Winter is often the “off-season” for most horses and horse people. For me, it’s the “off-the-field season,” but in many ways, it’s my “on season” for a lot of the work I do. I’m always quite busy hosting online classes every other week, but that’s only part of it. Much of my work goes on […]
15 years ago today, I was skiing in Vermont on Killington Mountain. Known as “The Beast of the East”, Killington is one of New England’s largest ski areas (insert heckling comments of Western U.S. and European skiers here.) I had a little fall. It was no big deal really, I just face-planted after a bump. […]
The Day I Learned About the Outside Rein. As a young horse trainer, I was aware of this concept called “the outside rein.” But my understanding was entirely conceptual. Sure, I had an outside rein, we all have an outside rein. The rein that is opposite of the way you’re turning, simple. But my tools […]
Three fun things you can do with your horse this winter without freezing your buns off! Winter brings short days, cold temperatures and hard footing to most of every season. While these issues certainly do limit the time and types of activities we can do with our horses, they don’t have to bring all horse […]
I’m not a great person to preach about the perils of waiting until the last minute. I have that habit too. However, waiting until the last minute to sign up for an online class is putting you and your horse at risk of experiencing profound sadness. Let me explain how. Know Before You Go If […]
… and where it’s going! The idea started out simply enough. It went kind of like this: I had a handful of students that were entering their first or second season of combined driving. They were all pretty new to the sport, so didn’t know much about how the rules worked, and some of the […]
This little note on bending is long overdue. I’ve put it off for a long time for good reasons. The main reason is that most people get their priorities out of order when the subject of bending comes up. Too many people think of manipulating their horse’s bend long before any of the prerequisites to […]
If you spend enough time around me, you’re going to find out about the eight-pound cat rule. It’s an important rule to remember, and it will help you explain things to your horse much better, so pay attention. I’ll start by telling you what brings the Eight Pound Cat rule to my mind today. Right […]
Here’s a rare experience for me; Sitting down on a Sunday morning with coffee doing some reading. It’s rare because Sundays are not usually my low activity days for me. During the year I’m usually pretty engaged in some activity on weekend days. Sunday mornings usually involve getting up a little earlier in the morning […]
A student of mine was recently at an equine expo watching the various demonstrations and clinics. Afterward, she sent me a note; “Not one clinician told their students to look up and away from the horse. Is that [looking ahead of your horse] just an Andy-ism?” My reply; “Not an Andy-ism, just a global world truth […]
The more they stay the same! I was asked an interesting question this morning about my upcoming class on driving cones. “Will the content be applicable to both lower and upper levels?” The answer is an emphatic “Yes!” The strategies for driving cones don’t change from one level to the next. Sure, the times and clearances […]
Driving a serpentine in cones is quite different than a serpentine in dressage. Take a look at this video for a few tips on how to get it right.
The secret to training horses successfully is building one success upon the next. While big moments do happen, sustainable change requires consistent skill building. Learning the technique of building skills “Strides at a Time” can improve your success leading to greater gains.
You can get a lot out of one lesson, but when you combine that with followup lessons the rewards are exponential. Read how quickly the benefits add up.
Many carriage drivers struggle with their horse taking a step backward after completing a halt. Understanding why the horse is taking the backward step is the first step toward solving the problem.