Training Equipment – Skip it If You Love Your Horse

Instant gratification just does not have a place in the world of horses if you actually love them. There is no way to build a strong foundation of respect and affection with your horse if you resort to pain as a training method. Make no mistake, what’s commonly referred to as “training equipment” are simply different means of applying greater force, or restricting the horse’s movements, to make a point.

Using martingales, gag bits, tie-downs, side reins, draw reins or any other variation of training equipment is admitting that you either don’t have enough time or experience to train your horse properly. As a trainer for twenty years, I made martingales from K-mart clothesline, owned a bit for every occassion, and had stuff that didn’t even have a name. How many of you know what a Running W is?

Could a concert pianist become proficient in 30 days? In 90 days? Would their instructor be able to speed up their learning curve by making the piano student wear special gloves that either poked or shocked their fingers when they weren’t curved correctly? Barbaric, you say. It takes time…it takes practice… it takes years to become an accomplished pianist. Well the same is true when training a horse.

Horses can learn the basics in 60-90 days; it all depends on the level of communication and relationship between the horse and trainer. It takes years for a horse and rider to develop performance proficiency equivalent to the concert pianist. In some disciplines a trainer can get a horse ready to show in less than a year. However, even the best reining trainer needs nearly two years to prepare a futurity prospect. Dressage trainers don’t talk about training time in terms of months, as do most trainers. Dressage horses spend years in pursuit of excellence.

Can there be a place for training equipment? Sure. Just as there is a time and place for surgical instruments. The circumstances must be appropriate and the hands using them must be skillful. But, even so, using this equipment is still just taking a shortcut. Experienced trainers understand the trade-off and accept the outcome.

I’ve been training a three-year old reining bred filly, off-and-on for the past year, mostly off. She started out as a serious contender for the bronc-riding circuit, but over time we’ve come to have a great fondness, even love, for each other. Lately I’ve been working on getting her to stay soft in her face. If the face and neck are soft, the whole body will be compliant and easy to frame.

Well, when she decides to resist, her habit is to stick her nose up and out and brace her neck. Being a stout little filly, there’s no human muscle that can pull her around if she’s not in the mood. I was tempted to grab a martingale and maybe even a twisted wire snaffle. Until I remembered that our lessons have been sporadic, at best. She really wants to get along; I just hadn’t given her the opportunity to really understand what I was asking. The failure was mine. After adjusting my attitude, I kept at it for just three days in a row, using a show legal snaffle and good old split reins. And… she got it. I could have made her give in about five minutes. But what would she really have learned? To give in to pain, and that I was not trustworthy as her leader.

If your goal is to build an amazing relationship with the horse that nickers to you each morning when you go out to feed, take the time to learn the right way to train your partner. Enjoy the journey. Savor each ride. Keep learning. Be the person your horse hopes you are.

Lynn Baber is a business coach, speaker, writer and retired equine professional. She shares the lessons learned in thirty-five years at the business table and round pen with her clients and readers. Highly credentialed in issues of leadership, customer relations and most things equine, Lynn has a unique perspective not found elsewhere. Whether the topic is customer service or training stallions, Lynn brings years of experience to presentations and articles. Visit Lynn at or

Looking at Draft Horse Riding

Although they were specifically bred to pull a plow or a carriage, you may be surprised to find that large draft horses can be ridden as well! Draft horses are known for their heavy build and impressive strength, but this does not work against them at all when it comes to riding for pleasure or even for competition. Many draft horses are used in trail riding and with proper training, they do very well in dressage competition as well. Despite their large size, they can move very lightly and be very responsive to signals from their rider. It is generally believed that with the right training, any draft horse may be ridden, although their larger girth can be a little uncomfortable for a rider who is not used to them.
If you own a young draft horse and are looking into training it for riding, you need to keep in mind that they do not develop like quarter horses. Their size alone makes them a lot different from the lighter breeds that were bred with riding or dressage in mind, and their bones are simply slower to mature. Remember that their spine does not close until sometime in their fifth year, and many trainers tend to stay away from riding them before that point. Before training them for the saddle however, they can still be trained for bathing, and for gentleness when their feet are handled. Just spending time with your horse in terms of leading, driving and lunging will help get them to a place where they are going to be much more prepared for the saddle.
A draft horse has many advantages when you are thinking about riding. Their large size can make their movement particularly smooth, and their gentle and docile temperament make them a real winner when it comes to how well they handle new riders. Do remember that you might need to do some leg stretches if you are planning for a long session in the saddle; their increased girth is going to take some getting used to. If you are looking to ride your draft horse, always make sure that you do a wither tracing before you purchase a saddle. Too many people end up with a saddle that pinches or is otherwise uncomfortable for both horse and rider otherwise.
When you are looking at riding draft horses, you may be wondering what breeds are available. As mentioned above, as long as they have been trained to it, draft horses can make great riding horses. Belgians are definitely a popular breed for riding, as are Percherons and Clydesdales. Gypsy Vanners are also quite popular where they can be found, as are Shire horses. These horses were all bred to pull and to drag rather than to ride, but this may not always have been the case. Percherons, for example, are thought to be the modern descendants of the destriers that carried knights to war during the Middle Ages.
What distinguishes riding a draft horse from riding a normal horse? The first thing that most draft horse riders will point you towards is the power. There is an amazing lot of muscle on the frame of a draft horse, and when they have a rider on their back, their endurance is impressive. Clydesdales especially have a reputation for being excellent to ride. They have an impressively fluid gait, and their strength serves them well without getting in the way. 
While the steadiness and patience of a draft horse make it an instant favorite for trail riding, you may be a little surprised to hear that they do very well in dressage competition as well. Clydesdales and Belgians especially make an impressive showing in the dressage ring, and their owners swear that they have an heightened capacity to learn. One example of their biddable nature and rock-steady temperament is their presence in mounted police. They are also highly sought out when disabled people are interested in riding.
Take some time and consider whether you are interested in draft horse riding. This is a sport that is seeing more and more usage, and if you are interested, start searching for a venue where you can give it a shot. Draft horses are willing and loving animals, and you may find that they are a perfect match for you.

When Can I Ask My Training Level Dressage Horse to Move Up to First Level?

Riders often ask me, “How do I know it’s the right time to move my Training Level dressage horse up to First Level? In this article, I’ll give you a way to come up with a logical plan for introducing new work at Training Level.

First, I just want to make a general comment. All training should be a systematic progression toward a desired end result. So you need to be able to see the big picture.

For example, even at Training Level the quality of your 20-meter circles is going to make it possible to collect later down the road. Circles show your horse’s ability to bend equally to the left and to the right. So his ability to
bend on a large circle makes it easier for him to progressively increase his bend from 20 meters to 18, to 15, to 12, to 10. As he becomes flexible enough to bend along a tighter arc, you’re laying a foundation for advanced
lateral work such as shoulder-in, haunches-in, and half pass.

A lot of times people say to me, “Oh well, I am ONLY working at Training Level.” You need to understand that the work that is done at Training Level, such as correctly bending on a 20-meter circle, is essential for your horse’s systematic progression to the more advanced work.

So let’s look at one way you can plan your program. Here’s what I did. Back in the early 70’s, I had to work a lot on my own. So I used the USDF tests as my guideline. I knew those tests were designed with the systematic
progression of the dressage horse in mind. I thought, “Well, this is a good place to start since I don’t have anybody around to tell me what to do.”

I’d work on whatever was at Training Level. And even if my horse wasn’t ready for the next level, I’d always look ahead and read what was in the First Level tests. That way I’d have an idea of what was coming up next.

Let’s say my dressage horse is at Training Level. I polish my 20-meter circles, my basic transitions from gait to gait, and the stretchy circle. That’s all great, but I also look ahead. I see that I’ll need to do serpentines, where I have the complication of changing the bend from left to right.

I’d also begin to add smaller circles because eventually, at First Level, I need to do 10-meter circles in the trot and 15-meter circles in the canter. Now that doesn’t mean I’m suddenly going to go from 20-meter circles in the trot to 10-meters.

Instead, knowing that my horse will have to do 10-meter circles down the road, when he can comfortably do 20-meter circles, I’d do some 18-meter circles. And then in a few weeks or months, when he could comfortably do
18-meter circles, I’d do 16-meter circles.

Because I look ahead, and I know what is required at First Level, I plan a program where I progressively make the arc of my circle tighter and tighter until eventually I can do 10-meter circles easily in the trot.

And what I mean by “easily” is that my horse can handle the arc of that curve without having to find an evasion such as swinging the hindquarters in or out from his line of travel.

I’d also see that there are leg yields in the First Level tests. So I think, “My horse has to learn how to move away from a leg that’s behind the girth”. Maybe I should incorporate some turns on the forehand into my work at
Training Level so that I’ll be ready to do some leg yields when the time comes.

At First Level, I also have to show lengthenings in the trot and in the canter. So I work on developing elasticity by lengthening and shortening. Even at Training Level, I start to do rubber band exercises. I go a little more forward
for three or four strides and then come back for three or four strides. And I repeat that– three or four strides a little more forward and three or four strides a little bit back. While doing that I really focus on maintaining the
same rhythm and the same tempo in both “gears”.

I also notice that at First Level there is a little counter canter. So I think about incorporating some counter canter into my work. I come 1-meter off the rail by the time I’m across from B or E. Then by the end of the long side, I’m back onto the track. I do this pattern so gradually that my horse doesn’t even know that I’m asking for a couple of counter canter steps.

Little by little I come off the rail a bit more. My next step is to come one and a half meters off the rail. We’re one and a half meters off the rail when we’re across from B or E, and then we arc back to the last letter.

So, I keep polishing the movements at Training Level with my dressage horse, but I always have an eye on what’s at First Level and start to incorporate a little bit of that work as well.

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Safety Tips For Horse Riding

Horses, no matter how well-trained they are, can be wild and fierce sometimes. Horse riding can be a dangerous sport if one is not careful. There are several things you should notice for your own safety when riding a horse. People might overlook the situations as trivials, however both you and your horse are likely to get into trouble ignoring these warnings.


1. Always leave your horse’s halter on the stall! Living here in So. Cal. It is imperative that the halter and lead be left on each horse’s stall because of the ever present threat of a fire where it’s sometimes necessary for total strangers, (firefighters and volunteers) to evacuate your horse where minutes or perhaps even seconds count.


2. Never leave your lunge line out in the arena or anywhere the horse can reach. If you turn your horses out in your arena never leave the lunge line where the horse can get to it. I made the mistake of doing so more than twenty years ago when I came down to the arena to put a sweet Quarter horse away after a turnout only to find him literally hog tied with all four legs wrapped up together in a bunch. It was absolutely comical except for the disaster potential it possessed. Luckily he was a very calm horse that didn’t panic as I methodically proceeded to unwind the line. Any other horse that didn’t possess his calm attitude could have been tragic.


3. Be careful leaving a treat bucket in your horse’s stall. We often leave a bucket of carrots or other supplements in the stall with the horse as we run off after a ride to our busy lives but it’s really quite dangerous as the horse can easily get its hoof stuck between the metal handle and the plastic. Play it safe if you must leave something in there and opt for a rubber flat feeding bowl.


4. Be careful feeding your horse its treat by hand. Before you know it you can train your horse to not only be a biter but he can become a complete nuisance constantly probing you and other things searching for a treat. Such behavior can wreck havoc upon your grooming routine and cause a simple tack up to take forever.


5. NEVER tie to a stall door or anything that could pull out or break! I actually saw this happen once at a barn we stabled out. A horse after being tied to the sliding box stall door set back and in an instant pulled the door right off of its track and went flying all over the ranch with a steel door dangling from his head taking out everything in their path as well as banging up the poor horse’s legs.


6. NEVER teach your horse he can open his own gate. We think it’s really cute behavior to have the horse push a gate open for us while we’re on them. I used to think it was adorable too until my very determined Appy mare went to push the gate open to leave the arena and finding it latched pushed so hard that before I could pull her up she flattened the whole side of the arena pushing every bit of it down flat to the ground. Boy did I feel stupid as she casually strolled across the mess to return to the barn.


7. Never leave the lead from the halter dangling in your horse’s stall. Had this happen also where one of my students didn’t properly tie the lead to the halter on the stall in a way to keep it out of the pony’s reach. The result was a horrible rope burn across the back of the pony’s fetlock because he had pulled it in and got it caught around his ankle causing a nasty infection and a hefty vet call and antibiotics.


Of course this is not a complete list of all the little things we do that can get us into trouble but it’s a start with the point being that we just need to be more mindful of all the dangers out there no matter how trivial they may appear. Remember one hard and fast rule; if there’s any possible way a horse can get hurt you can be sure he’ll find it! Don’t give him the chance!


Millie Chalk (White Star Woman)

Professional horse trainer for 25yrs. and author of historical fiction. Part Cherokee Indian I’m passionate regarding the current struggle of all the first nations feeling most akin for several reasons to the Lakota.

If you’d like to know more about anything regarding horses please check out my new website;

Horse Riding Training – Top 5 Tips Before Starting Horse Riding Lessons

horse training
by sms467

My family has been involved in horse riding training for over 25 years and we thought it would be a great idea to share some of the knowledge we have built up. Also, as our 4 year old daughter is about to start her training we thought it would be great to share some of her experiences as she progresses.

I’ve put together my Top 5 Tips for you to follow before getting started in your horse riding training.

1. An important factor when you start your horse riding training is making sure that you take your time to find a good reputable training school using good training methods. The reason why this is important is because it’s easy to pick up bad habits. If you don’t take your time in finding the right training, then you run the risk of developing bad habits which are difficult to correct later. So do your homework, speak to friends who already ride, visit a few in your area and if possible watch some of the lessons to get a feel for the school or center as the feel can be just as important as the content of the lesson.

2. Another important consideration is what equipment you buy. It’s critical that you buy good quality equipment because you want it to last and be safe, horse riding can be harsh on equipment and riders especially when riding cross country.  Also, if you like the idea of entering horse showing events you will want to look your be stand buying the right horse riding clothing can help. If you make sure that you buy good quality equipment, then you’ll be fine.

3. You don’t have to spend vast amounts of money in order to start  training. All you need to do is read up as much as you can, knowledge can go a long way to building confidence when getting on to a horse for the first time.

4. Instead of complicating training efforts by buying a horse and equipment straight away, try it this way: contacting your preferred training school and part renting a horse, then as you improve your horse riding ability and you are sure it is the right hobby for you, then buy your own. In fact, if you contact your local stables, then you may find that there are horses available to rent and look after as if they were your own.

5. Have you considered sharing a horse with a friend. It’s not as difficult as you might think, and can help to spread the costs of looking after your own horse.

So if you really want to start horse riding training, following these tips can help make your experience a fun, safe and enjoyable one and one that you will want to continue for life.

Andy Day and his family have over 25 years experience in keeping horses and horse riding training. Together they share their experiences and knowledge to help you get started and have fun in your horse riding.

Benefits of Going to a Horse Arena

Katie works at an excellent horse arena. Many people come to this great riding arena to participate in many different equestrians shows and tournaments. They definitely want to show off their excellent equine friends and show everyone all the great tricks and commands that they can do. Many people that come to these great shows want to watch excellent equestrian talent from the finest equine trainers, breeders and owners. Because of the many spectators and great public interest, equestrian training is a very competitive sport and its many spectators definitely enjoy both watching and actively participating in cheering on their favorite excellent horses to victory. They definitely value the sport’s competitive nature and they think it’s great to watch and cheer for.

The spectators say the equestrian sports are both excellent and fascinating because they require many hours of raw dedication and talent. It is necessary to have both a great jockey and an excellent equine specimen to excel in these many events. Many other sports don’t require so many hours comprised of such raw dedication to achieve success. The jockey and the equine competitors must be both great individually, but they must be excellent as a pair and know how to work together to accomplish the task set at hand for them and to win the many different events that they compete in together; equestrian events truly are a team sports.

It is very important to remember that many jockeys don’t simply become excellent overnight. It takes many years of hard works and great sacrifice to become an excellent jockey. Katie knows many jockeys who have given up excellent social lives in order to succeed at their personal careers who consider it worth the sacrifice because it is something that they find excellent and love very much.

The same is true for many of the equine competitors – they also do not become great competitors overnight or with a small number of hours put in to achieving the ultimate goal. Many owners choose these goals for their foals before they are even born, many owners are definitely careful to make very certain that their future equestrian competitors have excellent breeding and are born with great genetics in order to help them succeed in the world of equestrians competitions.

Katie has helped work many great equestrian shows and she really enjoys attending them and loves the competitive and exciting atmosphere. She loves watching so many excellent equine competitors together in one place and thinks it’s a very beautiful sight to see so many great equine competitors and their jockeys focused on definitely doing their best in the competition. Sometimes, Katie helps to judge these excellent equine competitors and sometimes she has a difficult time deciding which of these great equine competitors is best because of how excellently they all perform in the competition. There are many great reasons to attend equestrian shows but Katie thinks that the most excellent reason to attend such an event is to watch the equine competitors, which she says are great and absolutely beautiful. Katie says that she definitely loves watching these great equine competitors and thinks you will definitely love it too.

Chuck Stewart has visited many horse arenas and riding arenas with his daughter who rides horses in shows.

How To Choose Quality Horse Barns

Are you an animal lover who is looking to start your own business? Why not try something unique? For example, have you ever considered investing in a ranch, or specifically a horse ranch? Having the ability to breed horses can open up many business possibilities such as racing and even giving historical tours and carriage rides to visitors.

If you decide to embark on this interesting business opportunity, the first thing you will need to consider is investing in a horse barn. Because the horses will be your golden goose, not to mention the recipients of your love, it is crucial for them to receive the best horse barns as shelters. Finding a barn that was made specifically for your horses will guarantee it is one of the more comfy shelters around. If you do decide to embark on this business endeavor you will have the luxury of choosing between the various models in your design choice offered.

Among the typical barn models selected by ranch managers are those that are entirely covered. This means that they include full walls that will cover horses from different elements particularly for use during the night and winter. You might also want to consider one built with a roll-up gate. These gates are easily rolled up in the daytime when the horses are going to eat and then rolled down during at night, all without requiring heavy lifting.

Aside from completely protected horse barns, you will also discover those that are made open. This means that they are made mostly of frames and rooftops so they will serve as good day shelter for the horses. Here they can very easily be released when it is time for them to do their daily jogging workout routines or just grazing.

There are even a few hybrid styles that will allow you to integrate these two designs in one. Generally, these barns are made to be large in terms of size so they can have both the covered and frame shelters. The main structure consists of the covered shelter and then you’ll find the framed shelter on its sides so you can quickly bring them outside. The benefit is that you will have two structures in one so it will be an excellent value for your money.

No matter what size of horse barns you need, you should get them from companies that offer custom made structures. No ranch and environment are identical. Therefore you want the best structure ideal for your unique ranch.

When buying a custom made barn or a buying from a place with many models to choose from, you will need to tell them of the number of horse that you will be housing. Not only will this help them decide on the ideal square footage, but it is necessary so they can put the correct number of partitioning for each horse in the ranch.

Finally, make sure to purchase horse barns that are built with long lasting construction materials such as steel or durable wood. This can assure you that you will have a top-notch barn that will last for generations of new horses. Plus, a barn that will stand the test of time will also serve as a good investment since it will continue to provide years of value to your ranch. After all, you just need to take a drive through the country to see how long a quality built horse barn will last.

Outdoor sheds are different but in some ways similar to horse barns. Both of them are used for storage and both of them are best for the outdoors. Really the only difference is the things that you store in each one of them.

How to Train Your Horse to Accept the Trailer

Horses survive in the wild thanks to their fight or flight instinct. Horses were never cave dwellers and this made sense from a horse’s point of view because being trapped in a cave meant death. A trailer is as dark and ominous to a horse as a cave, so be patient when trailer training your horse, you are asking him to do the exact opposite of what his instincts are telling him: to enter a dark and enclosed area!

Many horses are initially fearful of being led into a trailer so it’s best to breakdown the experience in order not to overwhelm the horse. An easy way to achieve this is to walk your horse over a thick sheet of plywood placed on the ground. Allow him to look at the plywood and smell it and don’t force him over it. A lot of coaxing helps relax the horse. Try this several times until the horse is comfortable walking over it.

In the next step of the exercise try raising the sheet over some 4x4s but make sure it is strong enough to safely bear the weight of the horse otherwise it may break and scare the horse. Place some grain or hay onto the raised plywood to encourage the horse to step onto it and to reinforce the idea that this is a pleasant experience.

Enlist the help of some friends to hold plastic sheets in order to fashion a chute or tunnel for the horse to walk through. Make it wider at one end and narrower at the other, emulating a trailer. Again, coax the horse gently to walk through this makeshift chute. Once the horse is comfortable doing this, you can try creating a tent like tunnel using a plastic sheet for the horse to walk under. Your helpers can stand on hay bates to reach the desired height.

These easy steps should help trailer train the most difficult of horses because you have broken down the process for them making it easier to accept. Breaking down any exercise in this way makes the horse less prone to being overwhelmed by a situation and more accepting.

Work at your horse’s pace and remember to remain patient and calm at all times. A lot of gentle encouraging goes a long way and patience is definitely a virtue with horses. Once your horse is going through the above mentioned exercises confidently it’s time to introduce the actual trailer.

Use a long lead rope and confidently walk your horse to the trailer without any hesitation, if you hesitate your horse will too. If the horse refuses to load, turn him around and try again. Keep doing this in a firm and calm manner until the horse loads. Once the horse is in the trailer, praise him profusely and offer him a reward for a job well done.

Lead him out calmly and repeat again, feed him in the trailer then unload him. Don’t leave the horse in the trailer for long periods of time initially; your aim is to enable him to feel calm being led into the trailer led into the trailer.

Stal Amani is a top equestrian centre based in Belgium within 2 hours drive of most of the top jumping and dressage competitions in Europe. We regularly host national and international competitions. For more information please visit

John Hawkes: Australian Horse Trainer

John Hawkes is a former Adelaide jockey who continued his passion for horses as a full-time trainer since 1971. Prior to 1971, Hawkes was a part time trainer in an era where dual licensing was allowed on the Australian racing circuit. His career as a full time trainer got a jumpstart in the 1972 VRC Oaks scoring his first Group 1 win with Toltrice. Other notable accomplishments during the decade were the 1972 SAJC South Australian Oaks won by Little Papoose, and a second Oaks in 1978 with Runaway Bridge. English Wonder brought Hawkes the SAJC South Australian Derby in 1982. Through the 1980s, Hawkes finished second in the SA trainers’ premiership on most occasions, after which he moved to Melbourne in 1989.

His move to Melbourne from Sydney launched the beginning of a long partnership with the ‘chicken kings’ Bob and Jack Ingham, a lucky venture that brought Hawkes nine premierships. These included four BMW’s the two AJC Australian Derbys, two Australian Cups, and the Cox Plate, and Caulfield Cup. During his partnership with the Inghams, Hawkes managed the stables in Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. His association with the Inghams lasted until the end of 2007, becoming the most successful owner-trainer combination, after which Hawkes decided to go it alone.

John Hawkes’ statistics as a thoroughbred racehorse trainer is what makes him one of the most renowned trainers today, admired and honored by many in the Australian racing fraternity. 96 Group 1 wins is no mean task with over 540 stakes wins and a record number of 334 victories in a single season (2001-2002). Among his major triumphs are 2 Golden Slippers as well. By earning $ 11.2 million during the 1998-99, Hawkes re-wrote the record books. In the 1999-2000 season he set another Australian record, bringing home 315 ½ winners.

Among Hawkes’ most successful champion horses under his command were Octagonal and Lonhro. At the Ingham stable, Octagonal won the 1995 Cox Plate and was the 2-year-old Australian Champion as well. Success followed in the 1996 AJC Australian Derby and the BMW, and the 1997 Australian Cup and BMC. The never say die attitude of Octagonal resulted in 13 wins from just 27 starts. Lonhro, a progeny of Octagonal, went on to win 24 races from 32 starts and was an Australian Horse of the Year. One of the cups to elude John Hawkes for a long time was the Caulfield Cup, which took 36 years. In the 2005 edition Railings brought Hawkes his first Caulfield Cup, beating Eye Popper by half a head.

Hawkes began his new training operation along with his sons Wayne and Michael in November 2007, after parting ways with the Inghams. Mentality was his first lucky Group 1 winner in the George Main Stakes at Randwick in 2008. Hawkes’ training records brought him the recognition he deserved with an induction into the Australian Hall of Fame in 2004. Who knows, Hawkes and his family partnership may be on the way to rewriting the record books once again

To read more about Australian Horse Racing, Jockeys Premiership, Horse Racing Tips, Bookmakers, Racecourses and more, go to Pro Group Racing and receive your free E-Book on How to Win at Horse Racing. ==>

How to Train a Yearling Horse For Horseback

Most people have no idea how to train a yearling horse or what to do with them. So they just practice getting them haltered maybe pick up the feet and then turn them out in pasture until they are 2 or 3 years old, then begin training. Well I look at that time in between as time wasted.

There are many things you can do such as teaching your yearling god basics on the ground. Though don’t make things into a big training session because a yearling is still young has to have time to develop physically and their attention span is usually a lil short. So I suggest working on the little things. Work him in the halter rope and ask him to bend and flex his neck, teach him to yield to pressure form the lead rope. Rub them all over in the stall or out in the open to get them comfortable with being handled.

Also while in the stall, round pen or small area introduce your yearling to some equipment that he’ll have to wear in the next year or so. Introduce him to the saddle blanket and saddle pad. Rub it all over his body head, neck, back and hind quarters. Handle his legs and feet a lot he’ll need to be able to stand still an be handled at trimming time. Another good exercise is teaching him to ground tie. Place the lead rope on the ground under his neck and step back 2 or 3ft if he moves back him up a couple of steps the ground tie him again until he stands still and honors that rope on the ground. Also begin some trailer loading with him. Use some small obstacles outside for your yearling to walk over & jump over.

Use tarps, poles, I also like to use a makeshift 6’wooden bridge to walk over. I also like to teach my yearlings to walk through water especially when it rains. Teach your horse to lunge. Expose your yearling to all sorts of things use your imagination be creative. By the time your horse reaches two years old and its time to start riding he’ll be well prepared and you’ll sure be glad because it will make starting your horse under saddle so much easier and when your start riding those thing learned on the ground will relate to the saddle.

Successful Horse Training is based on the belief that you can build a balanced relationship with your horse using simple but assertive methods that result in gaining trust and respect from your horse. I consult and provide helpful information & resources to enhance your horsemanship.