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The “Whoa Back”

The “Whoa Back”

In this exercise, you stop your horse, ask him to further soften to your hands, then back him up several times in succession in response to “whoa.” In this way, the idea that “whoa” means no forward motion is reinforced, plus he learns to get off the bit the moment...

Fencing Troubleshooting

Fencing Troubleshooting

The most common mistakes people make with this exercise are failing to continue driving the horse all the way up to the fence, and pulling on the reins instead of letting the fence do the work. Troubleshooting Common problems in “fencing,” and how to fix them.  If the...

Troubleshooting the Runaround

Troubleshooting the Runaround

Common problems in the run-around, and how to fix them. If the horse:  Races: If he starts speeding up on his own instead of responding to your cues for speed, break him down to a stop then back up. Then just sit for a minute. If that’s not helpful, make him collect...

The Runaround

The Runaround

The quality of a horse’s stop is directly related to the quality of his rundown. This exercise, in which you build to rundown speed, slow and collect instead of stopping, then go around the end of your arena and build to rundown speed again, is perfect for working on...

Fencing

Fencing

We used to think “fencing” (using the fence as a barrier to help get a horse sliding in his stop) made a horse bracy in the front end. But I think we just weren’t doing it correctly. Done properly, fencing can help teach your horse to run straight and true. This is...

Essential 7: Pivot Troubleshooting

Essential 7: Pivot Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting. Common problems in the pivot, and how to fix them:  • Too much bend. This is caused by trying to pull your horse around with the direct (inside) rein, so overbending his neck. We resort to this when we can’t make his shoulders move. This will actually...

Essential 7 Pivoting on the Hind End

Essential 7 Pivoting on the Hind End

The 360-degree pivot on the hind end is the start of what will eventually be your spin, so a correct foundation is extremely important. All major problems in the maneuver, now and later, result from lack of shoulder control. With Essential 3 (the counter-arc circle)...

Essential 6 Moving Off Your Leg Troubleshooting

Essential 6 Moving Off Your Leg Troubleshooting

Common problems in getting your horse to move off your leg, and how to fix them. • Unevenness which means one end is getting ahead of the other along the fence or diagonally across the arena. Moderate your cues for the end that moves too fast. It's usually the front...

Essential 6 Moving Off Your Leg While Mounted

Essential 6 Moving Off Your Leg While Mounted

In the last article we worked on teaching our horse to move away from pressure while he was tied at the hitch or wash rack, and while leading from the ground.   Now, let’s mount up and see if we’ve laid a good enough foundation. Opening a gate. Now mount up and see if...

Essential 6 Moving Off Your Leg On the Ground

Essential 6 Moving Off Your Leg On the Ground

Getting your horse to move off your leg (or move laterally) is key to getting control of his whole body. Lateral control of the hind end and shoulders helps you in simple things, like opening and closing gates or backing in a straight line. It also makes possible more...

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