Confidence Lost and Found – Overcoming Fear

“You have to let your heart be soft. You have to let your love be just an inch bigger than your fear.” Photo by Anna Blake

Ever notice how horse stories all have the same plot? We get a new horse, usually the wrong one. There’s a period of struggle. We get bad advice, we lose money, we get bucked off. We persist, two steps forward and one step back. In time, the horse ends up …

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What to Do When Your Horse is Wrong – Affirmative Training Shapes Behavior

Training is directing your horse toward something he doesn’t know. Photo by Anna Blake

It started the way it usually starts. Either the horse looked to the side or the rider pulled on her horse’s face. It’s the fundamental disagreement; the rider thinks it’s her right to control the horse and the horse doesn’t like having metal jammed on his jawbone. A common miscommunication, …

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How to be Your Performance Horse’s Best Friend – Listen to Horses in Their Own Language

Photo courtesy of Anna Blake

The horse is relaxed and soft, volunteering his best answer to the rider’s quiet cues. Whether a competition horse or your trail horse, a sweet and successful partnership requires two-way conversations. Find a deeper connection with your horse by listening to his calming signals—the subtle body language horses use to …

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Teaching Timing

This month I want to talk to riding instructors — people who teach other people to ride from the middle of the ring — as opposed to trainers who teach the horse. Whether your client is horse or human, a key ingredient in training or riding is timing. The skilled, …

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Tips for Buying a Kid’s Horse – Youth Horses Need Special Qualities to be Suitable for the Job

Photo by Kenton Wright

So, it’s time to get that horse-crazy child of yours a four-legged creature affectionately known as a “pony”. How do you go about deciding what’s right for this next phase of life? What do you look for? As a father of a horse loving 7-year-old boy, I’ve had to answer …

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Trainer’s Corner: The Value of Groundwork

Training Success Comes When We Control a Horse’s Feet By Evan Bonner   Most horsemen today know the importance of training a horse through quality groundwork. But I think it’s important to have a deeper understanding of why groundwork prepares a horse to be ridden. With every horse I plan …

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