Sample Our Newsletter From "Reins: 5 Tips to Improve Your Use," Issue 25, part 1 of our FREE monthly newsletter
Re: starting horses
Riders, here are the concepts I believe to be the most important, the undercurrent running through all of our training.
We clinicians teach "handling of the reins" in a particular order and emphasize certain aspects because we repeatedly see a pattern of "universal truths" from one rider to the next. We see this and we see opportunities to make marked improvements fast. This stuff is simple - but there's a pattern to it, a flow and rhythm. Students don't realize how much pressure they're applying, that they never release, that they're actually rewarding poor behavior, etc. They're mad, the horse is mad - and they pay me to put on a black and white striped shirt and blow a whistle. "Stop fighting; go to your respective corners." Whether you simply want to improve as a rider or are having issues with your horse (as evidenced by his unwillingness to allow you on his back or through a stiff neck and body - or worse, maybe he rears or bolts), this should be the very next material you practice.
You'll find five tips - each with "your handling of the reins" as their focal point - each guaranteed to make your friends at the barn wonder if you haven't inked a deal with the devil. This is the material I cover most often, the stuff I hit the hardest, the concepts I believe to be the most important, the undercurrent running through the rest of our training. While I won't specifically deal with the mechanics of handling your reins, ("Hold them like so") the material covered will change the way you think and so will ultimately effect the way you do hold, release, etc. Bottom line: You'll improve much faster if you first understand the "why" behind the "what, when and how."
Get your colt or filly started off on the right foot with this hands-on how-to guide written by John Lyons Certified Trainer Keith Hosman.
If you're breaking a young horse to ride, here are your step-by-step instructions. This downloadable book provides simple and objective training for the unbroke horse, from first-time bridling and saddling to sacking out, bridle work from the ground, pre-mount work and first ride. You'll learn the proven methods of John Lyons, tips to keep you safer, and tricks to save time. Today's the perfect day to get started putting a proper foundation on your horse, a solid start that'll pay big dividends for the rest of his life.
• If you've round penned your horse, this book outlines the next steps
• If you haven't roundpenned your horse, you can still begin with this book BUT roundpenning beforehand is highly recommended.
This downloadable book shows you the steps you must take to bridle your colt and saddle him up the first time, to desensitize him to the entire process, to "prep" him for your first step up into that saddle - and what to do when you finally get up there. Download this eBook, print it from your computer - and be training in five minutes! (It is a big file at nearly 3mb and will take several minutes to load, even on high speed computers.)
Only you can judge whether your colt or filly is ready for this material: Though not a mandatory prerequisite, round penning your horse (using the methods of John Lyons) is the smart thing to do before completing the material in this book. Ideally, your horse is now relaxed around you, leads well, has been taught to turn away from you as well as to face you (consistently keeping two eyes on you), and is wholly desensitized to your hand and various objects. At an absolute minimum, your horse must remain calm and willing in most circumstances when being worked with (today), is thoroughly "used to" being handled, and you must have the ability to turn the horse toward you as well as away. You must be able to lead your horse, he isn't head shy, and you can handle his entire body, ears, and all four feet. If not, check out the prerequisite work found in the "Round Pen: First Steps" downloadable book.
"How to Start Your Horse: Bridling to First Ride" is broken down into five "Days" or sessions:
• Day One: First-time bridling
• Day Two: Bridle work from the ground (hip and shoulder control)
• Day Three: Sacking out and first saddling
• Day Four: Pre-mount work up
• Day Five: First Ride
• Bonus Chapter: "Reins: 5 Tips to Improve Your Use" free print out
Featuring the simple and long-proven techniques of John Lyons, you'll learn "natural horsemanship-type" concepts you'll need in the future to teach far more advanced maneuvers. Beyond the actual necessary mechanics, you'll learn:
• to set your horse up for success
• to build a stronger partnership
• to "read your horse's mind"
• to pace yourself, when to take a break, when to push a little harder
• just how important it is to keep your horse moving forward - even through it's backup
If you're going to be the first person to sit on your colt, don't you want to do everything possible to assure yourself of success? Use the Lyons methods described in this book to build a rock solid foundation! You'll save tons of time and aggravation in the future if you take the time to do it right today.
What this book does not cover: It's positively loaded with early-stages training for the green horse - but it does not cover elementary sacking out (again, see "Round Pen: First Steps"), nor does it offer training beyond the first few weeks after first saddling up. It teaches you hip and shoulder control from the ground, how to bridle and saddle up for the first time and what you need to do to take the first ride - which will necessarily be a short one. It gives you pointers as to how you should further your training (beyond the parameters of this book) but it does not cover "riding training" (turning, stopping, speed control, etc.) beyond lessons recommended for your first dozen or so "rides." For more advanced material, see some of the free training articles on horsemanship101.com as well as more advanced books and videos in our online catalog. (Examples of more advanced material: "Best Start for the Unbroke Horse," "The Riding Manual" and "Progressive Steps of Foundation Training by Al Dunning."
As a special BONUS, I've included an additional chapter that shows you how to use your reins for quicker, easier results. A good ninety percent of the issues I see at a typical riding clinic could have been prevented if the rider knew a few simple rules about how to hold (and release!) those reins. There's normally a charge of $1.99 to print the article "Reins: 5 Tips to Improve Your Use" - but it's included here with this downloadable book for free (It's automatically included in the same file, at the end.)
But, wait there's more, as they say!
An extra EXTRA bonus...
Purchase a copy of "How to Start a Horse" today - and I'll also throw in a free printout of another very popular article called "Cinchy Horses", (normally $.99 to print out). Learn exactly what to do with a horse that acts the fool at the sight of the cinch. (You can print most of my articles for free - but I do normally charge for a handful of them, including this particular selection.)
Here's how it works:
• Click on the "Add to Cart" button (bottom of this page) to pay
• Wait 20-30 minutes, then check for an email containing a link to download the document(s)
• SAVE THE FILE(S) TO YOUR COMPUTER IMMEDIATELY! THE LINKS EXPIRE!
• Print the document from your computer (Tip: Use the "draft" setting and save on ink!)
• You'll learn theory and exercises necessary to build a strong foundation
• Practice and teach the material at your own pace
I call the individual segments "days" but you'll take this work at a speed that's comfortable for both you and your colt. Each chapter gives you a plan, a goal, theory and homework. While you'll fly through some "days," others will necessarily require that you spend more time to really nail the material. Every trainer's different, each colt and filly is different. You might want to split it up over days, weeks or months... It's completely up to you - after all, you'll be riding the horse for years and years.
While this document is "just" 32 pages long, (40 including the bonus material!), it's jam-packed and covers a ton of material. Note that it comes to you in a format that every computer can read and print out called "PDF." Also note: It's in "magazine format" which means it carries ads - but that's a good thing - because it lowers the price of this course to just over a dollar a day - in the same way that advertising makes a newspaper affordable.
So, whatchya waiting fer? Pay up, download - and get training!
You will need the Adobe Reader to read this (PDF) file. You probably already have it, but if not, you can get it for free at adobe.com. Once there, look for the yellow "Continue" button near the top, right corner. If you have a Mac, you can simply click on "Choose a different version" there near the top of the (center of) the page.
Do not buy this PDF version of this book for your iPad unless you already know how to view pdf files on your iPad. (An iPad version is available, scroll up for links to other formats.) From what I've been able to glean, I think you can view PDF files on (most, if not all) iPads, however I don't have an iPad and have no idea how they work. If it helps you, I did locate this video that apparently explains how to do this: Viewing a PDF file on an iPad. Again, this PDF will work great on a regular computer - but iPad users, buy this at your own risk.
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