In the Saddle

Articles, horse training tips, instruction, and advice

Lightness

Different people have different ideas about what makes a horse a pleasure to ride, some like safety, some excitement, some friendship and so on. For me what I like best is to ride a horse that is truly light. Defining lightness can be a difficult task, especially if... read more

I Want My Horse’s Head Down

I often hear people talking about wanting their horse’s head down.   I usually want my horse’s head down too.  Why is it so difficult to do?  Why do so many trainers ride around lifting their horse’s heads up? The good cutters cut with their heads down really low.”  ... read more

Riding a Colt Out

Taking a young horse out of the round pen or arena the first few times is often a dangerous proposition if the stories I hear are any indication. Ideally I could provide you with all the information and guidelines needed to keep you safe, but there are so many... read more

Swing the Outside Ear

The hallmark of advanced horsemanship is lightness and collection. Most people would agree with that statement but many have different ideas of what those things mean. Here is how I define them: collection means building and containing energy in a horse in a usable... read more

Hindquarters Direct Movement

Most of us when we ride can see or feel what is happening with our horses head, neck and possibly its front legs. This is the part of the horse that we try to turn and maneuver. However, like a car, the front of the horse merely directs the energy and motion that are... read more

Distracted Horses

Don’t try to direct your horse’s attention until you’ve got it. Often we try to accomplish a task with a horse and are frustrated when it doesn’t turn out the way we want. One of the problems I have been asked about often lately is what to do if a... read more

How to Cure the Wiggles

I’ve struggled for a long time trying to help people cure their horse’s “wiggles” (what I mean by wiggling is when the horse just won’t stand still and pay attention to his job.)  “Wiggling” is common behavior when a horse... read more

Safety First

Horses are predictable in their unpredictability.  They are prey animals and have been hard-wired to react first and ask questions later.  Some are more that way than others but it is the tendency for humans to get complacent and believe that their horse won’t... read more

Keep Trying

As long as I have been training horses I have seen people come and go, both as trainers and riders. They get frustrated and overwhelmed and just quit and go do something else. That’s fine if they realized that it is not for them and they want to do something... read more

Horses in a Hurry

Sometimes when you trot or lope your horse it simply goes too fast. Really anytime that your horse is going faster than you are riding, he is going too fast. Your horse should feel the rate and rhythm of your body and he should follow that rhythm. If he goes faster... read more