Your Horse Won't Do Anything Because He Loves You

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
January 4, 2017

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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Using Sticks and Spurs Correctly is Not Cruel

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
July 8, 2016

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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Straight Talk for You and Your Horse

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
June 6, 2016

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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A Happy Agreement with your Horse

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
May 13, 2016

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

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
May 4, 2016

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

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
April 30, 2016

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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How to Teach Your Horse to Back Up

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
January 14, 2016

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

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
January 3, 2016

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

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
December 31, 2015

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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A Bit of Bit Advice

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
December 7, 2015

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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Why Your Horse Feels Soft or Hard

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
November 28, 2015

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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Mind Over Muscle

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
June 11, 2015

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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The Best Laid Plans

In
Improve Your Riding
category
on
May 27, 2015

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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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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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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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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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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