Schooling

horse stretching in trot

By Kathy Duncan - In recent years, much research in fitness training has discovered the value of core training. The body's core includes the four main abdominal muscles, the pelvic floor muscles, and the erector spinal muscles which support the spine. Collectively, these muscle groups keep the back straight and strong.

Pre-Saddle Training for the Young Horse

By Lindsay Grice - There are quite a few things that horse owners can do at home to assist the training process. Saddling and riding is one more step in the horse’s education (which largely consists of yielding to pressure and counteracting his “fright-flight” instinct).

Trigger Points in Horses

By Will Clinging - When handling any horse with training or behavioural issues, I always watch for trigger points. A trigger point is basically a trigger that can cause the horse to associate a specific stimulus with a fear-based response. For example, a lunge whip flicked at a horse can cause him to remember that he was once scared or hurt by a lunge whip. If he has a flashback memory that takes over, the horse’s behaviour can revert back to previous evasive or reactive ways.

Complicated Horses

By Will Clinging - I work with a large variety of horses and have worked with thousands of horses and riders in the past eight years. This has given me the opportunity to work with some fairly complicated horses. Although more difficult and sometimes seemingly impossible to train, the complicated ones teach us the most and challenge us to work the horse as an individual.

Dealing with Tension in Horses

By Will Clinging - Tension in horses can lead to all kinds of problems and hinder their ability to learn. Some horses are so tense and stiff that they are incapable of certain maneuvers. This can lead to frustration and anxiety, which in turn leads to increased tension.

Controlling Emotions in Horse Training

By Will Clinging - It is important to understand the intentions behind a response especially when the response is explosive. A fear based reaction calls for a different training approach than that used for a confused response, and different again if the same action results from frustration. These three different outcomes make for three different identifiable intentions for the same stress factor. The intentions are important to understand.

When to Use Spurs

By Lindsay Grice - I describe spurs as a megaphone for your leg aid. Every horse should learn to respond to a clear but subtle cue from the rider’s leg. If that cue is understood but ignored, the rider should immediately amplify the aid until the horse responds.

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