Horse training can be fun, but it also can be quite a challenge. For the beginner, it's probably best to leave starting young horses to more experienced trainers. But really, we train our horses--even extensively trained ones, each time we interact with them. I know that when I teach my horse something new, it means I've learned something as well and that is very rewarding. Learn what your horse should know and what you'll need to know to to train your horse. Discover fun, easy, and safe training ideas for first time horse owners.
1. What You Need to Know Before You Begin
Before you begin horse training, there are a few things you need to know in order to be effective and safe. Five Things You Need to Know before Training or Solving Problems explains how to approach horse training, what doesn't work and how to know what you are doing is working.
And while it isn't nessecary to have a round pen to train a horse, it is good to work in an enclosed space such as a round pen, ring, arena or small paddock. If a round pen appeals to you, here are tips on How to Build a Round Pen on a Budget.
One of the best books I've read about horse training is Gallop To Freedom. This book by the stars of the equine production Cavalia, is inspiring and reveals just what can be accomplished with the right skills and attitude.
2. What Your Horse Needs to Know
Even if you don't ride or drive it, there are 8 Essential Horse Manners every horse must have. One thing every horse should know is how to load onto a trailer. Training to Create a Willing Horse discusses trailer loading and provides tips for making horse training easier for you and the horse.
Training Ages and Stages
Horse owners often wonder what they can do with their horses at any given age. What can a foal do, and can you teach an old horse new tricks? Horse Training FAQs help you decide what's appropriate at what age.
3. Safe Things You Can Train a Horse
It's easy and fun to Teach Your Horse to Neck Rein. Whether you ride English or western, it's handy to have a horse that can both direct rein and neck rein. It's also fun to teach tricks, and even non-horse people really enjoy watching horses preform them. Two simple to teach tricks are Give a Hug and Give a Kiss. If you're horse tends to bit 'mouthy' and nips, teaching Give a Kiss on the cheek might not be safe, so I've provided an alternative that keeps the kiss away from the handler's face.
4. Common Training and Behavior Problems
Behavior problems can stem from a number of different reasons. For instance, there's no point in putting a tie down or martingale on a horse to solve something like head tossing, when its mouth hurts because its teeth are too long and sharp. The important thing when tackling any problem is to understand why the problem exists in the first place. Here are a few problem behaviors that are quite common:
- Why Does My Horse Toss its Head?
- My Horse Acts Badly When Leaving Pasture Mates Behind
- How Do I Prevent My Horse From Chewing on the Bit Shanks?
- Why Does My Horse Buck When I Ride It?
- Catching a Hard to Catch Horse
Each of these problems is solvable with fair and consistent handling. Patience is key.