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.
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, […]
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that how you’re using your body on the carriage effects how your horse is moving. After all, you’re fairly isolated from the horse, and you’re sitting 3-4 feet behind him. But small changes in your body can make big differences in your horse’s way of going. Here’s a short video […]
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 […]
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 […]