What’s your plan when you head out to drive your horse? Do you make a plan and follow that plan, or do you follow your horse’s nose? Some people will answer that they are going to do ring work, dressage, cones, or fitness and feel like that’s a pretty good plan. But that is hardly […]
Do you ever feel like the second half of your dressage test or pleasure class is just a little better than the first half? Maybe you’ve even thought, “If I only had a little more time to put my pony together, I could have had a much better drive.” That’s a common experience. Sometimes it […]
Most people think of transitions as that moment when your horse goes from one gait to another, such as a walk to a trot. However, that interpretation sells the importance of transitions short and also explains why so many people and horses have difficulty with their transitions. A transition should be viewed as a multi-phase […]
It only takes a quick search on the internet to find all kinds of misguided theories on why driving horses wear blinders. The most common reason given is that they are used to keep the horse from being distracted. Speaking of distractions, the search will no doubt soon lead to a path that will have […]
Carriage drivers may be a little more isolated from the horse than riders, but that doesn’t mean that you loose the “feel” for the horse. Here’s a great exercise to get reconnected to your horse from the carriage. Your Momentum Map Think about momentum for a moment. For example, picture yourself in your truck and […]
In my practice, I rarely use bucking straps (aka. kicking strap.) That doesn’t mean that I’m against them. I have several students who keep bucking straps on their harness because their pony has been known to have a buck or two here and there. The purpose of the bucking strap is to prevent the horse […]
There’s a pervasive syndrome that has been affecting the equine world for years, decades really. Yet it goes on, without discussion, mostly unchecked, and untreated. It’s known only as GPS (Good Pony Syndrome) to professionals who can only roll their eyes as they observe it. GPS has its roots in well-intentioned horse owners who want […]
Winter is often the “off-season” for most horses and horse people. For me, it’s the “off-the-field season,” but in many ways, it’s my “on season” for a lot of the work I do. I’m always quite busy hosting online classes every other week, but that’s only part of it. Much of my work goes on […]
The Day I Learned About the Outside Rein. As a young horse trainer, I was aware of this concept called “the outside rein.” But my understanding was entirely conceptual. Sure, I had an outside rein, we all have an outside rein. The rein that is opposite of the way you’re turning, simple. But my tools […]
Three fun things you can do with your horse this winter without freezing your buns off! Winter brings short days, cold temperatures and hard footing. That might put a damper on your carriage driving, but it doesn’t have to bring all horse activities to a full stop. This time of year is a great time to […]
This little note on bending is long overdue. I’ve put it off for a long time for good reasons. The main reason is that most people get their priorities out of order when the subject of bending comes up. Too many people think of manipulating their horse’s bend long before any of the prerequisites to […]
Here’s a rare experience for me; Sitting down on a Sunday morning with coffee doing some reading. It’s rare because Sundays are not usually my low activity days for me. During the year I’m usually pretty engaged in some activity on weekend days. Sunday mornings usually involve getting up a little earlier in the morning […]
A student of mine was at an equine expo watching the various demonstrations and clinics. Afterward, she sent me a note; “Not one clinician told their students to look up and away from the horse. Is that [looking ahead of your horse] just an Andy-ism?” My reply; “Not an Andy-ism, just a global world truth […]
The secret to training horses successfully is building one success upon the next. While big moments do happen, sustainable change requires consistent skill building. Learning the technique of building skills “Strides at a Time” can improve your success leading to greater gains.
You can get a lot out of one lesson, but when you combine that with followup lessons the rewards are exponential. Read how quickly the benefits add up.