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... 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.
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What You Need to Know Before You Begin
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.
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Safe Things You Can Train a Horse
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.
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Common Training and Behavior Problems
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:
- Why Does My Horse Toss its Head?
- My Horse Acts Badly When Leaving Pasture Mates Behind
- How Do I Prevent My Horse From Chewing on the Bit Shanks?
- Why Does My Horse Buck When I Ride It?
- Catching a Hard to Catch Horse
Each of these problems is solvable with fair and consistent handling. Patience is key.And, you can work with your coach for safety.
What You Shouldn't Train Your Horse
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.