Basic Horsemanship Clinic

In this clinic you will learn groundwork. You will learn how to properly halter your horse, the different types of halters and when each should be used. You will learn how and why you lunge your horse. You will learn how to back your horse up on line and why it is important for your safety and their manners. You will learn how to disengage hind quarters which is important for keeping your horses hind-quarters (the business end of a horse) away from you. And you will learn how to flex your horse ... an important technique if an emergency stop is necessary when you are in the saddle. Once we have all that working for you, you will learn proper grooming techniques. Grooming serves a dual purpose: the first is to clean your horsed. The second is to check the body for cuts, scratches, bumps and foreign objects that may be nestled into the girth area.You will learn how to check your horses back for soreness, and what to do if your horse does have tenderness along the spine. And, finally, you will learn how to check and clean your horses hoofs. You will learn how to identify thrush and how to treat (more common in damp environments), you will look for things like stones (that can causes bruising), wire, nails or any other foreign object that may cause injury to the hoof.

Once the horse care is complete, you will learn the how's and why's of proper saddle fit for both horse and rider, and why this important. You will learn how to saddle (including proper placement on the horse), you will learn how bridle and the difference between different types of bridles; you will learn how to adjust stirrups and other saddle components. You will learn how to properly cinch a horse and some common issues that cause "cinchy" horses.

Now it is time to ride. However, before I go down the trail, or around the arena, I always perform a preflight. Preflight always starts with a brief lunge after cinching. It is important to get the horse breathing so they release air. When air is released, the cinch will loosen up, and will give you the opportunity to re-tighten it before climbing in the saddle. Preflight also includes things like ensuring the horse does not move off during mounting, the horse does not move forward, backward or side-pass unless I ask. You will learn how to flex your horses head from side-to-side without them moving their feet, while under saddle. Again, this is a safety procedure in case an emergency stop is necessary. Once in the saddle, you will first ask your horse to back about 10 feet, move forward 10 feet, and then come to a full stop. The goal is to make sure your horse's head is in the game and that they are listening to your commands.