Ground Work & Handling

jonathan field, natural horsemanship, boxing horses, equine footwork, horse shoulders, horse footwork, natural horsemanship footwork

Spins with Little: The Flower Petal Exercise - In Part 1 of this series (Footwork to Free Up the Shoulders) I wrote about remembering what it is like to be a student, and shared some of my personal trials from joining a boxing club this past winter when I stepped into a completely unknown field. These lessons illustrate that horses benefit when their riders are more patient, just as students benefit when coaches are patient.

jonathan field, natural horsemanship, boxing horses, equine footwork, horse shoulders, horse footwork, natural horsemanship footwork

Footwork to free up the shoulders - During the past few months I’ve been teaching and developing my young horses and my program. Each year I take time to gain new skills and insights, mainly because I’m an avid student and always benefit as a clinician if I take time to become a student myself. I believe that leaders and mentors of others must never lose sight of what it feels like to be a student.

winter horse, riding in winter, training in winter, conditioning horse, keep horse fit winter, horse stretches, carrot stretch

3 Rules to Maximize Time Off - Periods of downtime come as realistic parts of horse ownership, although how a rider uses these stretches of poor weather or busy schedules contributes profoundly to a horse’s long-term soundness and performance. Recent data from biomechanics researchers and veterinary schools shows that large vacillations in fitness can be detrimental to overall health, particularly for horses past their mid-teen years. Most notably, periods of lesser activity lasting over a month can weaken deep postural muscles and supporting soft tissue.

jonathan field, equine drive line, ground work horse, round pen exercises, art of liberty and training

What is the drive line? In this excerpt from my book, I will explore the drive line and how important it is for you to understand where it is on the horse’s anatomy and how the horse responds to it when working at liberty, or when the horse is loose in the round pen. This, of course, is not a real, physical line; it is an imaginary vertical line which determines by body language the direction the horse will go in relation to your position in front of, or behind, the line. Think of the line more as a zone, not a hard line. Remember that every horse is different so the line’s position may also be different. Once you have the line firmly positioned in your mind, communicating with your horse will become easier, smoother, and more productive.

lindsay grice, winter horse riding, winter horse training, lindsay grice, horse show season, riding in winter

Fall fairs, circuit championships, and club awards banquets signal the end of another horse show season. So how did it go? Did your shows, rodeos, or competitive trail rides meet your expectations?

 Jonathan Field, Natural Horsemanship, Mounting a Horse, Mounting a Green Horse, Horse Behaviour

In this article I will describe the procedure I use to safely mount a horse, and point out some important things to be aware of when mounting and dismounting. Whether you are preparing your young horse for the future or developing good habits with your older horse, there are several key points every horseperson should know.

Horse and Rider

If you have been riding for some time, chances are you have come across a mount that challenged you. Or maybe he scared you. Perhaps the horse forced you to face that very difficult question: Is this the wrong horse for me… or is it just me? What can you do when fear cripples your riding experience?

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