Training Your Horse

Horse Training Basics for Beginners

Man training horse on rein
What you need to know about horse training. Jeremy Woodhouse/Holly Wilmeth / Getty Images

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. Youngsters are too unpredictable and knowledge,  timing, and skill are required for success. But really, we train our horses--even extensively trained ones, each time we interact with them. When you teach your horse something new, it means you've learned something as well and that is very rewarding.  Learn what your horse...MORE should know and what you'll need to know to train your horse.  Here are fun, easy, and safe training ideas for first-time horse owners.

  • 01 of 05

    What You Need to Know Before You Begin

    Veterinarian leading a stallion. Image Credit:Cavan Images/Getty Images

    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 when what you are doing is working.

    And while it isn't necessary 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.

  • 02 of 05

    What Your Horse Needs to Know

    Girl handling hooves.
    If your horse doesn't stand tied quietly, chances are you won't be able to pick up its hooves easily either. Image Credit:Betsie Van Der Meer /Getty Images

    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, just in case there is an emergency. You need to learn about trailer safety too.

  • 03 of 05

    Safe Things You Can Train a Horse

    horse giving bearded man kiss
    Train your horse to give you the perfect kiss. Image Credit:Christian Zielecki / EyeEm /Getty Images

    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 perform 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 a horse to give a kiss upon the cheek might not be safe, so you'll find an alternative that keeps the kiss away from the handler's face.

  • 04 of 05

    Training Ages and Stages

    Horses, white mare and two foales with dark coats, Thuringia, Germany, Europe
    What you can teach a horse at every stage and age. Frank Sommariva / Getty Images

    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.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Common Training and Behavior Problems

    Cowboy riding bucking horse
    How to work through problem with your horse. Bill Hinton Photography / Getty Images

    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:

    Each of these problems is solvable with fair and consistent handling. Patience is key.And, you can work with your coach for safety.

    When your horse is misbehaving and you're a beginner rider, it is wise to get advice from an experienced rider or a trainer. Some behaviors like rearing, bucking and balking can be dangerous if you don't know how to deal with them. There are some things beginners just shouldn't attempt, at least not alone.