Western Training: Beyond the Basics

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Do you have a green-broke colt, or a green horse of any age, that you want to train for western events? Whether your goal is a reining, ranch, trail, pleasure or all-around horse, Western Training-Beyond the Basics will take you there. You'll learn, step by step, how to finish your western horse to become the enjoyable, responsive mount of your dreams. Truskauskas' books are noted for instructions that are easy to understand and follow. If you have a basic understanding of horsemanship and a desire to train your horse yourself, take this book home today, saddle up, and get started!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781577790655
  • Publisher: Alpine Publications, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Series: Equi Skills Series
  • Pages: 172
  • Sales rank: 913,861
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Read an Excerpt

You can evaluate a future reining horse's athletic ability by asking a young horse to perform a rollback while free longeing in the round pen. This will give you the chance to see how the horse uses himself naturally. The rollback is a 180-degree turn that a horse makes in place over his hocks, planting his inside hind pivot leg. To perform a rollback, a horse must reach farther under himself with his inside rear leg and elevate his shoulders so that he can pivot over and around the inside hind leg. Teaching the rollback will help a horse later with sliding stops. This rollback maneuver teaches a horse where to put his hind legs-namely, right underneath himself, where they also must be to slide to a stop. TEACHING THE ROLLBACK
Begin teaching this maneuver by free longeing your horse in the round pen. This will let him learn to handle himself unencumbered by the weight of a rider. Allow him to trot around the pen. Be sure not to restrict his head in any way. This is not the time to work on setting his head or to have his head tied.After he has warmed up and trotted around the pen a few times, take a step forward toward his shoulder. Extend your longe whip in front of him to stop his forward motion and to send him into the fence so that he turns in the other direction. As he makes the turn into the fence, snap your whip behind him to ask him to lope off in the new direction. Don't say "Whoa!"-that command is used only for a complete halt. Just extend your whip in front of him, send him in the other direction, and move him on. Ask him to roll back or turn a few times in either direction, then continue with your regular round-pen work. If a two-year-old is clumsy at this maneuver, it may only indicate that he needs more time to mature and develop, or it may mean that he is not athletically inclined and therefore not a suitable candidate for reining work. Don't judge a horse solely on this maneuver, however. Don't push him or ask him to perform the rollback over and over again. Pushing a horse that is too young or physically underdeveloped can lead to physical and mental problems that are difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. He needs to be moving forward with some energy (and some speed) to do well at this maneuver. TEACHING THIS MANEUVER WHILE MOUNTED IN THE ARENA
The first step in teaching this maneuver while mounted is to develop the cue for the horse to lift his shoulder further. While mounted, jog the horse about four feet along the inside of the fence. (The fence will be on the left in this example.) Signal your horse to stop by lightly lifting both reins and then releasing as he begins to come to a halt. Lifting both reins raises the horse's shoulders so that he should stop with his hind legs underneath him. Don't say "Whoa!" As soon as he has almost stopped, so the momentum helps him to lift and roll, lift the left rein (nearest the fence) to turn the horse into the fence. Apply right (outside) leg pressure, to tell the horse to move away from leg pressure and turn into the fence. Then ride back in the opposite direction, bumping him forward if needed.For example, as soon as his forward motion from the jog or trot has stopped, raise your left rein about six inches over the saddle horn to lift his left shoulder. Then, direct rein or turn him to the left into the fence. Use outside leg pressure at the girth to tell him to perform the rollback. Apply the neck-rein cue as well so that he also begins to associate it with turning while performing this maneuver. When you feel his front end lift up and his weight begin to rock back over his hocks, release the upward pressure on your left rein. Continue to ask him to turn into the fence using both the direct-rein cue and a right neck-rein cue. Be sure that you don't pull so hard on the neck rein that it tips the horse's nose in the opposite direction from that in which you wish to go.Remember-the neck rein is only a signal or a cue. You cannot force a horse to turn more quickly by using the neck rein harder. At the same time, apply right-leg pressure to tell the horse to move away from pressure and go into the fence to the left. As the horse comes out of the turn and is moving straight forward down the fence, drop your hands back to a neutral position, and use both legs to send him forward. You must create energy for the horse to stop correctly so that he can lift and turn. If a horse is lagging or is heavy on his front end, you will not get the lift-and-turn response. A responsive, light-on-his-feet horse will usually perform this exercise with less effort.If the horse trots into the rollback, he should stop, roll back, and trot out. If he lopes into the rollback, he should stop, roll back, and lope off. Use your outside leg to ask for the rollback, then add pressure from both legs to cue either for a jog or lope. Your legs create the energy. UNDERSTANDING THE ROLLBACK
As your horse begins to understand the rollback and performs it readily using the fence, ask him to perform the same maneuver without the fence. Trot forward in a straight line. Use your rein and weight aids to signal a stop. As the horse is coming to a stop, with his weight still over his hocks, use the energy created by that same forward motion to lift and turn with your inside rein and outside leg. Place the neck rein over the horse's neck to continue to prepare him for his future cue and to keep him as straight as possible. Apply your outside leg cue or bump him, if necessary, to send him out of the rollback at a trot. Later, when you ask your horse to lope, stop, and turn, he should then lope out of the rollback. Remember to cue consistently whether with or without the fence. Spend a lot of time trotting and loping in straight lines. Trot straight forward, stop, roll back, and move off in the new direction. Practice this maneuver often. It will help your horse become more responsive to the bit and will continue to teach him to elevate his shoulders and reach under with his hind legs. Reaching under with his hind legs will help with his sliding stops.Ask him to trot, stop, roll back, and trot out. As he begins to have more impulsion going into the rollback, his hind legs will extend farther underneath him. A horse that moves slowly and lethargically will stop slowly and lethargically. You will get a better stop by making him move with more impulsion. I like to start a horse at a slower speed so that I can show him what I want. Then I increase the impulsion and eventually the speed after he has shown me that he understands. Going slower gives you more control and allows the horse time to digest and understand this new sequence of cues. Going faster, with more impulsion, will create a better rollback, but only after the horse understands what it is he is supposed to do. As his ability to roll back increases, his stop will get better.Once your horse is mature physically, you can ask him to lope, stop, roll back, and lope out. The rollback teaches the horse to round his back as he extends his hind legs underneath him....
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1.  Evaluating Conformation and Trainability
Chapter 2.  Training One Step at a Time
Chapter 3.  Ground Training
Chapter 4.  Bits and Curb Chains
Chapter 5.  Teaching Your Horse to Accept Bit Pressure
Chapter 6.  Teaching Your Horse to Be Light
Chapter 7.  Teaching Your Horse to Follow His Nose
Chapter 8.  Moving From Leg Pressure
Chapter 9.  Lifting a Shoulder
Chapter 10.  Using the Serpentine to Add Precisio
Chapter 11.  Teaching Leads and Lope Departures
Chapter 12.  Teaching Circles and Speed Control
Chapter 13.  Collecting the Horse
Chapter 14.  Making Smooth Lead Changes
Chapter 15.  Teaching Your Horse to Spin
Chapter 16.  Teaching Your Horse to Roll Back
Chapter 17.  Teaching Your Horse to Slide to a Stop
Chapter 18.  Using and Refining the Aids
Chapter 19.  Correcting Bad Habits
Chapter 20.  How Reining Horses Are Scored
Appendix Fourteen Tips for Successful Training
About the Author
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