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Doing it Right the First Time

By now I'm sure that many of you have probably seen, read or attended a clinic on the correct, easiest of fastest way to train a horse, unless you have been living under a rock. Most of them are safe and effective for getting the job done over the short term, but what happens when you run into a problem a week, six months, or a year down the road?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret, “Doing it right the first time”, will save a lot of time money and aggravation down the road no matter what discipline you decide to take up.

There are ten steps that will be outlined and need to be done in the correct order to achieve the proper results. This style of training can be started with a horse of any age or current level of training. With this program your horse will have to achieve and understand each step before moving on to the next step.  The beauty of following this program is that any time you run into a training problem you can drop back down to the previous step, fix it, and the try the following step again.

Here is the outline along with a brief description:

1. Rhythm

A. Evenness of movements- order of foot fall

B. Walk

C. Trot

D. Canter

2. Relaxation

A. All muscles are relaxed
B. Back muscles are loose and swing
C. Neck muscles seek the bit

3. Freedom of gaits

A. Legs reach forward from the hip and shoulder joints without resistance
B. The rider does not interfere with the horse’s motion

4. Contact

A. Even, elastic, steady connection between the rider’s hands and the horse’s mouth
B. The rider has an independent seat

5. Straightness

A. Hind feet step in the same tracks as the front feet
B. Circles help work on straightness

6. Balance

A. Equal distribution of weight

7. Impulsion

A. Thrust
B. Elastic pushing off the ground from the hindquarters
C. If the rider increases driving aids, the horse does not speed up, he takes a bigger stride

8. Suppleness

A. The ability for the horse to bend in all joints without stiffness

9. On the Aids

A. The horse has no resistance and accepts as well as accepts the rider’s aids obediently
B. The horse is connected from the hocks through the back to the mouth

10. Collection

A. The horse is gathered together
B. The horse’s frame is shorter
C. The horse’s hindquarters are lower and his hocks have more bend
D. The horse has more lift- impulsion

The biggest problem I see in the horse world is that a majority of riders think that if they pull their horse head toward his chest and that the horse is broke over at the poll that they “collecting” their horses when in all actuality all they are doing is putting a headset on their horse’s. True collection is achieved the horse being driven forward from the riders seat and legs into a soft hand, not just pulling the horses head down and back with a resistant hand.

If there are any questions, please feel free to ask. It is my job to explain proper horsemanship and training techniques so that EVERYONE will be able to understand. Remember horses have been trained for thousands of years without buying and using the latest gimmick to come on the market. A little bit of knowledge goes a long way.

As always; Ride Hard, Be Safe, Have Fun - Steve Kutie