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Teaching A Stiff Horse to Comfortably Lope Forward


   One thing that is very important to any good cowhorse training is a nice, relatively low headset with a flexed poll and a correctly arched neck. The reason this headset is so important to a good horse is that it allows the horse to balance and to move with more freedom, fluidity, efficiency and grace. However, it can be easy to get so caught up in creating the headset that we forget about the rest of the horse. In this video, I hope to show you how we can help a horsse get confident enough with his feet and his body that his headset can come along much more naturally and easily rather than artificially and arbitrarily.

A Typical First Ride for a Horse in the Rising K Ranch Training Program

   For the first several rides on a horse, my primary intent is not so much to "Train" the horse to do anything; but is simply to give the horse time to gain confidence with a rider on his back as he moves around the round pen naturally. For a horse's first rides, pulling on him usually creates life-long bad habits, so I do all I can to keep out of his mouth or face. If he must be pulled on, such as when the rider first climbs on his back, he should be pulled on with only one rein for the purpose of moving his hip out of the way to keep him from moving too quickly and scaring himself. Once the horse is calmly moving his hip away from my leg, I can allow the horse to walk or trot out at a loose rein. At this stage, I am not concerned about where the horse goes, as long as he is moving forward.

2 Year Old Filly's First Shoe and Trim

   A method I developed in October, 2019 of how to train a horse to accept his first farriery work. This idea came to me primarily through listening to Monty Roberts, an accomplished horse trainer, talk about how a horse's mind works. This method works very well for training horses like the one in the video, who want to set back on the rope and rear up when you try to work on their hooves. This method ultimately takes less time than fighting with a horse does, and it is much safer for both man and beast.

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    Rising K Ranch
    2937 W 3800 S
    Cedar City, UT 84720
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