Natural Horsemanship

training jonathan field, natural horsemanship, trailer loading, load a horse trailer

When it comes to asking your horse to ride in a trailer, there are many things that can go wrong. Most of these situations present themselves due to the confined space of the trailer. When you think of it from the horse’s perspective, it is no wonder that he might hesitate to climb inside, and therefore not surprising that he might want to fly out backwards like a rocket when the door opens.

 training jonathan field, natural horsemanship, trailer loading, load a horse trailer

There are some legitimate reasons why horses do not like horse trailers. To a horse, even the most open, spacious trailer is still a small, confined space. Being a flight animal, nature has wired horses to be claustrophobic in order to protect them from predators. Because trailers are off the ground on wheels, climbing inside is a bit unnerving to a horse as the trailer moves around. Once inside the trailer, horses are further confined with the closing of the divider, and the shutting of the door. Finally, after being locked inside, the trailer starts to move. It bumps along the road, eventually stops, and then the doors are opened, and by this time the horse is thinking “Get me out of here!”

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.

The techniques I use give me consistent results with a wide variety of horses. By being flexible about when and how I use an exercise, I am able to adjust what I am doing to best suit the horse I am working with. This makes it easier for the horse to be successful, which will help him build confidence in himself, build confidence in me, and encourage him to keep trying.

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.

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

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.

Mismatched Horses & Riders

By Will Clinging - What makes a suitable horse and rider combination? This is a personal question that needs to be addressed on an individual basis. Too often I have worked with people who think they have found the perfect horse, the “horse of their dreams,” which is a problem in itself because a horse should not be acquired as an emotional decision.

Lessons for Young Horses, Pat Parelli, Natural Horsemanship, Kalley Krickeberg

You may not be able to ride him yet, but the time you spend with a young horse is invaluable. There are so many lessons you can teach a horse in that formative first year that will be useful for his entire life.

Pat Parelli, natural horsemanship, training foals, working with foals, foal-human interaction at birth, foal imprinting

Although many owners don’t realize it, a horse’s future mental and emotional health can be impacted by the experiences he has during his first few hours of life. Pat Parelli strongly believes that positive contact with a human immediately after birth sets a newborn foal up for a lifetime of partnership and training success.

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