Posts in Training
Riding instructor or coach

Pauline Brimson takes us back to school and asks us to consider the differences between a coach and an instructor. I’m often asked why we all have to be called ‘coaches’ now? I personally have called myself a riding instructor for years and feel I have been providing a pretty good service to my clients. Will it make any difference if I start calling myself a coach?

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Roll Back Perfection

Don’t throw away a great run down and stop with a ‘mud ugly’ roll back, warns experienced reining judge Bob Mayhew. In nearly 30 years of training reining horses, and 23 years of judging them, the roll back seems to be one of the areas that people fail to grasp the most. Countless good stops have been followed by poor roll backs, U turns, or even turns on the forehand, thereby reducing the manoeuvre evaluation unnecessarily.

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Moving Forward in Western Pleasure

Give your western pleasure horse a leg to stand on, says Tom Chown

In today’s western pleasure, it is a sad fact that many horses are trained and shown with little regard for natural movement. They are forced to move uncomfortably causing them to appear laboured or lame.

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TrainingTom Chown
Motion, Direction, Shape

Jeannine March introduces three important principles in the training of any western horse.

The first principle is motion. A horse must move forward freely under saddle at the walk, jog and lope. He should be able to increase and decrease speed, and stop with ease, responding to the voice, seat and/or leg aids.

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Working Cow Horse

In the first of a series looking specifically at cattle and games classes, Philip Holliday introduces the Working Cow Horse. The Working Cow Horse class (also known as Reined Cow Horse) is designed to demonstrate a horse’s control of a cow, speed, balance and responsiveness to the rider. For me it’s the most fun you can have with your boots on.

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Core Beliefs

It is critical to ensure that a student and coach’s philosophies are aligned when it comes to the training of horse and rider.

We act according to our beliefs every day, whether we are conscious of it or not. People may act as if their beliefs are set in stone, which will limit their range of responses. What are your beliefs?

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TrainingPauline Brimson
Mind Control

Showing and training has more to do with a rider’s mind, focus and attitude than it does having a thousand tools in your toolbox. The mind is free, malleable and easily accessible, and not one of your other tools will be effective unless you have control of it. That’s not to say that some riders seemingly have no connection with their brain; it’s there, it just hasn’t been engaged and may be a little rusty from lack of use.

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TrainingLinda Durocher
One Handed

If you have done your snaffle bit homework, teaching your young horse to go one handed should be simple. Putting the horse in one hand is not an overnight job. When I am training a horse to go one hand in a curb bit it takes me about six months before I have them performing every manoeuvre in this fashion.

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TrainingPatrick Hopgood
Key Communication

93 per cent of communication is non-verbal. Are you using yours effectively with your horse? Have you ever wondered why horses can respond totally differently to two people, even though their behaviour appears exactly the same? Whether doing mounted or ground work, I have witnessed this on numerous of occasions.

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TrainingLaira Gold
The Gate

In this article we’re going to look at working the gate. It’s a very practical skill to have as you may need to use this while out on trail rides in the countryside. But for the show pen, the gate is an obstacle that demonstrates accuracy and control with an artificial gate - designed especially for trail class.

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TrainingLou Roper
Western Pleasure Work Out

Prepare your pleasure horse for the show pen with five gymnastic exercises. A western pleasure horse must be in top physical shape to compete and win in today’s arenas. But when it comes to conditioning a rail horse, there’s more to it than just walking, jogging and loping.

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TrainingTina Kaven
Western Horsemanship

Judge Dagmar Zenker talks us through one rider's pattern in an AQHA Horsemanship Class. Make sure to watch the accompanying video.

This class has always been one of my favourite classes. It is judged on a rider’s ability to perform harmoniously with the horse, the only other riding class that asks for this is Hunt Seat Equitation.

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The Myth of Natural Horsemanship

An excerpt from award winning equestrian writer Tom Moates calls for clarity on the term 'Natural Horsemanship.'

I must inform you that natural horsemanship is a myth - it does not actually exist. I know that sounds odd coming from the author of a book and countless articles on the subject.

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TrainingTom Moates
Don't Leave Me

If your horse suffers from separation anxiety try Pat Parelli’s methods for weaning both the young and the adult horse.

Horses are herd animals. They are socially dependent on each other. Why? Because for prey animals, there is safety in numbers – and horses are prey animals. Hanging out in groups is how they survive in the wild and understanding your horse’s instinctive behaviour is a foundational element of natural horsemanship.

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TrainingPat Parelli
Make A Change

You’ll never get your horse right until you get yourself right, writes Monty Roberts as he recounts a turning point in his life.

As a younger man I was a competition rider, worked hard, stayed fit and ate a lot. Past injuries started causing pain in my adult life so I significantly reduced my physical activity but my appetite remained in place.

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TrainingMonty Roberts

Blabbermouth voice commands should be used with care warns Clinton Anderson.

I don’t encourage people to use a lot of voice commands, especially when they first start working with horses. It’s far more important to develop an awareness of your body language and learn how to communicate with your horse though this.

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TrainingClinton Anderson
Arena Monsters

Julie Goodnight explains how to overcome spooky spots. Horses can be very suspicious animals and when something has frightened them they tend to remember it. You have probably experienced a horse that every time they get to the place where they were first scared they expect something to happen.

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TrainingJulie Goodnight