your local horse riding equestrian reference for Horse Training ...
Horse Training Tips and Techniques ...
Rider and horse training is what takes up most equestrians time and requires sound knowledge and plenty of patience.
You don't have to have the next Olympic hopeful in your stable to want to improve your knowledge or aspire to be someone who can deal with a wide variety of horses and a wide range of schooling problems.
Today, almost anyone can own a horse, and most people can learn to ride given a bit of time, yet too few people seem to have any interest in training their horse.
If you own or look after a horse you should also be an effective trainer of horse's not just a rider.
We all owe it to our horses to educate ourselves enough to be able to produce a well-mannered, safe horse that is a pleasure for anyone to ride or own.
It's our responsibility to help the horse understand what is expected of them and good horse training helps avoid any confusion or distress on the horses part, which could adversely affect their working life and possibly lead to abuse.
A Safe Hack ...
For most riders, simply enjoying a safe hack is their main goal, but this goal can take a surprising amount of hard work and quality horse training to achieve.
Many horse owners don't realise that having a nice hack comes from putting in lots of work in other areas.
Inexperience causes riders to miss many of the warning signs that expeirenced riders spot along the way and they can then end up with a problem that damages their confidence and will eventually require professional intervention.
When your horses behaviour doesn't quite accord with your plan, it is your responsibility to adjust your horse training methods, because your horse can't.
A common problem in horse training arises as a rider gains confidence and wants to do more with their horse, but they don't have the skills to bring their horse on.
It's at this point, when it takes more than just hacking out and going round in circles in the school, that proper horse training skills are required.
You can have that well-mannered horse, that does a bit of every discipline reasonably well, but only if you are prepared to become your horse's trainer and not just a rider.
Horse Training - The Basic Ground Rules
Whether you have a top quality dressage horse, a two year old youngster or a bombproof 20 year old in your stable, the basic ground rules are universal and will always apply.
Decide what you want to achieve, then stick to the ground rules and dip into the vast pool of skills and suggestions available on the internet and in equestrian books and magazines.
Set Goals in Your Horse Training - Always Ask.
If you don't know where you're trying to get to, how will you know how far you've come or when you've arrived?
How many times have you tacked up your horse, spent a couple of hours hacking out, got back to the yard and turned your horse out without asking it one question?
There are times when switching off and simply enjoying a hack is exactly the right thing to do, especially if it is a planned part of your horses training or if it just feels like the right thing to do after a hard week; but make sure you recognise that it contributes very little to producing a more supple and responsive horse.
Today's horses have more than enough time to themselves each day and for the short time you are with your horse, it's time for it to listen and to learn.
Your horse likes to be mentally stimulated, to play games and be rewarded with affection and it's only when boredom sets in that your horse misbehaves, becomes rude and has no manners.
Horse Relationship Ground Rules ...
Trying to be your horses best mate may make you feel better, but will it do the same for your horse?
Horse owners often confuse love with sentiment; ask your horse whether he'd rather have an owner, a leader he can trust and respect, or one who breathes gently up his nose each morning and buys him this seasons top turnout rug and you'll be surprised by the answer.
Your horse needs you to lead and if you don't or won't then your horse will lead you.
For successful horse training you need to establish trust and respect.
And, this is done by setting ground rules that you stick to. A good relationship with your horse is of prime importance, but once you have established respect you will find that this happens quite naturally.
You will also discover that like any true trusting relationship, it will become a two-way relationship and not a one-way, where you do all the giving.
Ask yourself - "Do I Have The Horse Training Tools?" ...
Building a good set of skills and an adequate supply of tools to get your horse to the level you want is entirely your responsibility.
Once you build a realistic view of what you want to achieve, it's down to you, (with the help of good riding instructors who truly understand your goals), to assess yourself honestly.
Ask yourself; How much of the required skills do you have and how much will you need to learn?
Most importantly, are you prepared to develop the self-discipline required to apply your chosen methods with confidence, competence, consistency, common sense and a thorough understanding of what you are trying to achieve?
Most problem horses are not born, they are created by riders who fail to understand and set the ground rules and who do not have the necessary skills to achieve their goals.
Remember this; Your horse is learning every time you are and being a good horse trainer is about the quality of the training, not the quantity.