I’ve added a new feature to the blog: submissions. Due to the character limit in the ask box it’s become clear to me that allowing submissions shall be necessary moving forward with the blog, as followers’ input is often called for and has always been welcome. With that said, the Submit Content button is exclusively for submissions and is not intended for any form of questions...
Anonymous asked: would you be able to write some grooming tips on getting white horses clean? especially getting wee stains off! thanks x
Grooming Guides: Bare Minimum Basics
While carefully hand-picking through a mane and tail and generously coating with coat conditioners are optional grooming routines, there are a few things very necessary to the comfort and well-being of your horse. It is generally not acceptable to simply pull your horse out of the pasture, throw your tack on, and gallop off, because likely he is covered in dirt and God only knows what’s wedged in...
Grooming Guides: Introduction
I’ve been meaning to start up a series on grooming because it’s a bit of an obsession of mine, in fact I’m a bit addicted. I’m hoping keeping this series ongoing permanently will help give me an outlet and at least something to post up when I’m feeling less inspired about horsemanship writing. As a kid I always admired horses with perfectly groomed shining coats and...
Grounded Groundwork: Desensitization
I covered desensitization very lightly back when I answered this question, but of course there is a lot more to say on the subject. Desensitization is an important element of groundwork, but it is also something important not to overdo. While ideally your horse should not be afraid of any of your equipment, I’ve encountered horses that were desensitized to the point where you could run at them...
Grounded Groundwork: An Introduction
Groundwork is a very involved topic because there’s just so much to it: so many methods, so many different things to do, different purposes and levels of expertise and pressure, the list can go on. It’s a challenge to try to cover it in a way that’s informative and fair to different methods and frames of mind without going on and on for days. I’m going to try to keep it as brief as I can for...
I felt inclined to share this post from my main...
And I also wanted to apologize for the big gap in posting again. Things have been very strange. But I’m working on material mentally all the time. Thank you all for bearing with me. I’ve been trying to brainstorm for this post for a very long time, and I’m at a loss of what to say. It’s been a long time since I’ve needed to figure out what to say about something so...
Let's Talk Lunging! Part 3: Behavioral Issues...
As I know that there’s been a pretty big break since my last installment of Let’s Talk Lunging, let’s take a moment to refresh our memories. I will be adding in links for quick, easy access to these previous lessons. During our first coverage of lunging, we discussed one lunging behavioural issue with this question: My horse stops randomly while lunging and refuses to move off...
lozzaliza asked: Hi, I am not a very experienced rider as I have only been riding for a year. I absolutely LOVE horses, and would do anything for one of my own, but can't as i live in the city :(. I was wondering, how do you know if you are on the right lead, when cantering? I think thats what its called, lead?
What would you most like me to cover next?
Should I continue with the next part of Let’s Talk Lunging, begin my upcoming grooming series, or cover something else? I’m all ears, readers! I’d always love some input Also, as always, my ask box is always open to questions, suggestions, input, etc. Happy Trails!
The Basics: The Golden Key to Teaching a Horse...
I’m gonna go a little ways into a pretty simple but extremely important concept that we’ve probably all heard at least a little bit about, though most likely you’ve heard a lot about it and use it every day: Pressure and Release. If you’re not familiar with exactly what that means, it refers to applying pressure to your horse in any form (which I’ll go into in a...
eat-sleep-ride asked: Do you think that it is possible for a gelding to be jealous of another horse? Because the other day I was on my 3yo, Dundee, that i broke in 6 months ago and he hasn't had another rider on him. my dad wants to, but i think he's too heavy for him at the moment. Anyway, i was in the round yard with Dundee and 1 of my 6 year old geldings. i rode blaze in front of Dundee and Dundee went...
I’m not sure it’s something my mare is previously familiar with at all. She has never been trusted, and so she has never trusted anyone in return. I’ve found that serious problem horses are the ones who need trust more than any other type of horse on Earth. Even if there are times I come to know that my horse is going to buck or what have you, I still have to keep trust in her....
Get back...off the horse?
I have been told a lot in my life that no matter what happens, you should not ever dismount while your horse is acting up. I’ve always taken that to heart, but I had one trainer that said otherwise. She told me there are times when the smartest thing does involve hopping off, and after thinking about it, I decided she was right. Her idea was that while you should ride through what you can,...
Thoughts on Kindness and Attitude
Things are a bit crazy these days, but I’m trying to (at least mentally) work on new content. I thought I’d share some thoughts for today. I will be finally moving my mare over to my stable in the next few days, so we’re working on trailer loading. My mare is sassy, fiery, and tough, but she can be very delicate and sensitive. She has been pushed and pulled into trailers and...
Work sleep work sleep work sleep work!
I’m very sorry for the big gap. I promise I will write as soon as I can. If any questions come in, as always, I am always open to answering them. Ask away!
Just think of all of the things you could...
Horses can teach you more than any human ever...
But only if you let them. Only if you listen. I can’t stress that enough: just be silent, open your eyes, and take the time to watch and listen.
The Pursuit of Instant Gratification →
I couldn’t have possibly said it better.
Saddle Fitting →
I thought this might be very useful. I absolutely adore the Horse Forum, by the way. :)
I just wanted to put it out there:
If you would prefer email or encounter a problem while trying to use the ask box, please feel free to email me in the same manner you would ask a question here and following the same guidelines clearly set out several times already. If you contact me by email, please disclose either a name, Tumblr account name, or “Anonymous”, so that I know who to address my response to. It would...
A truly great horse will lift you up, but he will...
Just when you get to thinking you’re real smart stuff, he’ll remind you that he’s still just a little bit smarter. Always be thinking when you are working with your horse. If he seems out of hand or extra annoying, chances are he’s actually responding to something inside of you. Sometimes, before you blame your horse, the smartest thing to do is stop, take a deep breath,...
Let's Talk Lunging! Part 2: Training (more...
I won’t be able to go into every little detail about this, but I will at least cover as much as I can. First I would say that for the earliest part of training it would really be best to work with a long lead, around 12’-16’, not a short lead or lunge line. If you absolutely can’t do that, the lunge line would be the next best option, but it would be much more difficult to...
Thoughts for Today:
It doesn’t matter what the people around you think. The only thing that matters is how your horse is seeing you right now. Don’t think he doesn’t know when you’re paying more attention to others than him during training. Why do you think he acts up the worst when you’re trying to impress somebody? It doesn’t matter if you look ridiculous, ugly, stupid, or mean....
I will get back to Lunging, I promise (A Bit About...
But right now I’m gonna quickly talk about bitting, particularly of the Western horse, because I don’t have much time for a full post. I am all about refinement. I love the thought of barely lifting a rein and meeting a quick, accurate response from my horse. In fact, when I train my horses I am constantly working on making them softer and more responsive with less pressure. My most...
New content soon, I promise!
Where have I drawn influence from?
I thought this might be a good topic to cover as I progress with this blog. I do like to give credit where credit is due! I would begin with saying that I do actually naturally have a good understanding of horses. Sometimes it almost feels as though I was meant to be born a horse because I tend to naturally understand them a lot better than I do humans, and have learned to deal with humans better...
marymoo asked: How can I help my horse? He hates any kind of strong smell, like fly spray, rubbing alcohol or vinegar and he won't let you near him to begin de-sentizing him. He starts walking away or moving around whenever he smell the offending ordor.How do i get him used to these smells?
marymoo asked: Mahalo for answering my question on lungeing. Your advice was 'right on' or as they say here in Hawaii..'ONO' ...which is pidgin for EXCELLENT! My horse is improving daily on his round pen exercises. One more question,,,Do you think using the single-line lungeline causes any problems for my horse? Such as pain from being off balance.Since the head and neck are not in a...
Let's Talk Lunging! Part 1: Introduction and...
As promised, I’m going to talk a little bit about the general process of lunging. Similarly to riding, it can be as simple or difficult as is desired or appropriate for the rider. There are many different reasons that a person may want to lunge a horse. A few of those reasons are: -To allow the horse to blow off some steam. -To gain or maintain the horse’s respect. -To...
Because I've been pretty busy lately but want to...
My arms and legs are sore and my fingers are all cut up from trailer loading yesterday. That’s more like it. Merry is making very slow progress. She’s pretty much totally comfortable being almost all the way in the trailer. I ran out of time to get her all the way in which was a shame. But when we were done working I knelt down with her in there and let her eat scraps on the floor for awhile and...
Anonymous asked: Absolutely love this site! Do you have any videos of you working with your horse in the round pen? My horse goes smoothly from a walk to a trot. He will trot 10 times around the round pen then will stop, turn his back end to me and refuse to continue trotting. I kid you not he stops when he has completed 10 circles. I think he outsmarts me everytime..lol
I had not realized that somehow my ask box had been turned off. It is now back up and running for either authored or anonymous questions. I apologize sincerely for any inconvenience this has brought! Once again, my ask box welcomes questions, suggestions, and explanations related to horsemanship. It does not welcome hate mail, unrelated questions, promotions, or examples of horsemanship which I...
To Catch a Wild Horse (Haltering the Inexperienced...
Today I’d like to go a little bit into what personally has worked well for me when it comes to the hard-to-catch horse. I have worked with quite a few horses who were extremely hard to catch, even in a stall, as well as the average, well-trained horse who is just having one of those days where he feels like playing tag, and have perfected a method that has yet to fail me with any horse. ...
What would you like me to talk about next? I’m looking for problems you might have with your horse, things you think are important, or areas where you are curious as to what I do with my horses. Input would be extremely helpful, as I’d like to know what my readers and other onlookers actually want!
arwenthemuse asked: Before I ever get on her back, or even saddle her up, Willow and I do ground work. We lunge, we stand, we disengage. All horses won't do it, but with my Arabian, it allows me to make sure she will give me her head and cooperate before we ever even put the saddle on.
I begin by lunging, and when I am satisfied that she's warm, she stands. Again, when I am satisfied that...
I begin by lunging, and when I am satisfied that she's warm, she stands. Again, when I am satisfied that...
Poll: New Theme?
I wanted something simple, professional yet friendly, and easy to navigate. I liked the square idea because I figured that the big blocks of text might be overwhelming to look through. What do y’all think? If you don’t think it’s right and you can think of one that might be better, feel free to share it. =) Also, the colour scheme is all customizable. I tried to make it sort of...
Safety III: One-Rein Stop
There are a few maneuvers to practice undersaddle which will help you if you find yourself in a bind. A one-rein stop is an invaluable safety mechanism that I believe every rider should familiarize themself with. In this maneuver, the rider loosens up on one rein while reaching down the other rein, then pulls that rein up towards their hip. This action disengages (takes the power out of) the...
I'm only going to clarify this once.
As I would tell a horse, I will tell y’all clearly and I will not pick: Writing me hate mail is a waste of time. It will not be posted or even read. This is a calm space in which to share ideas and I have no interest in arguing. Respectful discussions about subjects that might actually get us or the readers somewhere are more than welcome, in fact, encouraged, but certain things will not be...
They say in riding schools They have a regular book of rules. The man who...– a poem by the late, great horseman Tom Dorrance
You cannot train a horse with shouts and expect it to obey a whisper.– Dagobert D. Runes