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Whoa! Stopping in Five, Four, Three, Two and One

Unless you have a lazy horse, you probably had to put a good deal of effort into developing a good stop on your equine. If he stops, that is…! What I often see in clinics and lessons are riders that allow their horses to take their time stopping…it might take them a quarter of the arena before they get their horses stopped. Dribbling is for basketball—not riding! With that being said lets take a look at what happens with the horse when we ask for the stop. From the horse's perspective, we too often pick up aggressively when we ask for

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So You Want to be a Horse Trainer

  Wanted! Trainer to Start My 3-Year-Old Warm Blood Words to a trainer’s ear. But really, is the hunt worth the catch? Depends if you want to work twelve-hour days in the blistering heat or cold, wet, dirty, and many times sore from hitting the ground from that poor horse that’s been passed from trainer to trainer until someone (i.e., you) took the time to help him sort things out. You spend your time wondering if the next horse is coming in as scheduled and hoping the last client’s check clears the bank so you can make your rent or

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The Big Green Horse Eating Machine

Our question this week comes from Ducka Kelly.  She asks, “How do I get my horse past the bulldozer that is blocking the trail that we wish to ride?”  Great question, Ducka! We’re going take this in stride as any object or obstacle that the horse views as threating. First, as we have in all responses to the previous questions, we want to look at it from the horse’s perspective.   As the horse looks at the bulldozer he figures it as a threating obstacle that he could easily avoid by going the other way.  To condition the horse to accept

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The Big Green Horse Eating Machine

Our question this week comes from Ducka Kelly.  She asks, “How do I get my horse past the bulldozer that is blocking the trail that we wish to ride?”  Great question, Ducka! We’re going take this in stride as any object or obstacle that the horse views as threating. First, as we have in all responses to the previous questions, we want to look at it from the horse’s perspective.   As the horse looks at the bulldozer he figures it as a threating obstacle that he could easily avoid by going the other way.  To condition the horse to accept

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Stand Still, Please

Here's the question we're answering this week: "How do I get my horse to stand still while I am mounting on a loose rein without flexing his head around?" First, lets understand things from the horse’s perspective. I know, we say that a lot, don’t we? But our good friend Tom Dorrance said that you have to work the horse from where he is.  Having said that, understand why the horse may be moving.  Have we taught him to stand still without mounting?  Are his feet equally spread out to insure balance on his part as we pull ourselves up

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We Call it “Attitude”

This week we’re talking about “attitude.” We received three different questions over the course of last week about different horses with “attitude” issues—we heard about one rearing horse and two pinny-earred mares. After reading about each of the individual situations you might feel that there is no comparison but, in the horse’s world and in my understanding of what’s going on without seeing it in person, leads me to feel there is a little panic or frustration going on with all three horses. Let’s talk first about the behavior exhibited by the rearing horse who has a habit of rearing in

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The Odd Couple: Part Two

Last month we talked about the difference between predators (humans) and prey (horses), and why a horse might have concerns with a predator-prey relationship.  This month, we want to further that understanding; we’ll explore how we can adapt the horse’s perception of humans to foster a training style reminiscent of the herd dynamics he’s familiar with. First, it’s important to understand the horse’s brain and the difference between the two sides—the responsive side of the brain, which responds to external stimuli in a thoughtful, calculated manner, verses the reactive side, which provides instinctual, knee-jerk reactions. As humans, we are already

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The Odd Couple: Horses as Prey and Humans as Predators

At Bar T Horsemanship, we’ve started over 30 feral horses, or mustangs. Having worked with so many undomesticated horses has given us a very unique perspective on horses as prey animals, in their purest form. We’ve all heard them referred to as prey animals before, but do we really have an understanding of what that means and how we can work together? The Prey Did you know that horses’ minds and bodies are constructed in a way that aides in their survival as prey animals? Take for example their eyes. Horses have monocular vision, which means that each eye is

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The Odd Couple: Horses as Prey and Humans as Predators

At Bar T Horsemanship, we’ve started over 30 feral horses, or mustangs. Having worked with so many undomesticated horses has given us a very unique perspective on horses as prey animals, in their purest form. We’ve all heard them referred to as prey animals before, but do we really have an understanding of what that means and how we can work together? The Prey Did you know that horses’ minds and bodies are constructed in a way that aides in their survival as prey animals? Take for example their eyes. Horses have monocular vision, which means that each eye is

Read More