Horsemanship Training – Intermediate Horse Rider

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    Horsemanship Training Intermediate Horse Rider The Intermediate Horse Rider course is the third in a series offered by the Lyons Legacy School of Horsemanship. It builds upon the work mastered in Basic Horsemanship and Novice Rider. Intermediate horse riders learn ground training techniques, such as trailer loading, advanced leading, and round penning. Riding work focuses on moving your horses shoulders, spins, and addressing the most common problems a rider faces: stopping and going, and controlling your horses speed. Intermediate Horse Rider is taught in three steps: Bridle Work, Round Penning, and Riding Work.

    1. Bridle Work The most important part of horse training is bridle work. If done properly, you will have control no matter what situation you encounter. You cant teach a horse to be brave or not to spook, but you can teach him what to do when frightening things happen. The key is to have the horse do what you ask, whenever you ask it. When this happens, both you and the horse will stay safe.

    For bridle work to be effective, you must:

    Display confident body language, a positive attitude and a keen focus. If you are nervous, your horse will realize it and become nervous.

    Use bit pressure for your cues and focus on how your horse responds to your cues.

    Feel with your hands as the horses nose softens. Use only as much pressure as

    needed to get the desired response.

    2. Round Penning

    No matter whether your horse is a show ring veteran, green broke, or a two-year fresh off the pasture, both you and he will benefit from round penning exercises. Round penning exercises are meant to be simple for the horse to understand and to perform. By asking him to move his feet, increase speed or slow down, turn toward the rail and move on, turn toward you and move on, or to stop, you establish a degree of control by getting and keeping his attention. The round pen is a great place to work on an aggressive horse or one that is herd bound.

    3. Riding Work Two of the most common problems horse riders encounter are stopping and going. To make your horse go, you need to be riding forward. Your horse needs to know regardless of the direction he is going that increased leg pressure means to hurry up. There are many exercises you can practice to improve how your horse stops. One way is to back him up every time you ask him to stop. The instant his legs stop moving forward, get him to back up. Soon you will have him making a soft, collected stops.

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    Once your horse goes and stops whenever hes asked, you can begin working on speed control. While increased leg pressure is your cue for the horse to hurry up, you also want cues or means by which to get your horse to slow down. There are lots of effective ways to slow your horse at any gait: hips-in, diagonal, shoulders-in, collection, reverse arc, elevate the shoulders, and humming. Humming is one of the best ways to get your horse to slow down. It works because as you hum, you automatically relax your lower body. Company LL Inc and the Lyons Legacy School of Horsemanship offer a wide variety of equine educational materials, including a series of horse training and riding courses, manuals, and videos for online and on-the-ground learning. Contact Ian Kirkham, LL Inc., A biologist with a PhD in animal behaviour, and a writer for much of his career, Ian now focuses on one of his lifelong passions horses. Hes owned and trained horses in Canada, US, Zimbabwe and Costa Rica. Ian divides his time between training horses and creating educational products for horse lovers.