Safety in the Herd

Doing anything in a herd of horses has the potential to be dangerous. If you don’t have the respect of every horse in your herd, you can be run over or inadvertently kicked as your horses establish their pecking order. It is very important that you establish your leadership in the herd to maintain your safety. Click to open file for the rest of the article.


A spooky horse can be difficult to ride. You might feel you never know what will set off the next jump, and sometimes one horse spooking will set off the horses around him. It is easy for a spook to turn into a wreck. So this month, we will cover how to help your horse learn to control his emotions and have confidence in you as a rider and leader, even in unfamiliar or scary situations. Click to open file for the rest of the article.

Loping with Confidence

When you are first teaching a young horse to carry a rider at the lope, you want him to learn to be relaxed and confident. Starting the process with these things in mind will help you avoid lots of the common problems that you might see at the lope, like rushing, running away, and anxiety on the part of the horse and the rider. First, after I have loped a young horse out a few times in a straight line, I like to start building to the point where I can get a nice circle at the lope. I like to do this in an open, flat meadow. This setting is very low pressure and should be free of distractions. It can just be you and your horse, and you can focus on what you are trying to do without other horses stalled around you or fences in your way. Click to open file for the rest of the article.

Rider Position-Posture

This month, we’ll cover a fun exercise that will improve your riding and confidence in the saddle. I want to start by saying that safety always needs to be your first concern, and for this exercise you need a broke horse that you trust completely. You also need a friend on the ground that knows you and your horse, and is aware of your riding level. Both your friend and your horse should be familiar with round pen training, and be comfortable in the pen changing directions on cue and changing speed. Use caution and common sense throughout this exercise. Click to open file for the rest of the article.

Saddling Tips

Saddle fit is important and affects your horse’s comfort and your safety. This month, we will cover saddling tips including safety, adjustments, fit, and position. I’ll start by talking about how I like to leave my saddle when I take it off. I think it’s important to leave the saddle with the cinches and breast collar buckled up neatly on the off side, everything out of the way and not dragging on the ground. Not only is this neat, but it keeps your equipment clean since your cinches are not going to be dragging in the dirt when you pick up the saddle, and it keeps the cinches from flying around and hitting your friends or your horse when you swing the saddle up onto your horse’s back. Click to open file for the rest of the article.

Stallion Manners

If you own a stallion or have ever been around one, you probably understand the importance of good manners. A badly mannered stallion can be very dangerous to the people and horses around him. This month, we will discuss some simple exercises for establishing respect and control when you are leading your stallion in any situation. You may wonder, are stallion manners different from mare or gelding manners? I say no. Good manners are good manners, regardless of the horse. Click to open file for the rest of the article.

Helping your Horse Overcome Fear

Your horse will be afraid of many things in his life, and that is natural. It’s how he survives in the wild. But, a horse that is out of control when he is afraid is dangerous to you and those around you whether you are on the ground or under saddle. This month, we’ll discuss how you can help your horse overcome fear, using fear of clippers as an example. Click to open file for the rest of the article.