Question: "I just bought a horse. What do I do now?"
Answer: "Buy my book, 'What I'd Teach Your Horse.'"
If I had a dollar for every email I get asking "what to do" to make a riding horse out of the mare Uncle Emo just traded for the old RV - or how to retrain a horse that's grown rusty - or some version on either theme, I'd be the world's first gazillionaire. With the publication of this book then, I'm hoping to grab that distinction.
If you broke your horse to saddle and rode it for the first time yesterday, this book (chapter 1) is where you'd start tomorrow. If you have an older horse and you've taught him everything you know and he still don't know nothin', this book is where you'd start, (chapter 2). It's a roadmap to building the foundation every horse needs, regardless of age, breed or background, regardless of what you've got ultimately planned for that horse.
Afterwards, when your horse knows this book back to front, go train for barrels, roping, eventing, jumping or dressage. But today, basics are basics.
Section I is the stuff your horse needs to know. Section II is the stuff (the theory) you need to know. Practice the first handful of chapters in order, as written. Beyond that, you should feel free to mix and match depending on your needs or abilities. Some chapters are dependent upon others - but in those cases, I've spelled out necessary prerequisites.
SECTION I: BASICALLY TRAINING YOUR HORSE
- Legs Mean Move (Step 1 if This Is "Day 2" for Your Young Horse)
- Hip Control, Part I
- Hip Control, Part II
- Classic Serpentine
- Train Your Horse to Travel Straight
- Clockwork: How to Teach Anything to Your Horse
- Shoulder Control
- The Reverse Arc Circle
- How to Fix Leaning Shoulders
- Serpentine: Indirect to Direct
- Speed Control
- Slow Down, Part I: Move the Hip
- Slow Down, Part II: Wherein We Train the Brain
- Balky Horses: Comatose One Minute, Hot to Trot the Next
- Crossing Creeks and Scary Stuff
- Teach Your Horse to Lower Its Head While Standing
- Better Back Ups
- Simple Steps to Power Steering
- Diagonal Movement ("Leg Yields Without the Legs")
- Getting Leads
- A Fix for Cross-Firing (aka "Cross-Cantering")
- Hips, Get Behind the Shoulders (And Stay Put)
- Hips-in (aka "Haunches-in" or "Travers")
- Neck Reining How-To
SECTION II: TEACHING YOU, THE THEORY BEHIND THE PRACTICE
- The First Thing I Do
- Each Time You Mount Up, Do This
- How to Pick Up Your Reins Like a Pro
- Training Magic: Release on the Thought
- What You're Feeling For
- Reins Tell Direction, Legs Tell Speed
- Talking Horse
- See Yourself Leading When Riding
- Perfect the First Time
- Six Easy Ways to Improve Your Training
- Rider Checklists
- Diagnosing Problems