True Horsemanship Training

Over time l have gained an understanding of how horses communicate with each other in their body language; the way they ask a question of each other. I then looked at the response another horse would give back, what was clear to me was that if one horse asked another horse to move, start, stop, or change direction; provided it was asked in the correct way, another horse would oblige. However if a horse was forceful in the way the question was asked the response would be to kick out and jump around. This only demonstrated that a horse that is under pressure will fight back! I use what l have learned and experienced to show and teach others about communicating and building a greater understanding with their horse. This starts from the ground and then to the saddle.

Horse and rider coordination, keeping a horse soft, free schooling, jumping, leading, lunging, aggression, respecting space, biting, kicking, pushy horses, shoeing, halter training, starting a young horse, loading, road work, remedial work, nervousness, bucking and rearing.

  • Lessons for your horse or horse and rider available.  
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Have you ever gone to another country where they speak a different language? At first you try and talk to them. Then when you realize the other does not understand you, you talk LOUDER! Finally when that doesn’t seem to work you start to use sign and body language. Welcome to the horse’s world. They don’t know what we are saying but they have a sign or body language all of their own.

Many people think Horsemanship is the same thing as negative reinforcement. Before having conversations about Horsemanship with many stables and riders, it was clear that first they needed to understand what True Horsemanship really meant.

Over use of negative reinforcement in training falls short even from those who on the outside who appear to be really great with horses. What l mean here is not just the use of negative reinforcement but how far people are willing to go inflicting uncomfortable stimulus to get their desired result. Without using positive reinforcement their methods are based solely on negative reinforcement (which is not True Horsemanship) and cannot be considered completely gentle because they are based upon too much fear and pressure on the animal.

True Horsemanship means using communication, understanding and leadership instead of intimidation and fear. True Horsemanship is learning how to understand your horse, getting your horse to understand you. Learn about your horse so that you know how to motivate him, communicate with him and get the best results from him.

The most significant difference between my methods to others is the freedom of choice l allow a horse to have in the process. Contrary to what you may believe or have been told, when you allow a horse to have a choice to learn they will still choose to do so. A horse that is trained with the freedom to have an opinion vs. one that is forced no matter how nicely that force is applied will always be a much happier, more confident horse who will want to learn faster and have a relationship with you.

Training is done with the horse and then later its owner/handler in the form of lessons so that the owner/handler learns what they need to do to gain the horse’s respect and confidence. It does no good for the horse or its handler for me to get things going really well with a horse, if the owner is not going to be able to pick up where l left off and establish their own rapport and relationship. Horses respond to each person uniquely, largely based on what that person brings to the table. If you bring indecisiveness, uncertainty, or fear, your horse will respond to you in kind to varying degrees despite how well l or anyone else has trained it. You need to earn your horse’s respect and confidence the same way l will, and that’s what we would like to teach you.

Most importantly, you must learn that whether you are on the ground or in the saddle, you must be able to time all cues to the horse’s feet!

Round Pens force a horse to pay attention to you due to the curved nature of the walls and leave them nowhere to escape to; it’s relatively easy to push the horse out and to cut them off to force changes in direction. I believe if you invest the time into learning to read the posture of your horse then both you and your horse will have a far greater understanding of each other. Round pens do a few things for you that may seem harder to accomplish in a square or natural area:

In order for us to have good Horsemanship skills in the saddle we must establish good communication and understanding from the ground.

Working with horses is a privilege.