Most people only check in one location on the horse's body when determining the tightness of a girth or cinch - just above the horse's elbow. But horse's can have different conformation in this area. This can affect the perception of the girth or cinch's tightness, and result in a false reading as to its true tightness. As seen in this clip, I advise checking the tightness of your girth in two locations: just above the horse's elbow, and where the girth contacts the sternum.
Teaching your horse to willingly put the bit in their own mouth is easily done using positive reinforcement and shaping. Positive reinforcement is something added to the horse's environment that makes a behaviour more likely to happen again in the future. In horse training, it is usually a small tidbit of tasty food, given immediately after a desired behaviour occurs. Shaping means to take a complex end goal behaviour, like having a horse put a bit in their own mouth, and br
One small shift in how you think about horse training can change the way you train horses, forever. And you'll have a dead horse to thank for it. Horse training or behavior modification is all about affecting behavior. Behavior is anything the horse does that we can observe. Cocking a leg at rest. Performing a flying lead change. Stepping into a trailer, or pulling back when approaching a trailer. Lowering the head for bridling, or raising the head when a bridle approaches.
Spring is made for trail riding. It's not too hot yet. The mosquitoes are still sluggish. And if you're like me, after a long winter you are itching to leave the arena - just you and your favorite equine, off to see some country. But does your horse share that desire? To be successful and stay safe trail riding solo requires the horse be good at two things: accepting temporary social isolation, and having solid basic training. For the purposes of this article we are going to
Why do you need to know what a behavior is and what a label is, and how can knowing the difference help you when training horses? Identifying Behaviors A behavior is anything a horse does that can be observed or measured. If it can be observed and measured it is something we as trainers can affect. When training horses we are usually trying to teach horses to reliably perform wanted behaviors on cue. We may also need to address unwanted behaviors - behaviors we would like the
Shaping is the act of reinforcing small steps that progressively lead towards an end goal. The end goal of shaping can be relatively simple, or very complex. Do you want to teach a horse to lift a hoof, or do a flying lead change? Both end goals can be done using shaping. You can write a shaping plan down, listing each step towards your end goal, or you can just have a rough plan in your head. Each step in a shaping plan is a 'successive approximation' - a small step that lo