I’m often asked, “How much is too much contact, and how little is too little.” The answer often depends on what it is that you’re doing with your horse. But the question of how much contact you should use goes beyond the specific activity your are doing with your horse. It can change within the course of a single workout. Instead of focusing on “How much contact should I have?” you should focus on “What is the most effective contact for that moment?” Read more and watch the video.
As a carriage driver, your voice is a critical aid in your communication with your horse. It’s as important as the rider’s seat. It helps to translate your rein and whip aids into action. Of course, the use of verbal aids can go in a lot of directions. Too much, and your horse is likely […]
Your reins are your primary communication device when driving your horse or pony in the carriage. So how you use those reins is of critical importance. Here are some tips on how to make those communications come through loud and clear to your horse.
Probably two-thirds of the information passed between the driver and the horse is transmitted through the reins. It stands to reason that the more clearly and accurately we can handle the reins, the clearer and more accurate our communication will be. That’s where being able to achieve stillness on the reins is critical. Of course, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Many carriage drivers struggle with their horse taking a step backward after completing a halt. Understanding why the horse is taking the backward step is the first step toward solving the problem.
What constitutes “excessive use of the whip?” As carriage drivers, one of our most valuable communication aids is the whip. In fact, it’s so important that we are required to have the whip in hand anytime we are driving in a competition. Like any tool, it can be misused. The American Driving Society lists “excessive […]