Saturday, April 17, 2010

Horse Training – Warming up the Trail Horse

I think it’s important to warm up your horse before you take him out on the trail. I simple few minutes in the round pen or on a lunge line will help not only warm up the horse, but get him listening to you.

Lunging your horse in a round pen isn’t going to tire him out and get the buck outa him,….the idea is to re-establish that you are the leader and you do that by pushing him through several gaits, changing directions and focus the horse onto listening to you, and, your verbal and non-verbal clues.

It also gives you a chance to catch problems such as beginning lameness before you take him away from home of the barn.

When I warm up a horse I ask him to walk in both direction a couple circles, then jog, then I ask him for a slow lope. I’m checking his attitude, looking for him paying attention to me – if so, he won’t be distracted and he’ll keep his inside ear pointed towards me.

Some times when I’m short of time, I’ll pull several horses one at a time and give them a short workout in the round pen. This way each and every time they go the round pen won’t be followed by a long ride. I think this keeps their minds fresh and changes up their routine for the better.

I have received two recent e-mails about lunging horses and I will soon (hopefully) cut a couple short videos on lunging in the round pen. The intent of the following video is just to focus on warming up a horse for the trail and is one of several videos and posts I will be doing to emphasize preparing a horse for the trail. Watch the video below and see if you can pick out how Junior moves. Look for his inside ear focused on me and see how he slows or speeds his momentum or turns as my body position changes in relation to his.

1 comment:

  1. Sir, my comment is my wife advises me not to feed my horse just before I ride him. She says my mare will colic more easily if exercising with a stomach full of hay. I think her behavior is better when she has been fed and it makes her more attentive to me. Am I taking a chance by feeding before I ride?