In this section, you can find advice on how to train a horse, from basic riding skills to dressage and show jumping and more complex horse training

Platinum learned to obey orders and do as he’s told — eventually, at least. The 4-year-old quarterhouse stud starred in the horse demonstrations Friday, Sept. 6, at the National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration. Trainer Chance O’Neal explained — as with teaching young humans — patience and persistence are key. And like training anyone, he said, expectat...

Don Blazer looks at why it isn't a good idea to train a physically tired horse.  "A tired horse is a good horse,” claim some clinicians.    No!  A tired horse is a tired horse.  He isn’t anything other than what he was, except tired. The “tired horse is a good horse” advice was in reference to another statement about ar...

By the time a horse is a year old, he is already getting pretty big.  It is difficult to train him if he does not already have solid foundations. He should already know how to lead, stand for being groomed, and behave for the vet and farrier. The next stage is to teach your horse how to tie.  It is important to wait until he is at least a year old before tying, as it takes time f...

When your horse turns two, you can finally consider beginning his training to be a riding horse.  Assuming that he already knows the basics of being led and tied, he is now mature enough to handle light work, and real training. It is possible to begin training your two-year-old to longe.  While it may seem simple, longing can be quite hard on a young horse’s joints, so b...

When your foal arrives, it can be hard to imagine that there is a lot that you can do with him.  However, a lot of the most important training in a horse’s life happens before he turns a year old. Much of this training ideally should happen before he is weaned.  Unfortunately, a lot of young horses do not get enough handling while still with their dam, and arrive at their n...

While most people know that the Hack division at a hunter show is a flat division where the horses are not asked to jump, many people do not understand the difference between the classes that are offered.  In fact, if you watch the division you will often see horses ridden the same way through the same gaits through all the classes without any obvious differences at all. The hack divi...

When people talk about natural horsemanship, they often discuss the efforts of specific trainers and methods.  However, the basic theories of natural horsemanship have been around for many years, and have been a part of quality trainers’ programs long before the term became popular. One of the most important parts of natural horsemanship is communicating with the horse.  Be...

As a beginner, you will have likely learned that to use your hands, you need to pull on the reins, and to use your leg, you kick or squeeze the horse.  While this is fine for beginners, as you advance in your skills, you will find that you need to use more subtle aids to get the results you need. To understand how a horse reacts to the aids, you need to realize that a horse’s re...

One of the first steps in training a horse is to teach him to longe.  The longe line is the best place to train a horse many of the basics, from learning its transitions to accepting tack, and even accepting a rider for the first time. To begin with, you need a horse that knows how to lead without difficulty.  Ideally, you should have worked on leading your horse from both sides ...

While many people understand the basic concept of longing, it is amazing how often the basic language of longing is lost.  Longing a horse is not simply having it run around in circles.  Instead, it is a fine-tuned training process where your horse listens to your aids as carefully as though you were riding. When longing, you should stand so that you are facing your horse’s...

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