Horse Training Tips
Horse Training Methods
Horses have been trained and used by man for thousands of years. There are many books written on horse training and just as many experts with their own training methods. All trainers need the proper training methods for a particular horse in order to develop the young horse's physique and behavior for its intended use.
Natural horse training has become very popular in recent years as opposed to the "breaking" techniques of the past. As a general rule, there are some common, effective horse training routines and techniques that have withstood the test of time and are widely used by all trainers today. A common method is pressure and release horse training. Always keep in mind that each horse has its own individual personality and one should always be open to different training methods as long as the training method allows the horse the time to use it’s thinking side of it’s brain instead of it’s flight side, and the training technique does not harm the horse or place the handler in danger.
Things to Consider Before You Begin
The main parameters to keep in mind for training a young horse are: age, breed, regimen, environment, history and disposition. Most trainers will agree that a good age to begin training a horse is around 2 to 3 years of age for a under saddle training. Most horses are developed enough physically and mentally to withstand weight on their back and they have gained a more mature mind to be able to comprehend and stay focused for a longer period of time. Although a person should take in consideration the horse and it’s individual development for training, some horses will mature faster than others and some horses will be faster to learn than others. Also, the background and history of the individual horse needs evaluation. You would not start the same way with a green horse or one that is totally wild as you would one that has had 30 days of training or one that has been handled since birth. A horse that is flighty, spooky and full of apprehension and distrust is started different than one that is trusting and calm.
When to Begin Your Horses Training
All things must be considered and evaluated in the beginning. Horses are all individuals and need individual evaluation. I actually believe that training begins on day one. When I start to teach a foal who I am. Whether this is a horse you just purchased or a new foal the process is the same as far as getting to know each other. It is just longer for a new foal or an untouched horse or one that has been mishandled or abused. A foal is not but a few days old when I introduce a halter to it and start the education of leading. I am very gentle and take small segments of time training because the attention span of a youngster is so small. The same is true with the untouched or mishandled. It will take a longer time to gain the trust from this horse than one that has never had a reason to distrust humans.
Patience, Patience, Lots of Patience
Take your time and never get harsh in your corrections and training. Be persistent and consistent and most of all have lots of patience. Of course any bad behavior is reprimanded immediately. At any age, bad behavior needs to be stopped. Foals are curious and don’t know their boundaries. Mares will put them in their place and so should you. A quick reprimand, within 3 seconds of the offence, needs to take place, quick and to the point without anger on your part. Then back to the lesson at hand or to the job you were doing. Whether you have just purchased a new horse or you have a young foal, you will want to make sure you can lift and clean all four feet, while the horse stands quietly. Make sure you can brush and groom your horse and touch him all over in your training. You want to make sure your horse will flex it’s neck, eventually touching its side before receiving the release. This should be done on the ground with the young foal and up, then in the saddle once riding. If your horse knows this one move, really knows it…. you will be surprised what a difference it will make in the response and lightness that will follow. Learn more about this technique at Horse Training - Pressure and Release. Use a regime appropriate to the age and ability of your horse. Stay safe and have fun. Fun for both you and your horse. Don’t push too fast and ask too much of an unconditioned horse. You want them to enjoy riding just like you do. Remember, a properly trained horse is a safe horse and is a pleasure to ride or work with.