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  • Writer's pictureKristie Cotton

10 tips that help partnership

  1. Health- Horse needs to be thriving to have an interest in his work. Consistent vet care, a knowledgeable farrier, De worming schedule ( preventing ticks as well as parasites) turn out and quality hay are obviously beneficial.  Do not over grain your horse as this leads to stored energy making it impossible for your horse to focus, this  is dangerous.

  2. Tack -I see so many saddles that are placed too far forward. This can hinder the horses shoulders causing discomfort and stumbling. Quite often in an evaluation of horses behavior, it is due to a poor fitting saddle. It becomes easy to believe that a saddle is a saddle and the horse can wear it…Horses have to be comfortable if we expect them to perform well.

  3. Goals- Setting long term goals are great but placing a high expectation on our horses can cause frustration and disappointment. It’s a good idea to not only set your big picture goal but a daily goal as well. This leads to reassurance for both you and your horse and keeps things in an achievable perspective.

  4. Focus- Your horse needs to have obedience. Some people do not accept that word with partnership but working with a 1200 lb animal, you need to know there is an understanding of respect and safety between horse and rider.

  5. Purpose- What is the honest purpose for what you are trying to achieve. Make sure you are seeking help from a knowledgeable instructor that can explain the reason for what you are asking from your horse. ( example: placement of the horses head )

  6. Consistency- This means stay consistent in your communication with your horse. Consistency in aids leads to a great partnership. Consistent repetitive exercises actually raise tolerance level producing weaker response from boredom.

  7. Subtleness- subtle aids ( not jabbing with spurs, yanking reins, etc. ) The most effective riders are the ones that can control horse with slight body nuances.

  8. Influence- The horse lives in the moment, he does not know what your future goals are. His main desire is survival and will protect himself from pain or seek absolute comfort. We want to tap into that comfort, not create heightened  defense mechanisms.

  9. Balance-Horses are not born understanding how to carry a rider. Imagine giving someone a shoulder ride or piggy back ride that was flopping all over the place. You would try to accommodate the balance the best you could. Horses attempt to carry unbalanced riders but this usually leads to muscle imbalance, and resentment. Riders should have an understanding of how to properly balance the horse as well. A balanced light horse is a horse that is easy to sit upon and control in perfect harmony.

  10. Safety- Do not take your horse or yourself out of comfort zone if you are insecure. This type of desensitizing training only re assures the horses insecurities if he has not been properly prepared mentally and physically. Get to genuinely know your horse and how he reacts to situations at his comfort. I have endured quite a bit of alarming situations with horses. I develop trust and confidence with them in a less distracting area before expecting a horse to protect me in an unexpected situation.                      Some before and after pics with these training methods                                             

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