Champion professional trainers share their tips and tricks for spins, stops, rundowns, and cow work.
Don’t let an increase or decrease in speed at the lope put you in the penalty box. Learn how to prepare your horse for speed transitions at home so you can show mastery of them when it counts.
The hackamore plays a pivotal role in traditional training for reined cow horses, following the snaffle bit. It allows you to use direct-rein cues, just like a snaffle, but begins to introduce the concept of neck reining. That concept is further honed with the two-rein setup and then eventually the bridle. But the hackamore isn’t exclusive to reined cow horses. You can incorporate it into your training program, no matter your area of interest.
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, ride trails or rails, effective speed transitions are an essential part of your horsemanship. Controlled, smooth changes of gait make for a more enjoyable ride for you and your horse—less bouncing around, fumbled cues, and confusion for your horse. And they net you a better score if you compete. Here I’ll explain how one of my young riders works on her transitions to eventually make them effortless and almost invisible.
There’s a secret subtlety when it comes to turns for any type of riding. It involves you following your horse’s movement and staying out of his way. Really—it’s that simple. Your horse notices everything you do in the saddle, so you can inadvertently get in his way without even knowing it. Here I’ll explain how something as simple as turning your torso away from the turn hinders your horse’s turning ability.