Horse Training Articles

Learning the Language—From the Horse’s Mouth

Last month, I gave you some of the take-aways from my past experiences that I incorporate in my program. The next topic in the Foundations section of my program is what I call Learning the Language.  Before you can successfully interact with a horse, it is so important to understand as much as you can about a horse’s instincts, how they communicate, and how they think.  Once you start thinking like a horse, the whole process becomes much easier.  The really great horsemen and horsewomen have one thing in common—they understand how a horse thinks, and how to communicate with him in a language that he understands. They also have the ability to look at a horse and determine his state of mind, and whether that current state of mind is conducive to getting that horse to do what they want him to do at that moment in time.

When I started writing this section of the program, I thought, Wow, it would be great to interview a horse, if that were ever possible, to really get to the bottom of what makes a horse tick, and what are they really thinking.  So the next best thing was pretending that we were interviewing a horse, and I titled it: From the Horse’s Mouth.  It’s a great read, and you will walk away with a whole new perspective on how you view your horse.  You see, most people kind of treat their horse like they would their pet dog.  The differences are light years apart.

Next month I will discuss Connection, which is a principal in my training program.


The whole premise of our training and riding pyramid is that we advance up the levels of our program teaching our horse in baby steps.  The first level of the pyramid is called Foundations.  This level is probably one of the most important since it lays the foundation for the rest of our program.

The first section in Foundations is called “The Journey.”  Here I talk about some of the horsemen and horsewomen that I learned from over the years that had a major influence on my life with horses, and contributed to the principles I use in my Horse Sensible Program.  As a member, you have access to the full version of these stories and their main take-aways.  This is such powerful but simple stuff that many people never quite grasp, but for those who do, their life with horses will forever change for the better. I know mine did.  Below are just a few of the Story Titles and Take Aways.

Hank and the Trophy Blanket

  • Connection
  • Rhythm
  • Relaxation

Jim and the Chicken Clad Beauties

  • Emotional Neutral Training
  • Thinking in the Here and Now
  • Making the Right Thing Easy, and the Wrong Thing Not So Easy
  • Not Today, Not Tomorrow, Not Ever
  • Never a Cheap Shot
  • Predictable
  • Never One Step More Than He Already Knows
  • Give Him a Job
  • Train Them Inside and Outside

The Colonel and the Message

  • Herd Dynamics
  • Alpha Mares
  • Communication Via Body Language
  • Nagality

Pres & Lorretta

  • His Horses
  • Human Error
  • Horses are the Most Honest Creature on Earth ( Without Motive)
  • Clean Slate

Heidi the German Mentor

  • Training Horses Involves Using Pressures to Shape a Horse’s Behavior
  • Pressure (The Aids):  Language that Makes Sense to the Horse
  • Independent Seat

Clem the Pickup Man

  • Trick Horses
  • Aids
  • Cues
  • Dance Partners

The Expert & 66

  • Putting a Rider with a Minimal Vocabulary of Horse Sensible Knowledge with a Horse that has a Minimal Vocabulary of Pressures and Aids is Simply a Recipe for Disaster
  • Buying a Horse for Looks Rather Than for What’s Between His Ears is also a Very Common Mistake Many People Come to Regret Later On

Halbert & the Big Dive

  • Never Forget That it’s the Little Things That Count
  • Horses Learn by Repetition:
    Unfortunately, Repeating the Same Bad Habits Results in Learned Bad Habit Behavior
  • Your Horse’s Behavior is a Reflection of Your Training. We Make Up for Our Lack of Commitment, Knowledge and Ability by Making Excuses for Our Horse’s Behavior