Empowering Equestrians to Train their own horse with 100% Force Free & Horse Friendly methods

Posts tagged ‘trailer’

Tons of Winter Training Ideas

Here in Canada it is Winter again. Normally the climate is mild here in Vancouver, BC but this winter we’ve already had snow that’s lasted for almost two weeks.

_Kyra_sneeuw_hippologic.jpgWe all know that frozen pastures limit our horses ability to exercise themselves and horses generally are more spooky and more forward in cold weather conditions. Riders with an outdoor arena can’t ride due to the frozen ground. How can you get the most out of this time of year? Here are some tips.

Work on Simple behaviours

Choose to work on some smaller, but still important behaviours that will make your life easier and improve the relationship with your horse. Does every ride start with a bit of irritation because your horse lifts his head every time you want to halter/bridle him? Does he always walk a few steps while mounting?

How does that influence your relationship? Imagine how you would feel to have a horse that would put his head into his own halter or bridle, align perfectly next to your mounting block and stand still until you give the cue to walk on?

Simple behaviours you can work on in Winter that would improve your life at the barn can be:

Have some fun with your horse

If the weather isn’t allowing you to ride you can spend time with your horse , groom him and do a wonderful photo shoot. Maybe you can have eternalize some of your equestrian goals you worked on this year.

_Smile_tricktraining_horse_hippologic.jpgYou can take your horse on a walk to hand graze your horse. This would be a perfect time to start teaching him how to quit grazing on a cue, since winter grass is less enticing than the juicy green Spring grass that will be back in a few months.

Start trick training and have a good time! Here is a good book that will get you started on a few easy tricks.

What does your favourite Winter training looks like?

Sandra Poppema
Are you interested in online personal coaching, please visit my website

 

 

 

4 Reasons to start trailer loading today

_trailer loading_hippologicIs your horse a happy traveller? Wouldn’t it be a comforting thought if your horse would be ok being in a trailer? Every time and under all circumstances?

There are many reasons why people don’t practise trailer loading. I’ve heard: my horse is too old, my horse is too nervous, I am not going anywhere with my horse, I don’t have a trailer, I will never sell my horse, my horse is OK in a trailer so I don’t have to practise…

Fun places
Some day you might want to take your horse to fun places like new trails, a demo, a competition, a clinic or take your horse with you on vacation. Or you decide you want to breed a foal and you need to take your mare to a stud.

Moving
You never know if you have to move your horse some day. Your horse can live in the best boarding facility, but things change. That’s life.

Maybe your horse lives at your own place, you never know_corridor_hippologic if you have to sell him or due to changing circumstances he has to be transported. Or you want to take your horse to a pasture a few kilometres away and the road is too dangerous to ride or lead him there.

Emergency
In case of emergency you might have to trailer your horse to go to a clinic. Imagine that you and your horse are already stressed out due to a colic or a severe injury and then you remember your horse doesn’t like the trailer. Or your horse only wants to go in with his companion and refuses to go in alone.

If your horse is not an experienced and happy traveller, trailer loading increases the stress in an emergency situations. I’ve seen this happen. As you know, in an emergency there are always people “happy to help” (force) your horse into that trailer. Emergencies are not situations you want to start practising.

Challenge
If you don’t want or have to go places with your horse, trailer loading can be a fun challenge in your training. Especially for horses who are very nervous in narrow spaces. Consider it another training goal.

A few days of practising and rew_Keylessonmatwork2arding your horse for stepping outside his comfort zone can do wonders. It builds trust you need in other scary situations. Train to test how much your horse trusts you and how good he is in following your directions in unfamiliar situations.

Increase the challenge and ask your horse to self load. If your horse is OK with trailers, but you never travel with him, it can’t hurt to check once in a while if he’s is still comfortable travelling by trailer.

But I don’t have a trailer…
To prepare your horse to trailer load you can train the building blocks of that behaviour separately. Teach your horse to:

    • follow your lead
    • teach him to step onto unfamiliar surfaces (mats, plywood, bridges, water)
    • back-up over poles or back-up from a pedestal (step down)
    • enter a narrow corridor
    • walk under under a tarp
    •  accept the feel of a chain/rope against hindquarters.

I bet you can think of many, many more preparations that can help you prepare your horse to travel in a trailer.

Sandra Poppema

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