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Jim's list

Title: Jim's list

Jim sez:
If you want a horse that is not "out of control" at the beginning of the ride, you need to ask yourself if your horse can do AT LEAST the following:

  1. You and another rider are walking along beside each other. If the other rider suddenly canters off, will your horse continue to walk with nothing more than a pick up of the reins or just an "aaann't"?
  2. If you're walking along in a group of say, 8-10 riders, can you stop your horse and have him stand quietly while they all walk off?
  3.  Riding by yourself on the trail or in an arena, can you go from a walk to a trot to a canter to a trot to a walk with nothing more than a verbal or "body english" cue on a slack rein?
  4. Does your horse respond readily to leg cues? That is, can you turn on hind, turn on fore, sidepass, and back with little or no rein pressure. You need this as part of his training to provide "work" when he isn't listening.
  5. Will your horse, at a walk, stop on a verbal "Whoa", then resume on a "kiss" with no rein action?
  6. Will your horse drop his head with poll pressure? Will he also do it with a rein cue at a trot, canter, and even at a gallop?

There are a zillion other things that go into "conditioning" a horse to be under control at all times. IMHO, all those mechanical things like Martingales, special bits, etc. are just a way of attempting to overcome a lack of training. Just depends on how much time and effort you're willing to put into it. Pay me now, or pay me later. How much is your body worth? Personally, I'm chicken! <grin> Jim, Sun of Dimanche, and Mahada Magic

I’m just cracking up because I could pretty much say yes to all of the above except for that poll pressure thing because I can’t do it with the snaffle and his neck is too long to reach it without climbing onto his neck.  Everything is nice and dandy in theory above.  I agree with it (except for your stupid poll thing).

I’ve done some PNH training and know all about disengaging hindquarters, zones, etc. but have seen some Level 3 PNH trainers having runaway horses, too! 

But Beau is not a green horse.  He is very quiet and a dream to ride under most situations – including group training rides.  I let my inexperienced niece ride him on the trail while I’m riding my greenie Drako, because he’s pretty pushbutton.  Just a different animal on race day.


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