Saturday, February 13, 2010

Horse Training – The Basics Under Halter

In our fast placed world we are often running from one task to the next without really stopping to think on the long term. No where is this more true than with horses.

How many times do you move a horse from the stall to the the paddock or from one corral to another just trying to get it done? We often let our horses get away with bad manners, although it’s our fault if they have bad manners because we have to let them know what we expect of them. Not only is this not doing them or us any favors, we are just simply misusing that available time and opportunity to do a short ground training session.

Anytime you get near your horses it should be a training session. If you are feeding them, train them to step back away until you have the hay in place. If you are trying to get through a gate and they are crowding the gate, make them move back before you enter. Eventually they will know what you expect, act that way and be just that much a better (and safer) horse for it.

Anytime you get a halter and lead on a horse, to move him from the stall to the wash rack or shoers stand, or, to another set of pens or corral, use that time to run through some basics. Horses learn through repetition. You will see how much faster they understand what you are asking once they are exposed to it many time over. Whenever I put a halter and lead on a horse, moving them from one place to another, I always take a few minutes to run through the basics things I need that horse to do under halter when leading.

Those things are: Lead up with me, staying at my back right hand; stopping immediately when I do; backing; standing still; dropping his head when I ask; moving his hind quarter over when asked; and, moving his front end ovr when asked.

You use the same pressure and release concept in all these tasks. Watch the video below and see once I get a halter on this green broke horse, what basic tasks I can run through in a matter of 2 minutes or so. Again, horses learn through repetition, use your time with them wisely – they and you will be much better for it.


  1. Thank you for sharing simple, common sense steps, and not sounding like a "know -it-all."

  2. I just discovered this site and I love it!