horse to relax

In
Shying and Control
category
on
October 11, 2014

Every horse’s world must be predictable before he can relax. Horses must always know what the outcome of their actions will be.

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It's nobody's fault but your own

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
October 6, 2014

Lots of people go to clinics to watch a ‘wild’ bucking horse being ‘tamed’. It’s high time for everyone to realise that a young horse is frightened and terrified when he bucks,

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The Buck Stops Here

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
October 2, 2014

A couple of friends of mine – I’ll call them Chris and Macca – because these are their names, looked at a horse to buy the other day. The mare was eight years old and hadn’t been ridden for two or...

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The Respect Myth

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
September 10, 2014

I’ve heard at least a thousand times that you must gain your horse’s respect. It’s a mantra parroted off by horse people everywhere and many trainers say that respect is the first thing...

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Horse Training Books

In
Pulling Back and Resisting
category
on
August 11, 2014

We live in a Hurry Up Quick world, moving a million miles a minute. We are inundated with information, a constant barrage of data, so much detail, in fact, that there isn’t really enough time to...

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Teach your horse to stop

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
July 31, 2014

We should try to use as little unpleasantness as possible at every phase of horse training. Everyone thinks horses stop when you pull on the reins.

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Habituation - how and why the science is flawed

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
July 6, 2014

More than twenty five years ago, Wayne Bryden, a professor at Sydney University, gave me a book on the science of learning theory. In it I first read about habituation.

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Advance and Retreat and Learning Theory

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
June 17, 2014

In my opinion, advance and retreat is the key to introducing everything to every horse without frightening them. Equally, when a horse has previously been frightened by a specific item

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Feedback

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
June 3, 2014

Our feedback is both heartwarming and encouraging. I'd like to share this letter that arrived in the mail today.

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Starting a horse under saddle. See the difference

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
May 28, 2014

This documentary was filmed in Australia in 1989. I've been dong this for a long time.

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Teach your horse to mooove forward

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
May 14, 2014

This diagram from a rural newspaper, shows the basic concept of getting a cow to move forward. Exactly the same principle applies to horses. Instead of cow, insert horse in the diagram.

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Pulling back when tied up

In
Pulling Back and Resisting
category
on
March 29, 2014

Last week, I read an article in an old issue of a prominent horse magazine on tying a horse for the first time. There were graphic photos of a terrified horse pulling back and fighting against a post.

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How to Catch a Horse

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
March 12, 2014

If you walk into the paddock and your horse runs away, guess what? Your horse isn’t bad, naughty or disrespectful. It’s absolutely nothing to do with being his leader

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Handling a 'Mad' Horse

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
February 26, 2014

“Watch out for this horse. He’s mad. His mother was mad and his full sister was even worse. All this breed are bad.” I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard stories like this.

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The Truth About Desensitisation

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
February 22, 2014

The most misunderstood part of horse training is the idea that you have to get horses 'used to' new things. Many trainers advocate to keep exposing horses to things that frighten them

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Starting a horse under saddle - The first lesson

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
February 17, 2014

The first slideshow shows a three year old mare’s first lesson with me. Initially she’s nervous and worried and has no idea what I want her to do, so I give her the answer before I set any problem.

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Always aim for perfection but be happy with improvement

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
February 6, 2014

At every stage of every horse’s education, you should always aim to improve. Even if you’re walking a circle, aim for a ‘perfect’ circle – where the horse walks the exact track you ask,

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Teaching a horse to move forward and give

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
February 4, 2014

A horse that’s confident and relaxed thinks on a very simple level. When you tap your horse on the rump or touch him with your leg or spur, he moves forward and the tapping, leg or spur stops.

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A Magic Horse Training Fix

In
Overcoming Problems
category
on
January 31, 2014

Everyone who rides or handles horses will have problems at some point. Everyone has trouble at some stage. You may have a problem cantering on the correct lead; you may have a problem...

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Neil's Horse Training Book

In
Horse Training
category
on
January 28, 2014

Fear-free Horse Training, every step of the way explains every facet of horse training - from catching a foal for the first time, starting a horse under saddle, teaching your horse to move forward

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The Horse as a Prey Animal

In
Respect and Densensitizing
category
on
December 14, 2013

Every time I pick up a horse magazine, I read that horses are prey animals and humans are predators. Many articles say horses are ‘naturally’ afraid of humans because humans are predators.

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The Road to the Horse

In
Starting Under Saddle
category
on
December 7, 2013

I just watched a DVD of the Road to the Horse. A revolution in horse training it isn’t. At the end of the event, not one of the horses could even walk a circle in a confident and relaxed manner.

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Horse Problems

In
Horse Training
category
on
November 26, 2013

t’s interesting to read of the problems people have with their horses and the advice given. In a lifetime of working with horses, the problems haven’t changed and unfortunately

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How to use your most valuable horse training tool

In
Catching and Ground Lessons
category
on
November 25, 2013

Rubbing a horse’s head, neck and around his ears gives him to time to relax. I show every horse that life is easy and pleasant when he has his head with me. Rubbing your horse’s head will be the star

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Your most valuable training tool

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
November 23, 2013

Everyone looks for a magic fix to ‘cure’ their horse problems. Plenty of people will sell you a ‘magic’ halter, stick, lead rope, bit or some other contraption. None of them will really help.

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You Don't Have to get Your Horse Used to Anything

In
Shying and Control
category
on
November 21, 2013

Here’s a scenario to ponder: A person who’s never even been near a horse before, attends his first riding lesson. The teacher says, “Welcome. We’ll start by putting you on a horse that bucks.

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Groupthink in the horse world

In
Horses and Philosophy
category
on
November 19, 2013

Here’s a quote from a scientific magazine. Although it’s written for social psychologists, it also applies to the horse world. “Social psychologists, of all academics, should be particularly alert...

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