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.
The most valuable skill you can teach a horse is to stand still. You may think that’s an overstatement but it’s not even the slightest exaggeration. You can accomplish more in all of your training by giving your horse “the skill of being still.” Unfortunately, many people fall into the trap of thinking that patience […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
Repetition alone isn’t the key to learning. We’ve all stood somewhere near a ring with a riding instructor yelling “Heels down! Head up!” over and over again until their voice goes hoarse. If yelling those two commands didn’t work the first 16 times, why would they work the following 30 times?
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 […]
Every spring horse owners around the world wonder and worry about what they should be doing with, and expecting from their horses when they return them to regular work. For some, the worry comes from fresh horses, that are full of a season’s worth of pent-up energy. Others are more concern about getting the horse […]
Having a horse that doesn’t stand can be one of the most frustrating and confounding problems. It limits the activities you can comfortably participate in, it puts you and other people at risk, and can just generally take the fun out of being around your horse. There are reasons that your horse won’t stand that […]
From time to time I get notes of thanks and other feedback in response to Online Classes or Lesson Plans here on the site. It’s really gratifying to read about how useful these classes are for people in such real terms. As you can imagine, I put a huge amount of work into the classes. […]