Posts Tagged ‘horse training’

Training a Young Horse to Carriage Drive – Part 1

June 17th, 2011

How to train a young horse to carriage drive

By Eniola Odurinde. Special thanks to Kay Walton for her help and technical advise on this article.
Teaching a horse to carriage drive - Long Reining

Carriage driving is fun!!! You can have lots of fun with a carriage horse, drives, rallies, shows, training days, there is a long list of things you can do.whether you just want to brush up on theory or have several years driving experience and want to break a young horse to drive, this article will take you through the basics.

If you have a four year old that has been broken to ride but you also want to drive him/ her, you can send him away to be broken. If you prefer to do it yourself and live in the excitement you must have at least three years of competent practical experience, with regular lessons from a qualified instructor. If you are doing this for the first time, it is strongly advised that you work together with an experienced driver and horse person because a novice horse driven by a novice driver is often a troublesome and difficult combination.

The first step to teeaching a young horse is to long rein him. Long reining is where you stand behind a horse close enough to control him, but not close enough to get kicked, holding two long lines. Long reining teaches the horse to respond to rein and voice aids. If you do not have experience in long reining, it is vital for your safety as well as that of your horses that you practice with an experienced driving horse first.

Commands for long reining

Walk on: To walk, trot on: To trot, steady:… to slow down, whooa…: to halt and stand: To stop. Back: Or come back or go back to perform rein back.

The next step is to introduce driving harness. With calm quiet horses all of the harness can be put on at once ( excluding blinkers as these can be very scary) but the tail strap should be done up slowly. Once the horse is used to the harness it is time to introduce the driving bridle. The blinkers will be the scariest part but if the horse never accepts them it is possible to drive without blinkers.

A horse in blinkers should NEVER be left unnatended.

You can read part two of this article here.

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Simple Cross Country Training

May 7th, 2011

cross country horse
If you are planning to go cross country, but don’t have access to a course, bear in mind that you don’t actually need to go to a proper course, you can practice at home out hacking.

You can practice cross country schooling over logs, rather than avoiding the logs as you usually would, step over them and count going round them as refusals and run outs.
Water jumps are one of the most important aspects of a cross country course. Most courses have one, some have multiple water jumps. You can practice for water jumps by stepping your horse through puddles, on a suitable surface you can canter through.Going from light to dark should also be practiced as it can be scary for the horses as their eyes take a while to adjust. Going from dark to light can be equally scary, as this scenario can have a temporary blinding effect.

During the duration of a cross country competition you should never gallop flat out. Doing this strains the horses tendons and ligaments and tires him out , while also straining his heart and lungs. For these reasons you should take the course at a strong (but not fast pace) that is both steady and controlled. When you reach a point where there are no jumps, you can make up time by lengthening the pace, or easing into a totally controlled gallop.
For your horse to be fit enough to gallop parts of the course you need to practice. You can canter over fields and through the woods. You must first make sure the ground is safe, it must be soft, but firm. It must not be muddy or slippy, nor hard and dry. The area must be of fairly soft grass or good soil.

Before you compete, you should apply a fairly generous amount of event grease, to ensure that if you horse does hit a jump, he will slip and slide over it.
Once you have finished your round, and again at the end of the day, run your hand down your horse,s legs and check for cuts, scrapes and swellings.

Happy schooling and competing!!!

Good Luck!!!
Eniola Odurinde

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