Best Insight From a Clinic

You share the most useful thing you’ve learned at a training or horsemanship clinic.

I learned that whether you realize it or not, you’re training your horse every moment you’re with him. For this reason, you have to be mindful—all the time.

Credit: Illustration by Navah Rae Adams

Dave Weston, California

Groundwork, groundwork, groundwork! Get solid in your groundwork, because it carries over to everything else and can prevent or cure many other problems.

Diane Morse, Florida

During one of her Softer Side of Horsemanship clinics, trainer Linda Black said that in horse training, “It takes as long as it takes.” I’ve kept this in mind ever since when working with my horses.

Vicki Grant, Indiana

In training or performance, horses want to do the things we ask of them. We just have to ask them in a way they can understand.

Linda Golding, Ohio

When you’re running barrels, put your weight on your outside foot. It gives you a much better turn.

Sadie Gaskins, Florida

From Clinton Anderson, I learned to ditch the twisted-wire snaffle someone else had recommended and use a kinder, full-cheek snaffle instead, to teach my colt to give to the bit. The flexing and head-lowering I learned has been the best training tool ever.

Kylie Coulson, Texas

At a Mark Rashid/Kim Lankford clinic, I learned to ride centered, without the bracing that “drives a wedge between your horse’s front and back end.” Our Tennessee Walkers are benefiting greatly from it.

Steve Nickel, Colorado

Horses crave consistency. They learn best when you’re regular in your training. It’s not a “now and then and whenever I get around to it” proposition.

Angela Stevenson, Wyoming

You can get cockleburs out of a horse’s mane and tail by spraying a slippery silicon product on a rag, then rubbing the rag where there are cockleburs. Use a comb, and they come out like magic!

Katrina Just, North Dakota

A horse can be “man’s best friend” if you train him or her right. My mare, Foxy, follows me like a dog and is my best friend.

Karly Just, North Dakota

Be patient. Give your horse a moment to understand what you’re asking him to do. Along with that, be clear in your cueing. Don’t be the source of your horse’s confusion!

Sonnita Basing, South Carolina

My trainer and my 29-year-old horse, Sweet Pea, have taught me that if you take good care of a horse, she’ll take good care of you.

Cole Just, North Dakota

Timing! It does you no good to get the cue right if you get the timing of the pressure and release wrong.

Pat Conyers, Oklahoma

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