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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

5 Things You Must Teach Your Horse Before Riding



1.  Voice commands

A great start before riding would be to teach your horse voice commands.  This is because it is much easier to get your horse going forward and slowing down if he knows what you are asking him.  It is then much easier to teach your horse the correct aids without doing the usual, kick until he does what you want' thing.



2.  Flexing

Flexing is keeping the horse's body straight and moving the horses head to each side.  Imagine drawing two lines from your horse's shoulders forwards.  By bending your horse's head to that line you are flexing the correct amount.  On the ground, you can start doing this at stand still and walk pretty easily.



3.  bending ground exercise

After flexing always comes bending!  Flexing introduces the horse to bending and you will use flexing to get your horse on the right bend.  I have found that it is actually much better to teach your horse to bend on the ground before riding.

The first step is to tack your horse up and take them to the school.  Now standing at the girth area, hold the reins with your arm stretched out to the side to tell then to walk forward and in a circle.  You are then going to put your hand in the stirrup and put pressure on the horse's side at the girth.  Hold that pressure as you walk with your horse in a circle until he tips his nose towards your hand and curves his body around you.  As soon as he does this you need to remove all pressure and give him praise.   



4.  Stand still at a mounting block

Something that many people neglect while training a horse is teaching them to stand still at a mounting block.  I do a few exercises with this to make sure the horse is really listening to me.  First I teach my horse to stand still when I ask.  Next, I will put him at the mounting block, tell him to stand and walking away.  You can then walk back and ask him to walk away.  Next get him back at the block and ask him to stand.  Now you can start doing things like messing with the saddle, picking the reins up or putting your foot in the stirrup.  If your horse moves at any point just move him back to the correct place, ask him to stand and do whatever made him move again.  If he does stand still give him praise and ask him to walk away.



7.  Getting steering done right

I find that getting a horse to move in the direction that you want starts on the ground.  I like to start by leading my horse around the school.  When I want to make a turn I walk on the opposite side that I am turning.  I put pressure on the stirrup that is on my side and almost walk into the horse to get him to turn.  You should get to the point where stirrup pressure behind the girth means turn.




TheRider'sReins 

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