Corrective Exercises For Horses

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Forming good habits is key to providing the best training for your horse. The more time a horse spends in the correct alignment and balance, the more firmly good habits form. That’s why performing exercises that correct and promote alignment and balance are so important. Continue reading for how often to perform corrective exercises and the benefits of doing so. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Corrective Exercises & Good Horse Habits

Every horse is different, therefore the amount of correct exercises you should perform each training session will vary. However, most professional trainers recommend using three to five corrective exercises during each training session. The best time for corrective exercises is in the beginning before the horse is warmed up. This will prime your horse’s neurosensory and neuro-motor systems, which go along with the larger muscles. Here are some of the most common benefits you can look forward to after using corrective exercises.

The simplest change is that it will reduce the time spent in unhelpful movement patterns. But there are other benefits that go beyond the surface. For example, corrective exercises increase the range of motion in joints, which in turn creates reflexive “releases” and looseness. Your horse will also build up their postural muscles, often referred to as core muscles. Strengthening these muscles allow the limbs to move more freely, resulting in better engagement. Developing good postural habits will minimize confusion, tension, and anxiety in your horse. Lowering your horse’s anxiety will not only increase their productivity during training, but will reduce their susceptibility to illness.

Riding Sidesaddle

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Riding a horse sidesaddle is an idea that has been around for a long time. Sitting sidesaddle was originally created as a way for women in skirts to ride a horse without messing up their clothes. The type of saddle used for this riding style is quite different from the usual saddle. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

The Sidesaddle Design

In the early days of horseback riding, women wore long skirts. This type of clothing is impractical and dangerous when riding in a normal saddle. Before people began to dress differently, the safest way to ride with skirts was sidesaddle. This meant that saddle makers had to develop a saddle that could accommodate riding from the side while keeping the rider in control. The design of the sidesaddle has changed many times over its history.

By the 15th century this saddle included a central horn in the front that would become the “top pommel.” The cantle or the back part of the saddle was slightly raised at the rear, but overall remained too flat. Without the contour of the saddle that we have today, it was extremely hard to keep still on this saddle. That’s why the design later included a safety rail that steadied the rider. Over time, more changes and adjustments were made. By the 1830s another pommel, the “leaping head,” was introduced. This pommel curved over the rider’s left thigh, securing the rider more than ever before.

Hiking In The New Year

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The National Association of State Park Directors reported that nearly 85,000 people attended parks for New Year’s 2020. But due to the pandemic, this number dropped significantly in 2021. However, you can’t stop hikers from hitting the trails for too long. Though the groups will be smaller, The National Association of State Park Directors still expect to see a ton of people hiking in the new year. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Top Parks For Hiking In The New Year

With that said, let’s talk about some of our favorite parks. Cheyenne Mountain State Park, located in Colorado Springs, is a favorite among our clients. Just starting from the Limekiln trailhead, there are so many trails to choose from. These include Zook loop, Sundance loop, and the 5.3-mile Talon Trail. Another popular park is Mueller State Park, in Divide Colorado. This park usually offers guided trips in some of the best trails in the state. Among these trailheads are Outlook Ridge, Elk Meadow, and Preacher’s Hollow.

If you’re looking for something closer to the Metro area, there’s Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora. This beautiful park, which boasts the Cherry Creek Reservoir, is only twenty minutes from downtown Denver. Alternatively, take a drive south on 85 and you’ll come across Chatfield and Roxborough State Parks. Both are great for hikers and include multiple trails to choose from. Though you’re outside, you’ll still be required to carry a mask with you in case you come across other hikers. Be safe and happy hiking!

New Year’s Resolutions For Horse Owners

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New Year’s celebrations represent change and new opportunities to grow. Though the pandemic will halt the usual festivities this year, not even a virus can stop good old American tradition. I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions of course. However, this tradition does get a bad wrap because of the low numbers of follow through. In fact, an estimated 60% of Americans set New Year’s resolutions, while only 8% stick with it. But what if your resolutions include horse-related goals?

Sticking To Your Word

The key to setting New Year’s goals that you’ll stick with is making them achievable. When setting New Year’s goals we often go too big because we figure there’s an entire year to get things done, but unfortunately that’s not how humans work. When it comes to setting goals, being very specific is best. Also, if your goals involve things that you love (i.e. your horses), you’re more likely to follow through with them. So instead of saying, “I want to be a cowboy this year,” reword it to include the things you care about like “I want to be a better horse owner and rider.” You’re on your way, but remember to be specific. What specific goals can you achieve that will lead you to accomplishing the bigger objective?

Self-esteem also plays a very big role in keeping up with New Year’s resolutions. For example, if you don’t believe you’re a good rider then you’re never going to improve simply by saying it’s your resolution. Your specific goals should include spaces for you to celebrate achievements. For example, “After completing a riding training course, me and my horse are getting a new shiny saddle.” You might not be the best student your trainer has tutored, but you completed a goal and should be awarded for sticking with it. Positive reinforcements are another key factor to a successful New Year’s resolution. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Riding Without Stirrups

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Did you know that riding without stirrups can benefit you? Riding without stirrups builds leg strength. It will be even easier to stay in position with stirrups, if you can hold your position without them. Likewise, riding without stirrups boosts your stamina in the saddle. The following are some tips on how to practice. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Tips On Riding Without Stirrups

Just like any other form of practice, before taking your feet out of the stirrups, make sure to do a warm up. Going straight into a ride without your feet in the stirrups can be dangerous if you are not an experienced rider. Warming up and working up gradually to this is the safest way to go. Warm up at different gaits to capture your horse’s attention and fine-tune your body position while your feet are still secure. The more you warm up the more confident you’ll be and your horse will be focused on what you want to work on.

Gently slide your feet out of the stirrups while your horse is standing still. Ride slowly at first and then work up to a gait. If you’ve been practicing this a lot, challenge yourself by standing in the saddle. Push your hipbones forward toward the pommel of the saddle and use your inner thighs to lift your seat. Be careful not to lean forward. You can only do this if you’ve built strength by regularly practicing these exercises. Novices should work with someone watching from the ground. Working with a trainer from one of Colorado’s many horse training centers, is also a great way to improve your skill.

Rein Positions You Should Know

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One of the first things novice riders must learn is how to hold their reins or their rein positions. Pressure from reins leads to different reactions from the horse and keeps riders in control. With proper control over their horse, riders are more confident and can gain the skills to advance their horsemanship. The following are some beginner’s rein position you can practice with your horse. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Rein Positions To Practice

Remember, the right rein is responsible for the horse’s right front and left hind feet. Likewise, the left rein controls the horse’s left front and right hind feet. On average, 60-percent of the horse’s weight is on the front legs, and about 40-percent is on the hindquarters. This means that moving the hindquarters is a little easier because it carries less of the horse’s weight.

Use a direct rein to draw the horse’s front feet. Any slight movement and the horse’s nose and front feet move in the direction they’re being led. The rein position that moves the horse’s hind feet is called an indirect rein. Practice lifting your rein across the horse’s withers and then rotates your pinky toward your shoulder, with your fingernails turned upwards. This puts a different sort of leverage on the bit that holds the front end in place and moves the hind end away. If you are a beginner, always practice with a more experienced rider. Also, there are a lot of great horse training centers in Colorado that can help you with your rein positions.

Taming The Spoiled Horse

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The role horses have played in our development has certainly changed over the years. Historically, horses shaped the way we used to farm and travel. However, modern horses are more recreational. Modern horses are very well cared for, which is great, but it can also lead to a spoiled horse. This could lead to negative behavior and even a dangerous riding partner. Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Tips For The Spoiled Horse

The term Princess Complex refers to horses that are coddled and allowed to get away with bad behavior. A spoiled horse is more likely to injure someone, depending on how much they are used to being handled. A horse with little or no handling is more easily spooked. Attempting to handle a spooked horse is what leads to injuries. On the other hand, a horse with good handling and a disciplined daily routine is far less dangerous.

Don’t worry if your horses have established princess complex. Though it can be a slow and sometimes difficult process to bring them back, it is definitely possible. Horses can be taught that their life is more rewarding when they behave, which will reinforce good behavior. This will take training and praising your horse when they’ve done a good job. The only way to defend against a spoiled horse is to decide on a set of fundamental rules for both of you early in the horse’s development. Remember to establish rules that you can consistently enforce and reinforce if your horse challenges you. For more help, talk to a professional horse trainer.

Horse Treats For The Holidays

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Horses owners know that their horses are just as much a part of the family as uncle John and Aunt Jane. This means that they also deserve a gift for the holidays. Though your horse will no doubt appreciate a new harness or winter blanket, there might be something they’ll like more for the holidays. Homemade horse treats! Also, if you are looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and speak with one of our horse-person realtors.

Homemade Horse Treats

Before making equine holiday snacks, take this into consideration. Though some horses can have a few daily snacks, others gain weight easily. This takes knowing your horse’s temperament and habits. Therefore, only give snacks in moderation so it doesn’t interrupt a normal, nutritious diet. Try breaking down the horse treats into very small amounts at first to gauge your horse’s reaction. This way if your horse has a negative reaction, like becoming too hyper, then you can stop giving it to them.

The great thing about holiday horse treats is that you can make them using just about anything that is safe for horses to eat. The most popular ingredients are carrots, apples, oats, molasses and peppermint, but you can substitute what your horse doesn’t like for things that they do. There are a ton of cookies, bars and muffin recipes online that are simple to make and easy to feed. Here are a few horse treat recipes for the holidays that we’ve found popular among our community members. If you have a recipe that you’d like to share with the rest of the Colorado Horse Property community, then please share it in the comments below. And to all the horse owners out there, we wish you and your horse family a happy holiday.

Colorado Horse Training

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With around 256,000 horses reported in recent years, Colorado has some of the best horse training centers in the country. If you are looking to improve your Colorado horse training between lessons, here are a few tips. Also, are you looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado? Colorado Horse Property has the largest database of horse properties in Colorado. We also have a staff of horse-person realtors ready to help. Contact Colorado Horse Property today!

Steps To Improve Your Colorado Horse Training

A common thing that beginners get wrong is the length of their stirrups. Obviously riders come in all shapes and sizes, but there is an easy rule to follow. The irons should hit your ankle bones when you sit in the saddle with your feet out of the stirrups. It also depends on the size of the horse. If you’re on a narrow horse, then you might need to shorten your stirrups. If you’re on a wide-barreled horse, you will probably need bring the stirrups out a few notches.

You may have already saddled up, but if you’re not sure if your stirrups are the proper length, you don’t have to take everything off and start over. Simply take your feet out of the stirrups and allow your legs to hang down by your horse’s sides. As we mentioned previously, the bottoms of the stirrup irons should be about level with your ankles. If you’re having problems seeing, ask a friend on the ground to analyze your leg position when your feet are in the stirrups. Your stirrup should be on the ball of your foot. Position your legs so that your heels are directly underneath your hips. With a proper stirrup length your balance will improve and you can practice what your trainer has taught you more efficiently.

Easing Horse Tensions

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Just like tensions found in human athletes, horse tensions can greatly reduce their ability to train. In extreme cases, horses are so tense that they cannot perform certain maneuvers. This can lead to frustration and anxiety, which in turn leads to increased tension. Fortunately, there are some things horse owners can do to stop this cycle. Also, are you looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado? Colorado Horse Property has the largest database of horse properties in Colorado. We also have a staff of horse-person realtors ready to help. Contact Colorado Horse Property today!

Dealing With Horse Tensions

Depending on how bad the tension has become, dealing with horse tension is a long road. Tension can be physical and mental. Before you can deal with any tension, first figure out the cause. Start by evaluating your horse’s fitness and confidence. If these aren’t at a good level it could be due to the quality of training that they’re getting. Make sure your horse is not getting overworked and getting enough warm-up time before training. Equipment or tack that doesn’t fit on your horse properly can cause pain and tension. Sometimes it helps to get an outside perspective on things, so ask another skilled trainer to take a look at all the pieces.

Once you’ve pinpointed the cause, always tackle the mental tension first. There’s more work to do than just simply removing the physical cause. Fear of the problem returning will cause your horse to stay tense. When your horse tenses up, take the time to comfort them and slowly remove that fear. Your horse will learn that they can look to you to release pressure and will be more inclined to relax.