Popular Horse Training Methods

Learn About Popular Horse Trainers and Their Training Methods

There are many different methods to choose from and sometimes it takes careful research to find a training method that is comfortable for you. Read about the methods, philosophies, resources and backgrounds of these popular horse trainers and their training methods. This is an easy way to compare horse trainers and training methods and may help you choose the one that is right for you and your horse. You may even decide that you'll train your horse using elements from several different methods. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you and your horse are happy and safe. The most important thing is that your horse is respectful and that your methods are consistent and effective. They don't need a label or particular method to achieve those things.

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    Profile of Horse Trainer Richard Shrake


    Richard Sharke’s Resistance Free® method of working with horses is to begin by understanding the nature and body language of the horse and train the rider so the horse understands what is being asked and does not resist out of fear or frustration. Shrake's  method is broken down into 5 ‘master keys’ and twelve steps that can be used by beginner or experienced rider alike.

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    Profile of Horse Trainer Chris Irwin

    Canadian Chris Irwin teaches students how body language, balance and timing affect the clarity of our instructions to the horse. Through horsemanship clinics Irwin helps participants hone horsemanship and riding skills and solve specific problems. Irwin also offers equine assisted therapy.

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    Profile of Horse Trainer Clinton Anderson


    Anderson teachs how to understand horse physiology and why horses act and react the way they do. Clinton breaks training into easy to understand steps so that horse owners can work with their horses with confidence.

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    Profile of Horse Trainer Frank Bell

    Frank Bell uses a step-by-step method to avoid or stop unwanted behaviors in horses. He begins by bonding and ground work, regarding it as essential before riding begins. Based on Tom Dorrance's Natural Horsemanship methods Bell’s goal is to teach owners to safely handle and train their horses regardless of what riding discipline they choose.

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    Profile of Horse Trainer Linda Tellington Jones


    TTouch or Tellington Touch is a combination of therapuetic type touches and exercises believed to activate cellular intelligence, relieve tension and increase body awareness. Used in conjunction with TTeam ground exercises and “The Joy of Riding”, many problems can be overcome in a stress free manner.

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    Profile of Clicker Training

    Image: 2008 K. Blocksdorf

    Clicker training methods were used originally to train marine mammals and are regarded as a method of training using positive reinforcement. Clicker training allows you to pinpoint and reward desirable behavior the moment it happens. With positive and instantaneous reinforcement horses become very eager students and lessons taught with clicker training are quickly learned.

There is no perfect training method. Many good horsemen and women combine methods, and combine them with things they have learned and developed themselves. It takes a long time sometimes, to find the right method for you, so explore and question often, so you can learn what is enjoyable and fun for you and your horse.