6 Rules of Horsemanship

The following are the “6 Rules of Horsemanship” I teach my students.  Incorporating these six deceptively simple rules in your everyday horsemanship will prove to maximize the time you spend with your horse, increase your rate of progression, and eliminate much of the frustration you may experience in training your horse. RULE NUMBER 1) THINK We … Continue reading 6 Rules of Horsemanship

Rhythm & Relaxation

THE TRAINING PYRAMID: ONE PIECE AT A TIME RHYTHM & RELAXATION Many riders struggle with physical and emotional relaxation in the horse because they jump too quickly “up the scale” into contact/connection before the horse has learned to manage his own emotions. Until a horse can prove that he is relaxed in his mind and … Continue reading Rhythm & Relaxation

Dressage in a Western Saddle

When we think of Dressage, we tend to think of riders in white breeches and top hats mounted atop leggy warmbloods performing high level maneuvers like canter pirouettes, tempe changes, piaffe, and passage.  Oh yeah…. and they’re riding in long-flapped black saddles that keep them held snug into the perfect position and holding two sets … Continue reading Dressage in a Western Saddle

The Ideal Ratio of Aids

A topic that comes up frequently at clinics and during lessons is the rider’s aids.  How to ask for this movement or where to put the hands for this maneuver… it seems many riders get very stuck on how much to use which aid, where and when.  Without getting into specifics about each particular thing … Continue reading The Ideal Ratio of Aids

10 Important Habits for Every Rider

Regardless of discipline, preferred breed, or level of training, some riders consistently improve themselves and their horses while others languish.  The degree of success can be measured by the habits the riders form; great horsemanship comes down to a series of great habits.  Amongst the riders that aren’t making improvements or are struggling with their … Continue reading 10 Important Habits for Every Rider

Safety Third

When it comes to riding and handling horses, safety comes third. Yes, you read that right.  Safety third.  Surely some of you are shaking your heads at me for such a suggestion, but don’t misunderstand my intentions, please.  Safety is a pretty big priority – sorta like breathing and eating.  The truth is, though, that … Continue reading Safety Third

Horsemanship is a Journey

Horsemanship is a Journey… and it’s a journey unlike any other.  It’s all about personal discovery, increased awareness, and self discipline. When I say personal discovery, I’m talking about knowing what our limitations really are, instead of what we think they are.  Fear – or compliance – or laziness – or social acceptance – or whatever else – keeps us in … Continue reading Horsemanship is a Journey

It’s a Trap!

More Leg, More Leg, More Leg…. It’s a trap! When seeking refinement and precision in our horsemanship, we desire a horse that is light and responsive to the leg aids.  It takes seemingly no effort to guide them, control their energy, or position their body.  However, we often see riders kicking and pushing their horses … Continue reading It’s a Trap!


THE TRAINING PYRAMID: ONE PIECE AT A TIME SUPPLENESS Suppleness refers to the horse’s ability to bend without tension or stiffness.  Tension in any place in the horse’s body causes a disruption in the natural flow of energy or movement throughout the rest of the body.  It is important to understand that often, tension and … Continue reading Suppleness