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Giving your foal the best introduction to handling sets them up for success for the rest of their life. The star of this video is Maverick, a surprise mule foal who arrived at my training centre in Spain as an extra freebie when we rescued his Mum, a PRE mare named Selena. Unlike his Dam, Mav has had plenty of great human interactions since birth, but he also needs to learn specific handling behaviours such as standing still, touch acceptance all over, wearing a headcollar and so on.

In this video you can see how we worked with 10 month old Mav to teach him some basic handling exercises calmly and positively, so that it’s a good experience throughout. 

Mav is working with CT Coach Claire Waldron who runs Positive Horse Training, Spain, alongside me.

Basic Foal Handling Trained Positively! Standing, Grooming and Headcollar Training - YouTube

If you enjoyed it, do check out the CT Club where you can watch full setp-by-step videos on how to positively teach your horse all of these handling behaviours plus many more such as how to be easy to catch, lift their feet and lead. There are also hundreds of other videos on connecting with your horse, solving problems, groundwork and riding. I’d love to see you there!

If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends using the buttons below.  Tell us your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments section and/or sign up to our mailing list below. You will receive a FREE Video Seminar on The 4 Elements of Connection Training!

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The post Foal Handling Trained Positively – Standing, Grooming and Headcollar Training appeared first on Connection Training.

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It doesn’t feel good to ride a horse who doesn’t go forwards or listen to your aids. When they’re not really listening, not very motivated and feel that they’d rather be somewhere else, it isn’t fun for either of you. 

Since we’re all about finding the joy and working together with your horse, we want to change these emotions so that you’re both connected and enthusiastic.

This video shows one technique you can use to positively bring more clarity, enthusiasm and forwards to your horse when riding. As your horse tunes into you and becomes an active participant in the exercise, you’ll feel like you’re working together to achieve the same goal (that’s when riding feels fantastic!). 

This exercise is very effective and you can see the change in Irish Draught, Lily, almost immediately:

How to Improve Forwards Motivation and Responsiveness when Riding Your Horse - YouTube

 

It’s worth noting that we address all issues from many angles, so alongside this exercise, Lily also received regular bodywork (her owner, Sophie, is an Equine Body Worker), gymnastic groundwork training, change of saddle, rider posture work and lots of just-for-fun exercises to build her general joy, problem-solving abilities and relationship with Sophie. I find that this more holistic approach is needed to really enable horses to become as healthy and happy as possible.

If you enjoyed it, do check out the CT Club where you can watch these full lessons with Sophie and Lily, alongside hundreds of other videos on connecting with your horse, solving problems, groundwork and riding. I’d love to see you there!

If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends using the buttons below.  Tell us your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments section and/or sign up to our mailing list below. You will receive a FREE Video Seminar on The 4 Elements of Connection Training!

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The post How to Improve Forwards Motivation and Responsiveness when Riding appeared first on Connection Training.

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The quality of the relationship you have with your horse is important to you. I know because I feel the same and I’ve dedicated my career to finding the best ways to connect with horses.

‘Connection’, ‘relationship’, ‘bond’ etc are all words that are thrown around a lot in the horse world, and are often surrounded by a lot of mystique (add ‘feel’ in there, too!).

To me, connection is about you and your horse wanting to spend time together, both feeling confident that you’ll be listened to by the other (trust) and that you can do things together (hanging out with your horse is important, but I bet you want to do things as well!).

Which is all great, but how does that translate into what you actually DO with your horse?? 

As a pragmatic and practical person, it’s my mission to make positive horse training clear…

I recently joined the lovely Glenys on the Horse Chats podcast again, this time discussing 10 (practical!) ways you can connect with your horse. These are small things you can start today. Some will be new and others will be reminders, but the best horsey sessions and moments are always when you’re connected, so check it out for a little inspiration 🙂 

You can listen in here on Episode 558:

>> Click to go to the Horse Chats podcast (or search for it on your favourite podcast app.)
>> ‘Watch’ it below (it’s audio only, though!)

558: Hannah Weston 2 - "Ten Ways To Connect With Your Horse" - YouTube

>> Listen (and share) on the HorseChats Facebook Page

While you’re there, do check out the other fantastic episodes on Horse Chats. Glenys interviews professionals from all walks of horsey life and there’s a fantastic mix of information and insights there. My first Horse Chats interview is also up there if you missed it – Episode 502 – where I discuss what Connection Training is all about and my own training journey and philosophy.

If you’d prefer to read about it, we also have a free e-book available on 10 Ways to Connect with Your Horse. You can get that HERE 🙂

If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends using the buttons below.  Tell us your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments section and/or sign up to our mailing list below. You will receive a FREE Video Seminar on The 4 Elements of Connection Training!

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The post 10 Ways to Connect with Your Horse: Podcast appeared first on Connection Training.

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Ever feel too rushed, stressed or tired for a training session? Everybody does sometimes, but what should you do on those days?

CT Coach, Melissa Deal, suggests a ‘gratitude groom’ as a great way to connect with your horse on those difficult days. In this video, she talks you through what it is and then shows you with her horse, Eclipse – she says she doesn’t know who’s enjoying it most out of her or her horse and it’ll be sure to make you smile when you watch it, as well!

This is such a brilliant idea and supports our ethos of always putting connection first. This could be your whole session with your horse and would make it a great relationship-building day even if you don’t train, but maybe after this you might also feel calmer, more energised and ready to do some training after all…

Connect with Your Horse through a Gratitude Groom with Melissa Deal - YouTube

Let us know your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments section below!

You can find out more about Melissa here:
CT Coaches Page
Melissa’s Website, Victoryland Dressage
Melissa’s Facebook Page
Melissa’s Instagram
Melissa’s Youtube

If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends using the buttons below.  Tell us your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments section and/or sign up to our mailing list below. You will receive a FREE Video Seminar on The 4 Elements of Connection Training!

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The post Connect with Your Horse through a Gratitude Groom with Melissa Deal appeared first on Connection Training.

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If you’ve ever experienced a horse who has pulled or barged over you or tanked off when leading, you’ll know that it can be annoying, worrying or even dangerous. Being able to lead nicely is a necessary skill for all horses, ponies and donkeys in their day-to-day handling, but how do you teach a horse who pulls or barges to lead nicely without fighting or increasing the pressure?

The donkey in this video is Ned. He arrived to Hope Pastures rescue centre just before we filmed this, with a lot of issues around being handled, touched and especially being led. The staff there are brilliant and they handled him as quietly and gently as they could each day, but he had a very ingrained habit of pulling barging and tanking off and if you felt unable to do so would often bite strike and kick.

This is where I met him and began training. As I started to peal back the layers, I found an anxious and confused donkey underneath. Since horses (and ponies and donkeys) are generally peaceable herd animals, I find that most ‘problem behaviours’ stem from confusion, anxiety, frustration or overexcitement. My approach is always to find the calm connection first and build from there.

This creates a great relationship and is a gentle way of training that I’ve found to be highly effective and enjoyable for everyone. Certainly, Ned and I really enjoyed our time together and it was wonderful to open up that communication and build the relationship with him. When he started choosing to hang out and snooze next to me in the breaks… OMG, just so rewarding for me! But, that happened later – this was Ned’s first session (out of eight that I did with Ned for the CT Foundation Home Study Course in the CT Club) where the focus was really on leading because I had to help him improve his leading fast so that he could be safely and happily handled daily by the Hope Pastures staff.

This is what I did and I hope it help you solve any leading issues you may have:

How to Teach Your Horse to Lead Nicely - Stop Pulling and Barging - YouTube

As always, there is a LOT more info over in the CT Club. You can see all of Ned’s sessions in full as well as many other horses learning CT and overcoming handling problems. Go check it out – we’d love to see you there!

If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends using the buttons below.  Tell us your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments section and/or sign up to our mailing list below. You will receive a FREE Video Seminar on The 4 Elements of Connection Training!

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The post How to Teach Your Horse to Lead Nicely – Stop Pulling and Barging appeared first on Connection Training.

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This doesn’t have to be complicated! Leg yield is the first lateral movement I teach in-hand or ridden and it’s a great way of introducing the concept of going forwards and sideways to your horse. I aim to make this (and all of my lessons) as simple and straightforward as possible for you and your horse, so we begin with an explanation of what exactly you’re training. Then, using objects, we set it up to make it as easy, fun and rewarding for the horse to learn as possible – our horses should love this work, too!

As ever, the emphasis here is on Connection Training, not perfection training! The first steps of any new movement are always a bit messy. This is fine! Relaxation, willingness and communication are more important as you can always improve and refine it as you progress.

The leg yield taught in-hand is part of my Gymnastic Groundwork Home Study Course and it builds naturally and progressively onto the preceding exercises, such as shoulders over and quarters over. This is a short excerpt from that Course.

Leg Yield: How to Teach In-hand Lateral Work Using Clicker Training and a Target - YouTube

This exercise is part of our Gymnastic Groundwork Home Study Course, which teaches you how to improve your horse’s suppleness, straightness, body awareness and movement. It starts with the theory of why this work benefits horses and what exactly it is you’re training. The practical lessons start from leading exercises and build gently and progressively from there, so it’s very clear even if you’ve never done any of this work before. It includes in-hand work, liberty training, object work for body awareness, lateral movements, lunging and all terrain training – all trained softly and positively with the emphasis on both of you having fun!

CT Club members get instant access to this Course (and all our other Courses). Click here to find out more! 

If you enjoyed this blog, please share it with your friends using the buttons below.  Tell us your thoughts, questions and experiences in the comments section and/or sign up to our mailing list below. You will receive a FREE Video Seminar on The 4 Elements of Connection Training!

☟Scroll down the page to subscribe!☟

The post Leg Yield: How to Teach In-hand Lateral Work Using Clicker Training and a Target appeared first on Connection Training.

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