Horse Training

The benefit of riding out

Riding out has several mental and physical advantages that are needed for a working horse's health

The saying, “A change is as good as a holiday,” is very relevant to the way we work our horses. Including regular outrides in the training schedule provides a mental and physical tonic for horses, and benefits them in numerous ways. Mental benefits “Two consecutive days of training in the arena is as much as most horses can mentally cope ...

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What kind of coach are you?

It's important to understand the individual goals and lifestyle of each rider

In the equestrian sport many riders become trainers, but what makes a good trainer in particular? What is it like to be coaching somebody both in their daily training sessions and at competitions? Equine Support International (ESI) brings you a series of three articles that will guide you through some basic principles of coaching. Anne Loosveld, one of the ESI ...

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Trick training

The bow is difficult to teach and requires a lot of flexibility on the horse's part

There are loads of different methods when it comes to teaching horses how to do tricks. Trick training can be a fun form of mental stimulation for your horse and can also have benefits towards schooling and groundwork. This month we take a look at some standard and basic tricks that you can teach your equine friend! Ask and reward One ...

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Regaining confidence after a fall

The severity of your fall might mean that you'll need physical rehabilitation

It’s commonly said among riders that you aren’t a true horse rider until you have had a couple of falls. Falling off a horse is not a matter of ‘if’, but rather a matter of ‘when’. Many riders have an innate fear of falling. However, after riding for an extended period of time without a fall, we grow in confidence ...

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The benefits of working on different surfaces

Consider walking on tar road to help strengthen you horse's legs

Soundness is a key factor in equine athletes, and the trainer’s ability to keep the horse in peak condition while working at the required level depends on a complex interaction between the horse and the environment. The surfaces a horse trains and competes on play a crucial role in the horse’s ability to perform at his best and avoid injury. ...

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Collection work

Collection encourages the horse to shift his weight to his hind end

We all seem to agree that training must first and foremost contribute to the physical development of the horse. Ultimate collection does not only ask a great deal of straightness, flexibility and co-ordination, it also asks tremendous mental concentration and contribution from your horse. What is collection? Very briefly, in collection you want the horse to shift his weight, which ...

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Dressage for the showjumping horse

Strive for controlled forward impulsion and straightness

While showjumping might seem like a ‘point and shoot’ discipline to some spectators, a good showjumping round requires much more from the horse than just clearing the jumps. Showjumping demands the horse to be adjustable, flexible, in balance, have straightness in his body and have a good and powerful canter. Working the horse on the flat helps to keep him ...

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Tackling water complexes with confidence

Is your horse ready to take the plunge?

Have you ever wondered why some horses fear water? Eventers and some showjumpers can have a hard time convincing their horses to go through water complexes or over water jumps. A young horse naturally fears puddles, because the position of his eyes on the sides of his head doesn’t allow him to see directly beneath him. He can also only ...

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Is your horse straight or skew?

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Is your horse stiff to one side? Are you struggling with bend and contact on that same side? Do you feel that you can’t sit straight in the saddle because the saddle slides to one side? Does your horse always move with his hindquarters in to one side? Are you having difficulties controlling the outside shoulder? If you answered yes ...

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Lengthening and collection


Lengthening and collecting is a useful exercise to practice during schooling sessions because it improves your horse’s level of responsiveness and accuracy, as well as encouraging your horse off the forehand and onto his hind legs. It’s important not to overdo the lengthening and collection in any schooling session because it puts more strain on your horse and can be ...

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