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.
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.
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.
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.
Inexperienced riders looking for a way to work on their positions without pulling on the reins should ask their trainers about longe lessons. Though there are some great ways to practice skills without aid, you’ll need help with this one. You need to have an instructor who is skilled at longeing to help from the ground. You’ll also want to practice on a quiet horse who is experienced working on the longe line.
How To Perform Longe Lessons
Keeping a steady position in the saddle is an important skill of riders. Bouncing while riding or digging stirrups against the horse’s side will irritate them. It is easier to be thrown from a horse when you are bouncing and the horse is agitated. Practice by longeing your horse with the stirrups down. Begin at a walk and build up to a trot slowly over time. During a mounted longe session, knot your reins and loop them over your horse’s neck so they don’t fall down around their legs. To help you find balance in the saddle try putting your hands on your hips or holding them straight out to the sides.
Focus on keeping your back straight and your body centered over the middle of the horse. If you are having trouble getting it, try gently wrapping your legs around your horse’s sides. This will draw your seat down into the saddle. The more you practice the more you’ll find your balance. A lot of it comes with confidence, that only time and practice gives you. 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!
Horse archery is a widely unknown horse sport. Because of The Mounted Archery Association of the Americas, there are horse archery clubs around the country. With organizations like this, this unique sport is growing. There’s more to this sport that just obtaining a bow and hopping on a horse. Here are some of the common equipment that horse archers utilize. Also, Colorado Horse Property has the largest database of horse properties than any other site and our team of horse-person realtors can help you find the perfect property for you.
Horse Archery Equipment
Originally, horse archery was done with a traditional recurve bow. Modern competitors use a fiberglass replica. A recurve bow is a bow with limbs that curve away from the archer when unstrung. Historically, horse archery was used as a unique form of combat. This type of bow was first used because they are shorter and easier to carry. The downsize to using a recurve bow is that it puts more stress on the limbs of the bow. Making bows out of fiberglass insures that this added stress will not bend of break the bow.
There are many different types of arrows depending on what types of targets you’re using. Horse archers also use a hip quiver as opposed to the normal back quiver. This makes restringing your bow less cumbersome and quicker. Another part of the horse archery experience is wearing traditional costumes to run the course in. It is not required, but a lot of participants do it to honor the history of the sport. Though it is a new sport, mounted archery has been practiced by many cultures and have identities based around them. Traditional costumes pay homage and respect to that history.
Horseback riding instructors harp on riders staying in the saddle. They don’t often teach riders what to do if you are going to fall from a horse. Though professional show-riders get this training, it is important for every rider to know the basics on how to fall from a horse. You don’t even have to be on a horse to practice what to do when a fall occurs; any soft surface will do. The best way to fall from a horse is commonly known as the tuck-and-roll. In order to use the momentum of your fall to your advantage, tuck in your extremities and roll away from the horse. Here’s how to practice this falling method.
The Tuck And Roll Method
Begin practicing by kneeling on one knee. In this position, turn your head and shoulders away from the direction of your intended fall and drop to the ground. Try landing on the blade of your shoulder. Try again, but this time draw your knees up and bring up your arms to protect your head in a curl with your chin tucked toward your chest. For the best results, roll back onto your knees and spring back onto your feet. Depending on how bad the fall is, you won’t know how your horse will land or respond to falling. Therefore, getting back onto your feet and moving aside could keep you from getting kicked or trampled accidentally.
If you lack a soft place to practice or need help in any way, many training facilities offer fall-safety training. Horse training facilities are usually equipped with landing mats, crash-mats, and foam shapes to help you practice. The tuck and roll method is effective because it doesn’t matter in which direction you fall. The steps are always the same. Once a rider is rolling, they just need to hang on to their tuck position until their momentum has decreased enough to get to safety. Remember, if you are looking for a horse property in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today.
Riding horseback often looks easy when a trained rider is at the reins, but it is actually one of the hardest activities to master. One of the biggest problems that new riders face is getting into their heads too much. However, there are some horse riding tips to circumvent overthinking in the saddle. Number one, make your focus more physical. Focus on the feel of your horse, or the way your body is moving. In other words, pay attention to your senses more than the voices in your head.
Get Out of Your Head
The point is to think less, but if you can’t stop your thoughts at least change what you’re thinking about. The second and third solutions are imagery. Imagery is a great way to improve your riding. Think about taking a leisurely walk when you want to ride slowly and think about running when you want to ride faster. Alternatively, imaging a song or sound bite can help. If you are practicing a light trot with your horse, think of a song with a slow and steady tempo. For more aggressive riding, think about a song with a quicker tempo.
Horse riding tips number four: use a catchphrase. This might sound a little silly, but thinking of a phrase that gets you in a specific mood could really help shape your confidence. The best part is you don’t have to say it out loud. Thinking “ride like the wind” or even “high-ho silver” is enough to get your head in the right place for riding. The last and most important tip is to think quicker. Doing any type of training at home, we have the space and time to make mistakes. We can stop what we’re doing and think about how we can do it better. When riding you often have to make quick, split decisions. You’ll still make mistakes. However, once your skills improve, being about to make quick decisions will be a very big asset. If you are looking to buy or sell horse property in Colorado, contact Colorado Horse Property today and talk to one of our horse-person realtors.
Defining Horse Separation Anxiety
By definition, separation anxiety is a disorder in which an individual experiences excessive anxiety regarding separation from home or from people to whom the individual has a strong emotional attachment. Horses are prey animals that feel more comfortable in herds instead of by themselves. Therefore, horses can experience separation anxiety from its herd. Most horses have some level of separation anxiety. In cases of mild anxiety, the situation rarely becomes more than a slight inconvenience. However, there are cases in which a horse is so bound to its herd that this anxiety is a serious issue. These cases are very dangerous for not only the rider but the horse as well.
Horses have been herd animals for hundreds of years. Because of this native behavior, it is common for your horse to feel safest when it is with a herd. Anxiety due to separating from the heard is also common. However, there are ways to change a reaction that is caused by your horse’s survival instinct. First, you will need to build a bond that is based on mutual trust and respect. You will also need to help your horse build confidence. Your horse needs to know that it is safe in your care.
Building that trust will start with pushing your horse around a round pen or on a lunge line. This then extends to everything you do with your horse when you are not riding. This includes grooming, hand walking, and just hanging out in the paddock. Every moment counts towards this conditioning. How you behave, what you ask your horse to do, and how you speak to it will establish whether or not your horse feels safe with you. Remember, trust and feeling safe cannot come when force or fear are used. Follow the link for 5 steps on how to reducing horse separation anxiety. For more information contact Colorado Horse Property today.
What is Horse Reining?
Horse reining is common in the world of Western horse training. In horse reining, the horses go through a precise pattern of circles, spins, and stops. All work is done at the lope, or the gallop. This form of riding originated from working with cattle. Reining is a Western version of dressage, as it requires the horse to be in sync with the rider. In horse reining, your aids should not be easily seen. Also, your horse is judged on its ability to perform spinning and stopping movement patterns.
But how do you get your horse to move in a specific way? Your horse needs to figure out that it will get freedom when he moves his neck and head away from the pressure of the rein. This is guaranteed to get a correct response, the desired movement, from your horse. Though it is not easy and takes a lot of practice. You will repeat the process of applying neck pressure and then softening it many times before everything is said and done. Patience is key on those long training days in the saddle.
Be cautious when applying neck pressure to your horse. If you neck rein too hard, your horse will counter bend his head to the outside. This can irritate and damage your horse’s neck muscles. Avoid this by using the direct rein in the initial stages to guide the horse’s nose away from outside rein pressure. Remember to release both the direct and neck rein when you get the correct response from your horse. A horse with a good handle, who is light and responsive to the neck rein’s slightest pressure, is a joy to ride. Looking for a horse property for sale in Colorado? Contact one of our horse-person realtors at Colorado Horse Property.