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Teach Your Horse to Be Responsive to Your Leg

Every horse should be responsive to all of your aids, but some lazy horses will learn to ignore them. While others will move off, but not at the speed you want. Instead, they will plod along barely picking up their feet. This lesson will teach you how to make your horse listen to your leg, and go forward quickly at the speed you want. Continue reading Teach Your Horse to Be Responsive to Your Leg

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Downward Transitions Part 2

Now that you can confidently stop your horse with your seat from the walk on a loose rein, it’s time to advance to stopping from the trot and canter. Continue reading Downward Transitions Part 2

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Side Passing Under Saddle

Teaching the side pass will teach the horse to move off your leg and prepare him for exercises including leg yielding and flying changes. When your horse is starting to learn the side pass it is important that you break the maneuver into pieces that he can easily learn.

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Precise Transitions

Riding correct transitions allows you to learn feel, control, and timing. Moving between gaits only when you ask gives you control of his feet, which is necessary in any riding discipline. Transitions are also a great opportunity to learn how to feel what your horse is doing underneath you, and will help you learn timing of the aids. Continue reading Precise Transitions

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Pole Progression: The Walk

Even if you aren’t a hunter/jumper or competing in trail classes, working your horse over ground poles will help you work on control, timing, and rhythm. Here I will outline the basics of getting your horse comfortable crossing poles at a walk then we will progressively get your horse walking, trotting, and cantering confidently over poles. Continue reading Pole Progression: The Walk

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Pole Progression: The Trot

Now that you and your horse have mastered walking through a series of poles, it is time to continue building your skills by trotting through them. Trotting poles brings your control, timing, and rhythm to a new level. Continue reading Pole Progression: The Trot

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Pole Progression: The Canter

Now that you have gotten your horse through the ground poles at the walk and trot it is time for the best part, the canter. When the horse can comfortably canter through a line of poles you are ready to tackle many other challenges, such as jumps and trail obstacles like boxes and gates. Continue reading Pole Progression: The Canter

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Turn On the Haunches

The turn on the haunches, hindquarters, or spin which are all essentially the same movement at different speeds, bend, and degrees on a circle. For clarity, I’ll refer to the movement for this article as a turn on the haunches. Training the horse to turn on the haunches benefits all riders and horses. Reining is all about body control, as is dressage, therefore any maneuver featured in these two disciplines will be helpful to all riders. Continue reading Turn On the Haunches

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A Pattern For Speed and Directional Control

Maintaining a consistent speed and changing directions at the cue of the rider are two basics that all horse should know and respond to. However, many horses will anticipate what the rider wants, or worse completely ignore the rider’s cues. Sometimes cues may be confusing to the horse such as constant contact on the reins, yet the horse is expected to stop when pressure is applied. This pattern will separate specific cues, making the correct response easy and the wrong one hard. Doing so allows the horse to figure out exactly what is wanted of him. Continue reading A Pattern For Speed and Directional Control

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Teaching Haunches In

Haunches in provides another element of control over the horse’s body. This comes after you have already established the basic cues and can yield the hindquarters from the halt, both with your horse’s neck bent and straight. Haunches in is one of the easiest lateral movements to teach and I like to teach this lesson to my horses first, followed by other exercises like leg yielding and shoulder in. Teaching haunches in is also the first exercise used to start teaching canter departures from a walk. Continue reading Teaching Haunches In