Barnmice Media's Blog Posts Tagged 'horse training' (35)

Start Slow When Starting Horse Training Again After Layup

By Melissa Sykes

- Building bone strength in horses who have been laid up for a period of time is a slow process, and studies show it's important to ease horses back into a training routine to prevent bone injury.

In California, researchers were able to look at 54 horses that had suffered from fractures of the pelvis or the humerus (the bone between the shoulder and the elbow) over a three-year period.  These types of fractures are more common than previously thought…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 5, 2013 at 3:29pm — No Comments

Horse Conditioning: Ponying

By Melissa Sykes

- Looking for ways to condition your horse without putting a rider on his back?  One of the most common types of exercise, especially at the racetrack, is ponying.  The handler is mounted on a pony horse and leads the animal to be exercised.  The gait usually used is the jog or trot.

An advantage to ponying is the ability to work in a straight line or in very large circles.  This is more naturally how an animal would work with a rider up.  Also, the…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 5, 2013 at 3:19pm — No Comments

Conditioning Horses: Round Pens and Longeing

By Melissa Sykes

- A round pen can be a wonderful conditioning tool for a horse.  As a matter of fact, this is usually the top choice among pinhookers for fitting weanlings and yearlings for the sales.  Exercise can be broken down by gait, direction and exact time.  For instance, a yearling can work five minutes in each direction at the trot, eventually lengthening the amount of time to both get his heart rate up and tone his muscles.

If no round pen is available, it…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 5, 2013 at 3:16pm — No Comments

Horse Racing Conditioning: European Exercisers

By Melissa Sykes

- Pinhookers are installing European type exercisers in record numbers.  The machine resembles a mini-racetrack with only one lane.  Metal gates act as partitions separating each horse on this track.  The horses are free inside their individual moving stalls.  The gates hang from arms very similar to those on a walking machine.

The machine can be set for varying speeds including walk, trot and gallop.  The exerciser comes in diameters large enough…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 5, 2013 at 3:14pm — No Comments

Horse Swimming: Low-impact Conditioning Methods

By Melissa Sykes

- Swimming is a good way to leg up youngsters and keep injured horses fit.  The gait used when swimming is the trot.  This is the gait that builds forearm and gaskin muscles. The cardiopulmonary system also benefits greatly from swimming.  The horse’s breathing pattern is different than when he is working on solid ground – he takes fewer but deeper breaths when swimming.

Many horsemen believe that swimming an animal helps to hydrate the body.  The…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 5, 2013 at 3:11pm — No Comments

Horse Conditioning Methods: Treadmills for Horses

By Melissa Sykes

- Although treadmills are not nearly as common at farms as round pens or even swimming pools, some conditioners do use them for their animals.  A treadmill can provide not only exercise for the horse but gait analysis and other diagnostic information to the trained observer.

Exercising on a treadmill can be done at any time, no matter the weather.  The handler is not dependent upon a rider showing up to work his horse.  With younger animals, not yet…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 5, 2013 at 3:09pm — No Comments

Horse Weight Training: Equine Strength Conditioning

By Melissa Sykes

- A new product under scrutiny at several universities is a weight vest for the equine athlete.  Designed by a former pro-football player, weight training could become the next tool for conditioners.

The vests are designed to carry up to 100 pounds and will be available as either a saddle pad to be used in conjunction with a rider or attached to a surcingle, putting weight on the animal without having a rider up.

The vests are being worn by the…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 5, 2013 at 3:07pm — No Comments

Different Ways to Exercise Your Horse Daily

By Melissa Sykes

- There are as many forms of exercise (if not more) than there are muscles in the body – especially the equine body. Not to be confused with actual training, in this article we are discussing specific forms of conditioning without a rider on the animal’s back.

There are any number of reasons for a horse to be conditioned without a rider up. It could be a yearling being fitted for the sales, or an older horse coming off an injury. No matter the…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 5, 2013 at 2:36pm — No Comments

Long Slow Distance Conditioning

By Diana Macdonald

Article 6 of 7 in Diana Macdonald's series.

- There are several key points to remember when setting out or actually conditioning your horse for distance competitions. Whether you are riding for the completion, the middle of the pack finish or for that covered placing.

1) Conditioning is what you do after your horse is legged up and you have a few miles under your belt.

2) LSD. Not the drug…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 4, 2013 at 11:05am — No Comments

Five Tips for Building Horse & Rider Partnerships with Natural Horsemanship

By Lindsey Forkun

Many people are passionate about horses, but not all know how to have a true partnership with their horse. Horses are panicky and skittish animals by nature, but there are many ways you can help your horse to become a calm and confident partner. Horses have different personalities, just like humans, and you have to suit your training to the horse.

Going beyond typical training programs, if you want to master a true partnership you…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 4:04pm — No Comments

Horse Training: The 5 Most Common Communication Mistakes With Your Horse

By Lindsey Forkun

- Communication is key in everything we do. As a child you learned to read, write, and speak which meant you could communicate with other humans. When you begin working with horses you need to learn a new language of body language and sounds so that you can effectively communicate with horses.

The horse needs to understand you, and you need to understand your horse. When starting a partnership with your horse, try and read your horse’s behaviour and…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 3:46pm — No Comments

Horse Training: Mounting Up – Won’t you please stand still!

By Lindsey Forkun

- You head into the arena, all tacked up and ready to ride. You bring your horse over to the mounting block and get ready to mount up. Your horse decides to play tug of war and back away from the mounting block pulling you to the ground. You regroup, and decide to try from the ground, but this time the horse moves sideways away from you and then just walks forward and doesn't let you near the stirrup. You are frustrated and left thinking 'won't you…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 3:39pm — No Comments

Natural Horsemanship Explained - Part 1

By Lindsey Forkun

- So many people profess to practice natural horsemanship that it can be sometimes hard to understand what natural horsemanship really means. Some natural horsemen use sticks, others use clickers, and some talk about positive reinforcement. Natural horsemanship may come in many forms from many people but the principles remain the same.

Natural horsemanship means using communication and leadership instead of intimidation and fear. Natural horsemanship…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 3:27pm — No Comments

Natural Horsemanship: Cookie Learns to Have a Conversation

By Lindsey Forkun

- Cookie is a lovely Thoroughbred mare that recently retired from racing. She is learning to become a safe and relaxed trail and pleasure horse for her new owner. This horse has a lot of potential - is kind, willing, and has a good mind so her new owner bought her to give her a second career as a relaxing pleasure horse.

Horse racing is extremely different from pleasure riding. The horses at the race track pick up some benefits - like being used to crowds,…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Natural Horsemanship Explained - Part 2

By Lindsey Forkun

- Natural horsemanship is a balance between showing firm boundaries and leadership, but also developing a bond and partnership. Using natural horsemanship does not mean that you will never be firm with a horse. It is very important to protect your personal space and not allow a horse to push or move you. You may have to be firm with a horse to keep them out of your space; however, a natural horseman will never strike a horse in punishment.

Using natural…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Natural Horsemanship: Don't Use Up the Gas Tank

By Lindsey Forkun

-  A new horse came in for some training with the issue of being a bit ring sour and pokey. His owners have done a lot of things to try and help him including trying to make life more fun including some pole work and other fun exercises. They also had the saddle fitted and had him assessed for any pain to make sure it wasn't a physical reason.

My goal with this horse is to show him that I am a worthy leader so it is a good idea for him to follow my…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Natural Horsemanship: Getting Out of the Horse's Mouth

By Lindsey Forkun

- Working with Cookie reminds me of the importance of getting out of a horse's mouth. Cookie is an ex-race horse, but like all horses she is a prey animal. Prey animals don't like to be trapped, and the mouth of the horse is a sensitive area.

When you use a bit in the horse's mouth, sometimes is can actually make the horse more anxious because they feel trapped. Taking the bit out of the horse's mouth can sometimes give you more control.



Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Natural Horsemanship: Cookie Goes From Racing to Relaxing

By Lindsey Forkun

- Cookie is about 10 hours into her retraining program with natural horsemanship. She has spent a lot of this time doing ground work – and has had about 3hrs of training with me in the saddle. We work on being slow and relaxed at the walk and trot, with lots of standing still to show her that being still and quiet is a good thing.

Some tips for helping the 'hot' horse to relax for riding:

1) Only get on when the horse…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 2:56pm — No Comments

Natural Horsemanship: What's Your Horse's Pay Cheque?

By Lindsey Forkun

- Have you ever felt like your horse just isn't giving you 100%?

Horses can be a lot like people - some things we are willing to do for free, but other tasks and jobs we want a reward or pay cheque.

Horses, like people, enjoy different rewards. People often like money as a reward, just like many horses will accept treats as a reward - but some of us may prefer free time to laze around, a vacation, or free stuff. Horses can also be different and might…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 2:04pm — No Comments

Natural Horsemanship: Playing on the Ground: Why, What, and How

By Lindsey Forkun

- Ever wonder what it means to play with your horse on the ground? Or why people do it?

There are five really good reasons to always play with your horse on the ground before you ride:

1) Have a Safe Ride Every Time: when you play with a horse from the ground, you can see if your horse is safe to ride. Within a couple minutes of playing from the ground you can see if your horse looks spunky,…


Added by Barnmice Media on November 1, 2013 at 1:54pm — No Comments

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