Points on Praise for Horses

By Lindsay Grice - You’ll find that in the course of training your horses, you’ll be essentially asking them questions, and making it difficult to make the wrong choice, and easy and pleasurable to make the right choice. The challenge for a horse trainer is to find the perfect balance of pressure and reward for each individual horse.

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All of these things, tangible and intangible, share a common element: they are stress factors that affect the horse mentally and physically. The horse’s ability to cope with stress will either speed up or slow down the training process.

By Will Clinging - Getting back to work after having time off can be difficult. The holiday is never quite long enough, so it’s nice to be able to ease back into the job. The same is true of horses that have had some time off.

By Will Clinging - Much of what I teach is far more mentally and emotionally challenging than it is physically difficult. There comes a point when we are just plain tired of working and learning, and it can be detrimental to continue training until this mental and physical fatigue has subsided.

By Will Clinging - If difficulties in the training process aren’t dealt with in the right way, they can cause incorrectness and frustration to become the normal attitude of both horse and handler. It is often then that the horse gets labeled as a problem. In reality, the only problem was that the real issue was not diagnosed properly. It is common to work on the obvious — how the horse is expressing himself — when faced with something he may or may not understand.

By Will Clinging - As the difficulty level and expectations increase, those fundamental skills may need to be improved. Forward motion, accepting contact from the bit, steering with a direct rein, steering with an indirect or neck rein, adjusting pace, and some basic lateral work such as turn on the forehand and turn on the haunches, are fundamental skills that will be improved and modified as training progresses.

By Will Clinging - Now that the horse is prepared to trot when cued, I will start to spend more time developing a quality trot. By “quality,” I refer to movement that is forward and has rhythm, with the horse maintaining a calm attitude while continuing to listen and trying to be correct.




Manitoba Horse Council