Sample Our Newsletter From "Rider Checklists," Issue 17, part 1 of our FREE monthly newsletter
Re: horse training school
Here are 3 "Rider Checklists" from John Lyons Trainer Keith Hosman: Together they'll keep you safer and accelerate your training to boot.
I'm going to give you three "Rider Checklists" today. Together they'll keep you safer and accelerate your training to boot. How accelerate? They'll keep you rational; they'll keep you from "losing it" - which has the effect of setting your training back. The fact is, when we don't have an objective means of approaching our training, when we simply "ride," reacting emotionally to what's happening, we're asking for a wreck - or at the very least, a bad day. The horse gets confused and we get frustrated or lose our temper. Not an environment conducive to a proper education, would you say?
Each of the following lists will cover small things you can simply check off in your brain. Basically, has something happened or not? If the answer is "not," I'll tell you what to do. Your answers to those questions will, flowchart-like, tell you how to act in the moment or how best to form your day's game plan.
The lists were created to "be done in order."
Checklist One: How To Keep From Totally Losing It
Before you ever get on your horse, back when you're approaching the barn, ask yourself one easy question: "Am I training today or am I joyriding?" If you answer "training," skip to Checklist Two. If you answered "Uh, I'd like a day off from training, please. I got a horse to have FUN, Mr. Wet Blanket Trainer Man" - that's great, too. It's great as long as you can honestly say that not once in the last few days or months have you turned to a friend and said something akin to "Flicka nearly bucked my teeth out back there" or "This (expletive deleted) horse keeps trying to eat grass. What's the number for the tiger sanctuary?" If there are known issues, then it doesn't matter where you ride (trail or arena), the fact is, you need to be training as opposed to joyriding.
At clinic after clinic, here in the states or in Europe, I get a version of the same question: "I'm out on the trail. On a cliff. With a ten thousand foot drop to my right and cactus on the left. My horse hates plastic bags - but one blows by and he freaks. What do I do?" To which I answer something akin to "Say your prayers." See, training is not a widget that you carry in your back pocket and pull out like a parachute when the plane goes down. It's about practice and preparation. Ignoring warning signs and riding into potential disaster is like eating a cake every night and suddenly freaking when the scale reads "300."
If riding your horse has become an aggravation or something that - even at times - frightens you, then you gotta answer "training" until riding is fun again. Following this simple thought process will have a bigger impact than if I told you to specifically do a, b, or c - because there are trillions of horse/rider combinations and situations that might be described. So, with a nod to the ol' John Lyons axiom "Ride Where You Can, Not Where You Can't," we'll consciously pick a reasonably safe place to do our training and get at it. Example One: Is your horse "jiggy"? Then you need to capture his attention by improving his performance. How do you do that? By being a proactive rider. Keep giving the horse something to do. Make him spin enough plates and he'll hand you control. Example Two: Does your horse keep munching grass? Then develop a zero-tolerance policy toward any resistance on the part of your horse. Be on the lookout for resistance in the form of a stiff neck or a horse that won't move forward when asked. Don't wait till his head's on the ground. Test constantly and the instant you feel reticence, correct the situation. If you feel an ounce of stiffness in the neck, apply pressure and get the horse moving till he relaxes, then you relax. Teach the horse that the way to get you out of his mouth is to stay soft and obliging. The answer is the same if he drops to a speed you didn't ask for. Be ready with a good kick and swift reward. If you just thought to yourself: "That's what I do and it doesn't work" then what's happening is that you're keeping pressure on the horse's mouth all the time (example one) or kicking all the time (example two). The horse has learned "I get punished no matter what I do so I might as do what I wanna do." Learn to be more aware of when you're applying pressure. It doesn't matter what you think you're doing, your horse's actions tell a different story.
Formerly entitled "Controlling Your Horse's Speed Online Course"
Attention Owners of Nervous Horses: This course is for people who have horses that move too fast and who look at our long list of free articles and wonder "Which is right for me and in what order?" It's basically a prescription. You pay Dr. Hosman and he gives you a course to fix things.
Here's how it works:
• click on "Buy Now" below to pay
• you'll be taken to a page to download a document
• SAVE THE FILE TO YOUR COMPUTER IMMEDIATELY!
• the document has five chapters, one for each of five days
• you'll learn theory and/or be assigned "homework" - in a specific order
• learn the material at your own pace
When you take a class in the real world, you buy your textbook, then pay to take the class, right? The teacher assigns readings or exercises from the text, but spends his time with you offering additional insight and setting goals. This course works the same way - except the text is absolutely free. You'll be assigned exercises and articles to read - often drawn from our existing newsletter archive - in a curriculum specifically designed to slow down the "too fast" horse. What this course offers then, above the existing articles themselves, is the understanding of "what to do, why to do it and in what order." That's what you'll pay about a buck a day (pun intended) to receive.
Why do you want perfect control over your horse's speed? Because controlling your horse's speed is fundamental to your safety and to getting cool things like:
• a relaxed horse who's thinking about you - not his buddies
• a horse that stops now
• smooth lead departures
• faster barrel-racing times (and no tipped barrels)
• increased maneuverability
• a controlled lope
Say good-bye to bolting, missed jumps, to your fear, to a bumpy trot nobody can sit... For about a buck a day you can take your horse from jackrabbit to calm, cool partner.
The document is 13 pages long and comes in a format that every computer can read and print out called "pdf." It's in "magazine format" which means it carries ads - but that's a good thing - because it lowers the price of this course to just a dollar a day - in the same way that advertising makes a newspaper affordable.
And, while the document is just 13 pages long, it covers a lot of material. Each of the five chapters within the document (called an "e-book") are designed to get your horse moving at the speed you have in mind rather than a dangerous speed your horse has chosen randomly. Keep this in mind: The horse that takes five seconds to stop from a trot will take seven times that long to stop from a gallop. And how far away is that barbed wire fence, cliff or child?
Each chapter gives you a plan, a goal, some theory and homework. It may take you a week - and it might take you months to go through this material. Regardless, when you arrive at the other side, you'll have made significant progress in your horse's training.
And you'll save on bills from professional trainers like me.
BONUS: Purchase "Rein In Your Horse's Speed" today and you'll get "Day Five" from my other online course "Stop Bucking!" It includes two additional speed control exercises at no additional charge.
You will need the Adobe Reader to read this (pdf) file. You probably already have it, but if not, you can get it for free at adobe.com. Look for the yellow "Continue" button near the top, right corner. If you have a Mac, you can simply click on "Choose a different version" there near the top of the (center of) the page.
Do not buy this for your iPad unless you already know how to view pdf files on your iPad. From what I've been able to glean, I think you can view PDF files on (most, if not all) iPads, however I don't have an iPad and have no idea how they work. If it helps you, I did locate this video that apparently explains how to do this: Viewing a PDF file on an iPad. Again, this PDF will work great on a regular computer - but iPad users, buy this at your own risk.
Item: Rein In Your Horse's Speed Course [Downloadable PDF]
Today's price: $3.99
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