Natural Horsemanship

By Will Clinging - There is always a reason when things go wrong, and we have to accept at least half of the responsibility. Remember it is we who are asking for certain acceptable behaviour; if we have not defined what is actually acceptable then the horse is right to be wrong.

Confusion is an emotion that we do not always allow our horses to feel. When you work with your horse, think about the horse as being always right. Most horses want to please us, so when they respond to a cue, they respond the way they think we want them to.

By Will Clinging - Problem horses are not generally born problem horses; they have been taught to be problem horses! There are certainly a few exceptions but as a rule, they behave they way they do because of the handling they get, or lack of handling as the case may be.

There is much debate about round pens and their use. I believe most of the debate stems from the misuse of the round pen rather than good round penning practices. The round pen is a valuable training tool if used correctly.

In this series we’ve observed how my program has broadened the foundation of Halo, who had a seemingly unpredictable tendency to buck, and has developed his trust in me. After groundwork sessions, we saddled Halo and took him through his first ride with me, followed by several rides in the arena and around my ranch in Abbotsford, BC.

Although Halo had been ridden in the past, his bucking indicated that perhaps something was missing in his training or that there was a possible physical problem. After examining Halo for physical reasons behind his bucking and not finding any, the best approach for Halo was to begin with a “fresh start” and develop a solid base.

Halo is a sleeper. When I first met him, I was told that he was a really calm, cool guy. Only one problem: every once in a while, out of what seemed like nowhere, he’d buck and he’d buck hard. As I got started with Halo, it became very apparent to me that while he had been ridden for some time now, he would need to be essentially restarted under saddle.

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