How I Focused My Look-y Horse To Get Good Work Instead of Spooks

It was one of *those* nights – early spring, nearing dusk, with a slightly gusty breeze… and of course, the indoor arena now had all the windows opened up after the long, cold winter. Alone in the ring, my normally quiet, sensible horse was on edge as he examined the new openings all around the ring, surprised each time he felt the wind blow INSIDE the arena, listening to previously muffled sounds that now added a constant murmur of background noise to our usually silent work space. Birds were chirping, cars were cruising passed on the road, and a train horn…

Continue reading

How Praising Your Horse Helps You Ride Better

As we ride, we are constantly asking our horses to do things. Faster, slower, turn, and stop. The stream of requests is nearly endless for the duration of the ride. For the most part, horses are pretty willing to go along with this program. It’s easy to imagine how praising your horse could make this whole thing more enjoyable for him, but have you thought about how it could also make you ride better? Try this: To focus yourself and make your training more clear for your horse, practice asking for one thing (go, stop, turn, haunches-in, piaffe… it works…

Continue reading