I have recently discovered some things about the new age of horse training, and horse training equipment. Things have come a long way since my youth days of “Ride the buck out”, which means get on, and hold on for dear life until the horse stops bucking. Now days many people get on a friendship level with their horses to gain the horses respect, and companionship before they ever even think about getting on their backs. This takes a while longer, but is said to create a horse that will look out for you, actually cares that you are OK, and wants to be around you. Men like Pat Parelli, and Clinton Anderson who take on a more dominant role to gain respect, using more physical gestures (not hitting), and then there are men like Monty Roberts who have been doing this for a long time, and can seemingly talk to horses, and get them ready with only body language, and a minimal, gentle touch. It is amazing to watch.
With all of that being said I would like to get into some of the horse training equipment you will need to train your horse, and almost all of them I have used myself recently with my 2 year old filly Ella. I work with her every day to get her ready to ride, and she loves being with me.
You can not train a horse without of course the horse. Although you can not buy these on Amazon, you can find them near you.
Knowledge is a very important part of horse training, and ownership. You can not do anything without the knowledge to do so. I highly recommend looking up videos by Monty Roberts. He is my favorite. Clinton Anderson would have to be second, right alongside Pat Parelli.
The first piece of horse training equipment you will need is a halter. This is the straps, or rope that goes around a horses head to help keep them where you need them to be, and helps with communication between you, and your horse. It is the contact point where you, and your horse meet without actually touching them.
Next is a lead line. This is the rope that connects you, and a horses halter. I would call this the communication line between you, and your horse. They come in all lengths, but I prefer the 12-foot rope. It gives me enough room to lead them, and I can even lunge them on it if I need to. You can tie them to things, and really anything else that you need to do.
I feel like one of the most important things in horse training equipment is a round pen. This is exactly what it sounds like, a round shaped pen that you exercise your horse in. It is either 5, or 6 feet tall so that the horse can not jump it, or get hung on it, and get hurt. Some horses can jump a 5-foot fence though, so beware. They range in size from 20 to 40 feet, and up. You can make the smaller if you buy the panels, and put it together yourself, but if you get to small then it will not be a “round” pen anymore. You can also buy posts, and fencing to build it yourself from scratch, but it won’t be easily movable. You can train your horse in this safe are without using a halter, lead, or anything. It is the perfect spot to work with your horse on groundwork, breaking, and daily exercises.
Whip, Crops, Flags
Another tool you can have on your side is a whip, not used for hitting the horse violently, but for light tapping as an extension of your arm. Crops are shorter than whips for closer range, or when you are riding the horse for gentle guidance. I believe if you have to hit the horse violently then you are not on a close enough level with this horse, and you need to get down to work on groundwork more, and gaining respect. You should never have to beat a horse into submission. There are many reasons for a horse acting out, but I will discuss those in a later post. Another tool is a flag. I love the flag because it doubles as a way to tap your horse, and also helps them get used to things moving near them. This is important because you do not want your horse spooking at every little thing while you are out riding on the trail, at a show, or anywhere for that matter. For our safety, and the horses we want them feeling safe, and secure at all times. You can even take your whip if it has a detachable end, and add a plastic bag to it for the same effects of a flag with the added benefit of making noise. Plastic bags are very noisy, and will help your horse get used to noises, and things that may startle it. Horses are spooked mainly by sudden movements, and loud noises, so getting them used to both will help you both in the long run.
Tough-One Whip This is one of the whips I have, and I love it. The end is detachable, so I can have it long, or short.
Treats are an optional thing that I do not use during training. A lot of people do, and that is just fine. I do not use them because I want my horses doing things for me because they want to do them, not because they are about to get a treat. It is an amazing feeling when you ask your horse to do something, and they do it simply because they love you, and they want to do things for you. Horses that learn off of treats will eventually do things for you because they want to do them, but will initially do things for the treats. I feel by eliminating the treats with learning it may take a little while longer to get the end result, but the horse will learn respect a little quicker along the way. That being said there are a lot of great treats out there that I give horses just because I love them, not to get them to do things. Everyone has their own personal preference, and there is no wrong way to do things unless it is abuse, or teaching bad habits. The end result is the goal, and having fun while you are doing it is key.
Really the most important part of training is patience. All horses learn at different paces, and they will not always go at the pace that you want them to. Be patient, and if you feel you are getting frustrated then walk away, and come back later, or call an expert. There is nothing wrong with admitting you need help. It is better to ask for help, and end up with a good, confident, and stable horse rather than to go it alone, and create bad habits in yourself, and your horse.
Until Next Time
As always, thank y’all so much for taking the time to stop here for all your horse needs, and learning. I love spending this small bit of time with you talking about horses, and Horse Gear. Take care, and I will see you next time!