Monday, August 31, 2015

The Steps to Connection on a hot, nervous horse, or in fact... ANY horse

"Is your horse connected?  What does that really mean? Would you like to know the Steps to Connection that can make a difference in what you are doing with your horse at the walk and trot?  Watch this video!"

Sometimes, all you really need to understand what you are doing in your horse's training process is to have the steps broken down so you have a better understanding of what you need to do.  In this video Trudy is riding Melody and focusing on keeping her connected and relaxed.  I am learning new ways to share what I am doing on video with you..and the riders, and am exploring new ways to describe what you are seeing at the same time the rider is taking a lesson.  

After watching this Horse and Rider Awareness video do you have a clearer idea about how you can use the Steps to Connection with your horse?  We love to hear your feedback.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Rainbow (in your horses neck) at the trot. You will love this technique!

"The Rainbow...  An easy way for you to know if your horse is connecting the way you want it do.  Check out this easy to use technique to see if your horse has a "Rainbow" at the trot today!"

For most of us, keeping our horses balanced and in connection is important. We like the way it feels when our horses connect with us at that level.  An easy way to be able to "see" (yes, sometimes we do look down) is by keeping a "Rainbow" in your horses neck.  Of course, it is much more than that... However, this is an easy technique that will let you know when your horse is really on the aids/in front of the legs/on the bit, round, packaged, the beginning of self carriage.

The next time you ride, check to see if you have a "Rainbow" in your horses neck.  Let us know how it works for you!  

Thursday, August 27, 2015

"Connecting your horse at the canter. The Rainbow/outside rein and leg"

"Would you like to improve your horse's canter?  Watch this video to see what Trudy is doing with Ani.  Which tip makes the biggest difference for what you are doing with your horse?

Now you can watch what I do with Trudy as we focus on improving  Ani's canter. In this session we focus on keeping Ani connected (on the aids/on the bit/round/in front of the aids/packaged) at the canter" This is level of connection in the canter is still new to Ani and so it is the perfect video for anyone who wants to improve their horses canter. Check out the wonderful changes in Ani's canter than go out and try these techniques on your horse.

Are you ready to try this on your horse? We love to hear your feedback!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Leg yield to keep a horse connected on the outside rein and leg. Trot

"Have you always wanted to know how to ask your horse to stay connected on the outside rein and leg? Watch what happens as Trudy uses leg yields to keep Ani more connected and balanced"

This is an exciting time for Trudy as she is now taking Ani to the next level in her training.  It is time for Ani to stay on the bit/on the adds/in front of the legs/round/coming through/packaged... To do this she is using the leg yield so that Ani stays connected on the outside rein and leg. This is a term horse trainers use when a horse is being balanced between the riders legs and reins.  The good news is that we have been filming the process just for you!  Now you can see what might happen with your horse (or a client/students) when you are ready to ask for more connection on the outside rein and leg.

Are you ready to try this on your horse?  You will love how using the leg yield will show both you and your horse what it really can mean to be "on the outside rein and leg"

Monday, August 24, 2015

The "Movers and Shakers of the Horse World" rounds out its 2015 season on Tuesday, August 25th at 8:00pm EST, 5:00pm PST with Glenn the Geek, founder of the Horse Radio Network (HRN) ( Since the early days in 2008, HRN has grown from its first 12 listeners to over 130,000 and has produced over 4,200 episodes. That’s ultimately why the Horse Radio Network has been named one of the top five podcasting networks on the internet! Their shows are just plain fun and people love them!
Hosting many of HRN’s shows such as the Stable Scoop Radio Show, Horses in the Morning and the Driving Radio Show, Glenn has been an extremely influential force in the horse industry for years, and continues to make a difference everyday. That's why he's been named a Mover and Shaker of the Horse World!
You're invited to join us as we get to know Glenn and listen to the exciting stories of his career in the horse world! To register for this free, live teleconference, visit:
Following the event, all registrants will receive a link to the replay as well as all previous episodes, allowing for convenient, ongoing listening.
Movers & Shakers of the Horse World co-host, Carol Aldridge states, “With only six exclusive guests each year, our 2015 season included some of the equine industry’s most notable professionals, such as: Liv Gude of Professional Equine Grooms, Debi Metcalfe of Stolen Horse International, Inc. aka , Wayne Williams ofSpeaking of Horses TV, Fran Jurga of Hoofcare.comHoofcare & Lameness Christy Landwehr of the Certified Horsemanship Association and of course Glenn the Geek of the Horse Radio Network. And looking forward, we already have several superstars lined up for 2016, and some extra surprises as well!”.
To stay informed of upcoming events, join the Movers and Shakers of the Horse World social media networks on Facebook at: and on Google+ at: or subscribe to the news updates at: www.howtomarketyourhorsebusiness.
  Sign up now for the Movers and Shakers of the Horse World

Are you asking your horse for a headset... or a mindset?

"It's really not a headset.  It's a mind set. The mystery of how to get your horses head in the right place"

Why do we position our horses heads a certain way (or at least try to...) We do this so we can support our horse so that it can stay more "connected" as we balance it between our leg aids and the rein connection"

 How a horse understands this process still amazes me.  Now that Ani is further along in her training Trudy has found that she likes the feeling of Ani staying more connected with her.  On this day Trudy asked me to isolate what she is doing with Ani so that she can keep her more connected with her back up and a "rainbow" in her neck. 

Can you see how Trudy is keeping Ani more connected by working on the Steps to Connection?  Have you tried this on your horse?  We love hearing your feedback so please let us know how this works for you.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Softening the jaw to get the right head position. What does that mean? S...

"What if... you want your horse to keep its head in a certain position.  This is common for those who are competing or riding dressage.  Do you feel like your horse is still locking up or leaning on the reins when you pick up the reins connection?  You are not alone.  This is a mystery that takes some riders years to understand.  Now you can watch what I do with Trudy so she can isolate how Ani is responding to what she is doing with the reins. 

On this day Trudy asked if we could focus on that "rainbow" that happens in a horses neck when they are soft to the bit (rein connection) and on the aids/in front of the aids/round and so on.  Trudy has been watching horses at the dressage shows and now that Ani is more comfortable with that level of connection is ready to ask her to stay balanced between her reins and legs even more.
In this video we are at the halt and you can see how I break everything down for Trudy.  (We have done this in the past, but now Trudy has a different idea about what this really can do)

How does your horse respond to the rein connection?  Are you ready to try this technique on your horse?  Let us know how it works for you.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Canter. What are you doing with your hands? S4 Riding Instructor

"What if... you really have a feeling that it is time to ride your horse in more of a connection at the canter. You know, the kind where you feel that your horse is staying soft to the reins and is "balanced" somewhat between your leg and rein aids. Now you can learn the Secret of the Trainers. It's all about your riding position!"

Trudy has brought Ani a long way in her training. This is their warm up canter and on this day Trudy asked me to isolate what she is doing to keep Ani connected. Before this week Trudy had been working on this but now she is feeling serious about asking Ani to stay softer to the rein connection at the canter. Its a big step and now you can watch how important Trudy's riding position and length of rein is to that process.
What did you learn from watching this Horse and Rider Awareness video? Are you ready to ask your horse to stay more connected at the canter yet? Please share your feedback as we love to hear what is happening in your training process and how these videos are making a difference for you.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Secrets of the trainers. Riding position for circles and curves. Walk tr...


"What if... you finally had a system you can use to make sure that your riding position is in the right place on circles or curves?  Now you do!  Check out this video and watch what I do with Trudy"

It's no secret.  You have heard this so many times.  It is your riding position and how you use your aids that is how you are able to connect and influence your horse. Yet, how to do this is a mystery.  Or is it?  What if all you need to do is watch someone else (we are volunteering Trudy here) go through a process that can also work for you?

Try this Horse and Rider Awareness process and let us know how it works for you.  We love your feedback and look forward to hearing your results. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Secrets of the trainers. Where should your hands be for the canter? S4...

"Would you like to know an easy way to make sure that your hands are in the right place? As an added bonus you will also be able to keep your reins the right length.. even in the canter!"

Have you ever wondered why the pro riders seem to have a more consistent riding position especially with the length of their reins? It's because they have learned to keep their hands in the same place! This sounds so easy, but is not as easy as it sounds. To keep your hands in that magic spot you will be shortening and lengthening your reins a lot. You will also need to keep adjusting your seat position. Now you can watch what happens as Trudy practices her hand position on Ani. 

The next time you canter your horse. Check to see what happens to your rein length. You might be surprised to see how often your hands are moving around instead of staying where they should be. As always, we love getting your feedback so please share your results with us.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Halt back walk transitions and more. Retraining an anxious schoolmaster ...

"Has anyone told you that you will never be able to re train your horse or that you can't teach an old horse new tricks?  Watch what happens as we retrain this schoolmaster (a hot nervous horse)  to stay relaxed and connected in his walk work"

This video shows when Darrien began to finally start relaxing and waiting for Susan's aids.  This was not easy for him as he has the tendency to be nervous/anxious when ever Susan asks him to do... just about anything.  His reaction in the past has been to disconnect by dancing around and pulling Susan out of the saddle with the reins.  Now you can see that he is slowly starting to understand that the training process is not so bad. Here we are simply doing the walk exercises.  Susan's goal seems so easy (she makes it look that way) as all she has to do is keep Darrien connected (on the aids/on the bit/round/in front of her legs/packaged) and relaxed.  During this session we discovered that Darrien really does not understand how to stay on the outside rein and leg at the walk (which meant he was not really staying their at any gait) and it was a great opportunity to focus on that feeling.

Those of you who have been watching the progress of Susan and Darrien have seen a lot of changes and know what a break through this is.  It really has been like starting a green horse over in so many ways.  Have you ever retrained a horse?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Canter. Can you get your horse "on the bit" in the warm up?

"Does your horse "lock up" to your aids (or ignore you) in the canter when you ask it to take up contact?  What can you do when your horse says it does not want to connect with you, even in the warm up canter?"

Susan continues to improve Darriens response to the aids. In this video we are warming him up at the canter. How does your horse respond to your connection in the canter warm up?  Has it reached the point where it is somewhat willing to connect with you or are you still trying to find that place?  The good news for you is that all riders who train their own horses will go through this phase.  That is why we are sharing the training progress of the Horse and Rider Awareness riders and their horses with you.  So you can see what really happens. 

It has taken us over a year to get him to relax and listen to what she is asking him to do.  In this video we focus on what length of rein we need to keep him "on the bit" and as relaxed as possible in the warm up.  This may seem like a simple concept for some riders, but for others, getting their horses to this point in their training is a huge achievement.  Darrien has just started accepting a "willing" contact on the reins these past few months. This was from the past training that he came with. Now he is finally starting to responding by softening to Susan's aids while staying connected from her legs into the rein connection. Last year at this time Darrien was still in his double bridle which is common for an FEI dressage horse and in fact, the only way he was safe at that time.  This year, as you can see, we have him in a snaffle.  In fact, Susan is competing him in Prix St George and Intermediate 1 in it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Behind the Vertical. Retraining a schoolmaster

"Have you heard that your horse is "behind the vertical? What does that mean? What can you do to correct this common training challenge?"

A horse that is behind the vertical (with its head position) could be doing it for many reasons. It may think that is what it should be, or it might have been taught to do this by someone who thought that it was the right "look". Other times, this position is a result of the incorrect use of draw reins or side reins. Either way, when it happens the horse is not usually connecting to the rein influence. They are going "behind the bit" and setting their head and neck instead of staying soft to the riders rein connection. It becomes an artificial position and a habit that takes a long time to correct. As a result of this position the horse often does not have its back up and is not stepping up from behind. Those who have been watching the training progress of Susan with Darrien have seen a lot of positive changes since they became a team last year. At that time Darrien was still in a double bridle and was not comfortable with the rein connection at all. His lower neck muscle was twice the size of the top of the neck. Now you can see that Susan is riding him in a snaffle and Darrien is now "rounding up" more. His neck has a rainbow, his back is up and he is getting more comfortable with stepping up into the rein connection.

Does your horse have a tendency to go "behind the vertical?" If so, you are not alone. What did you learn from watching what Susan is doing with Darrien?

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Floating Trot. What if you could teach your horse how to do it? S4...

"The magic of creating a "floating trot" with your horse"  Have you always admired those horses who seem to float across the ring?  Some of them seem to be so natural at it... until you add the rider.  Now you can see what Susan is doing with Beau to keep his trot "floaty" in their warm up work"

Not every horse can do the "floating trot".  Some never will and others, like Susan's horses, are learning how to do it.  Basically it happens when the horse is "on the aids" (in front of the leg, self carriage, round, packaged on the bit) It might take a few years to get there, but for those who love training their horses to this level is is a great accomplishment. When a horse is "floating" their back is up and they are stepping up more from behind with their back feet.  As a result their balance shifts and their backs come up and their shoulders rise.  This is when the horse is moving with even strides from both the back feet and the front. Now you can watch what I do with Susan and Beau.  As you will see, we are adding this "floating" to everything that they are now doing in the trot work. This might be the 2nd session where we have really focused on this balance and activity (from behind)

Do you have a better understanding of the "Floating trot" after watching this video?  Are you ready to try it on your horse?  We love your feedback so please let us know what you think and how this works with your horse. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Keeping a horse's back up at the trot. On the aids. S4 Horse training

"Sometimes... we all wonder if we will ever get to the next level of connection and balance with our horses.  This is normal.  Now that Darrien is now finally relaxing more (and breathing) we are focusing even more on keeping him balanced and connected.  His trot needs more work right now that his other gaits and now you can watch what Susan is doing with him during this part of the training process"

It's true.  it has taken us almost two years to get Darrien to where he is now.  A year ago he was still rooting on the reins (pulling Susan out of the saddle) rearing and running.  As you can imagine... he did have some serious behavioral/training issues.  You have also seen the process that Susan has been using to retrain him (Darrien is 18 years old)  This year, we have switched back to a snaffle bit. Darrien is an FEI dressage horse and they normally wear a double bridle.  Little by little he is getting more responsive and at times, even seems to be enjoying himself.  :)

Are you in the process of re training or simply training your horse to be more "on the aids?"  Did you imagine it would take as long as it does?  More importantly...  how do you feel when your horse started to understand what you wanted?  Did you feel your horse trying to connect with you? 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Adding the leap to canter/counter canter. S4 dressage training

"Would you like to improve your canter and counter canter?  Watch what Susan is doing with Beau in this video!"

The counter canter and canter can be difficult gaits to teach to a horse or rider.  First the horse has to be at a point where they can actually balance the horse and hopefully... keep it relaxed.  Next, the rider has to have the right riding position and know how to position the horse for the movements.  In this warm up session Susan focuses on keep Beau connected while making sure he has the right "bend" in front of the saddle.  She also adds a little "magic" as she asks Beau to start adding more leap to his canter.

What did you learn from watching this video?  Are you ready to try this on your horse?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

2nd Level test 3. 66. 98% Susan Faulkner and Mission Point TIEC Aug 1 ...


"Would you like to see the movements and scores of a  2nd level dressage test?"

This is Susan's horse Beau's (Mission Point) competing in the 2nd level test 3 dressage test this weekend. I added the movements, the scores and the comments from the judge for each movement so you can see exactly what the judge is looking for in dressage"
Those who have been following this team know what a difficult horse Beau was. It has taken us 5 years to get him to this point. This shows that almost any horse can be retrained and brought back to another level.