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An Old Dog

Saturday, April 27, 2013
He smiled kindly and said 'you're never too old to study'.   Read More . . .


Sunday, April 21, 2013

  Horse in arena 

The Naughty Youngster Himself!

The Scene: The young horse (5 years old) was gelded a couple of months ago and has only had about 3 (three minute) rides in the past six months. Having done a few minutes of long-reining, I mounted and did a minute or two of shoulder control (same-rein-same-foot and reverse arc) at walk. I then asked for a transition to trot and he began to offer alternatives to that such as dropping his head and bouncing with his front feet. Nothing serious but it wasn't moving in a direction that I was sure I could control from the saddle. The Solution: Work out exactly what I was asking the horse to do and get him to do that. I wanted him to make transitions up to trot and back to walk in frame, soft in the bridle, off the voice cue without leg aids, when asked and without any other behaviours (such as the bouncing and head dropping). The Action: I dismounted, held my long split reins in one hand each and asked him to work around me (just like long-reining on short reins - short-reining??). We got beautiful transitions, softness and self-carriage all off the voice cue and no unrequested behaviours. Did the horse do what I wanted him to do? Yes, indeed he did. Did both I and he remain safe and calm? Yes, we did - building confidence in both horse and rider. Two days later and the same request from the saddle was met with exactly the response I had obtained from the ground. Did the horse have a win? I actually don't think that the horse's mind can conceive of such a thing but I do know that I got what I wanted and the horse learned the lesson well the first time and didn't leave me with anything to un-train.
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What is more dangerous than riding an uneducated horse?

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Friday, April 05, 2013


Learning to travel in a soft frame under saddle

Few horses have had the benefit of sufficient bridle work on the ground. We tend to do a lot with the horse on his left - tack up, lead and mount but often not much at all on his right side. This often means that the horse has become desensitised to pressure/cues on his left. When you first start teaching 'give to the bit', softness in the bridle and self-carriage from the ground, you may well find that the horse is much better (more responsive) on his off side because this is your blank canvass. It takes a lot longer to un-train and then re-train, if your horse has been taught to put up with pressure in the bridle for example, than it does to simply train what you want in the beginning. This is worth remembering if you feel your horse is one-sided. Is he really one-sided or are you un-training a well-learned response?

Horse head

The un-started horse will be similar on both sides
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    Kandoo Equine - Performance Through Practical Horsemanship

    Kandoo Equine 

    753 Tiyces Lane, Towrang 

    Goulburn, NSW, 2580


    Ph: +61 (0)458 298 338

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