Using a round-yard to gain respect

Have you ever gone out to collect your horse from his paddock only to find he’s giving you the finger? As soon as he hears the gate latch go, he’s off in the other direction, head up turning from left to right, tail virticle. If ever there is a time when your horse won’t let you catch him – then is the time that he needs a refresher course in the round yard on just exactly who is the one in charge here.

Training and spending time with your horse in a round yard to me is like being in a think tank for your horse. The round yard seems to sharpen up your horses focus on you, it also gives you lots of opportunities to stop, stand and wait it out knowing you and your horse are in a more confined, safer area. Using a round yard encourages your horse to listen to you more.

Round yard training is a great, safe place where you can teach your young horse to be responsive, submissive, and patient. Young or old – this not only helps build your relationship, but creates a firm foundation for training.

Continue reading Using a round-yard to gain respect

Finding the Right Trainer for You

Easier said than done right. It’s not an easy find really. A few things come into play for most people that are looking for the right trainer to train their most prized possession.

What are some of the things owners like to find in their chosen trainer:

  • good name
  • excellent horsemanship skills
  • experience
  • weekly training fee
  • value for money (eg: feed supplied, no added extra show fees etc.)
  • personality
  • approachability
  • availability
  • professionalism
Continue reading Finding the Right Trainer for You

How to correct a low head carriage

Help me get my horses head up!

One of the questions I received in my “free book” competition was how to fix a horse’s low head carriage. I deemed this the winning question because they’re definitely out there in the show pen.

Thanks and congratulations to the winner of “From Go to Whoa” for sending in your great question.

This is a topic I would really like to write about.

Head carriage is for some reason misunderstood at times and goes against the A.Q.H.A. rule book.

Working on fixing a low head carriage

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Three tips to help you win in Hunter Under Saddle

Hunter Under Saddle horses should move with long, low strides reaching forward with ease and smoothness, be able to lengthen stride and cover ground with relaxed, free-flowing movement, while exhibiting correct gaits that are of the proper cadence. The quality of the movement and the consistency of the gaits is a major consideration. The head position should be slightly in front of, or on the vertical.

Three tips you might use to help you win in hunter under saddle

Continue reading Three tips to help you win in Hunter Under Saddle

Look after your horse’s hooves

Under normal conditions, a horse’s hooves should maintain a natural moisture balance. However, sometimes they can get extra dry, cracked, and brittle in cold or dry weather. In this case, it’s a good idea to help your horse’s hooves maintain an ideal moisture level by applying hoof oil. You can easily make it at home using a few simple ingredients. Apply homemade hoof oil to protect your horse’s hooves from excessive moisture or prevent them from drying out.

From Go To Whoa

Training your own horse

A$35.00

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Seven major criteria to look for in your horse

1 .Broke and Quiet

The most important quality that any ridden or halter horse should possess is the ability to be broke and quiet.

2. Soft and Smooth

A soft and smooth horse is one that hits the ground light and soft on all four feet and travels with drive and impulsion from behind with great rhythm.

3. Functionally Correct

A horse that picks up the correct gait and their leads when called for and not deviate from them throughout a class. Breaks of gait (both upward and downward) and wrong leads are evidence that a horse is not very functionally correct and is probably not a pleasure to ride. Horses that travel with their head and neck excessively low (for several strides) are also not functionally correct and should be judged accordingly.

4. Consistency and Quality

The consistency and quality is extremely important. A horse that shows consistency and quality is one who gives the appearance of being a “pleasure” to ride. These horses are expressive, natural, attractive and appear as though they are enjoying their work. They offer an overall pleasing picture when viewed on the rail and simply possess great amounts of eye appeal. The horse that is consistent in it’s quality of movement should be given credit.

5. Balance

Credit should be given to a horse that moves in a balanced, forward moving stride with a great degree of lift and flow. Likewise, a horse that is moving in an
excessively slow, unacceptably low head carriage which will cause unbalanced stride should be penalized.

Balance in a moving horse is the ability to keep itself properly positioned while in motion, thus giving an impression of stability in motion. This also
relates to stride length. The best way to visualize this is to draw an imaginary line down the center of the horse. A balanced horse at the jog and lope should take the
same length of stride forward of the line as they take behind the line. Quite often, horses will be forced to shorten their stride in an attempt to make them move at a slower pace. Most of the time (this can be seen especially at the jog), the horse will then begin to move in an unbalanced stride. Sometimes, these horses will be called lame because they are moving longer with a leg on one side of the body than they are with the other.

6. Lift and Flow

Lift is a period of suspension or an elevated carriage, and flow is to move smoothly,
easily and to be fluid.

7. Self Carriage

Self Carriage is a term that includes all three Balance, lift and flow.

Without the components of balance, lift and flow, self-carriage cannot be achieved. Balance and flow cannot be achieved without forward motion and the proper cadence. When a horse lacks forward motion or cadence, balance is sacrificed and flow is lost. This horse is not comfortable.

There is one particular problem, that can happen if the horse lacks forward motion – “low head carriage”, which will put the horse on the forehand.

Book – From Go To Whoa

Training Your Own Horse

A$35.00

Old habits die hard!

How to quick-fix a horse’s bad habits in the show pen

Anticipation

I am always on about repetition when training your horses. This is the quickest way to instill into your horse something you want to teach them – repetition! Until repetition of a certain kind backfires on you.

Nothing worse is there, you’re in the class, the announcer calls for a jog, however, it’s out of sequence to what your horse is used to, he hears the mic “assumes” it’s time to lope, suddenly your whole world collapses at your feet, your pulling the reins, he’s lifting his head and trying to lope off, did the judge see it? Most likely, yes.

This is only one scenario that could lose you a place in the lineup.

Horses are incredibly smart animals. They learn to listen to the announcer for transitions instead of to their rider’s cues. They can become anxious and want to move up into what they think is coming next!

Continue reading Old habits die hard!

Using a snaffle on a Senior Horse

Senior horse snaffle bit training…

Or any other bit for that matter!

I think the worst thing you can do once you hunt down that curb/shank bit that your horse loves and works well in is to use it on him day in, day out. When you do find that “favourite” bit the best thing you can do is to keep it for those special occasions like showday.

Lot’s of riders’ do this and it is “common sense” to them to say “Beauty! My horse loves this new bit, I can relax now and stop worrying!” Down the track though, I get calls and questions all the time wondering why their favourite bit is not working anymore. You can liken it to using the same spurs day in day out, after a time the horse starts to become dull to the feel of the spurs you use every day.

Continue reading Using a snaffle on a Senior Horse

How to stop being nervous when showing your horse

I travelled to this lovely lady the other day to give her a riding lesson. She was so nice. She had been working with her horse at home for quite a few years, she was a lovely rider, had a handy horse and do you know she had never competed at a show? As we were going through the lesson, I asked her why she had not shown as yet, her answer was sad to me, “fear” was her answer. Not fear of getting bucked off or fear of having a crash on the way but fear of looking silly if she mucked up! That was indeed sad to hear especially when her dream was to show one day. The only thing stopping her was fear of mucking up.

It’s not a “given” that if you own a horse you must show it, however, when you want to get out and show but you can’t due to fear of mucking up or letting nerves get the better of you that’s kind of sad. After all, it’s meant to be fun, it’s a hobby and don’t people take up hobbies because they’re fun to do?

Try this checklist

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You, your horse and the heat

One thing about the Internet is that it brings people together from many different areas and climates. Riders down South are shivering in front of the fire through the winter months while they procrastinate going outside to work their horse if it would only stop raining! Riders as high up as F.N.Q., Central Australia, Darwin etc. Are wiping the sweat off their brows, swiping flies and loping circles in the dust.


Heat, humidity, bugs… I love summer!


Summer brings with it heat (and in many places, humidity), mosquitoes and other flying nasties, and ground baked to the consistency of concrete.

Continue reading You, your horse and the heat