Our outlook on training is to keep the horses happy. We are always working to keep training a pleasant experience for a horse.  Remember, it is hard for a horse to forget a maneuver that included pain.


Nothing can replace the time you spend getting to know a horse. Pay attention to their personalities.  Watch them eat. Spend time brushing them. Look for changes. This way you can detect a problem or soreness before it becomes a big issue. Then find the appropriate professional to help, veterinarian, dentist, chiropractor or maybe even just you. 


Never underestimate the use of bit guards. They are cheap insurance that your bit is not pinching your horse.

Any bit that gags or slides on the shank should have bit guards or it can pinch.  There is no way to know for sure if your bit has pinched your horse, so just put the bit guards on. This simple and cheap solution can save you training issues down the road.

Splint boots are another pet peeve of mine. Well I should say the lack of them is. Just bend down and put your splint and overreach (bell) boots on. And really, we should all be using back ones a lot more often too. Even if we don’t see it, your horse can be hitting himself.  Especially the young ones. It will be a lot better ride if your horse is not distracted by banging himself.

And spurs! There is really never any need to cut your horse. Over spurring while in the arena is a major cause of gate sour horses. Try to make the arena the nice place to go. So, use spurs if needed but, please check the severity of them.


Yes, horses do learn from repetition, but that does not mean 10,000 of them.  Don’t bore your horse to death. We have found that horses learn faster over time in 30 to 45 minute or less sessions. And they will like their job better also.


Never forget how important praise is. If you scold them when they do wrong, pet them when they do right. Tell your horse “Good Boy.” Remember to do this even if it was just slightly better than the last time. One percent improvement a day is 100% in one hundred days. 

Until next month, think about your horse’s comfort. And in this heat hopefully both you and your horse can stay cool and happy.

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