Top Tips for Training a Show Horse


Clare and Glen photo courtesy of Equinational

1 – Training a show horse is no different to training any other kind of horse, know what you want to achieve and be very black and white with your horse, so he understands what you want.

2 – One of the best horse trainers in the world from the Swiss Knie Circus told
me “The horse is never wrong; it is just that we have not explained it to him
properly.”

3 – Repetition is the key to training any horse, once the horse understands what you want he will remember it.

4 – Reward your horse when he has done well, all animals learn more quickly when this method is used. A reward may not necessarily be in the form of a tit-bit, but may be by removing the pressure, for example letting your horse walk on a long rein.

5 – Take your time, some horses take a bit longer to learn than others.

6 – Go to a trainer or a professional show rider to give you some lessons. However good you are, you need a pair of eyes on the ground to help you improve.

7 – Go to one of the many showing clinics or to a training show.

8 – Take your horse to a dressage competition before the show season starts, it’s a nice, quiet way to get your horse going in the company of others whilst warming up, for your test.

9 – Your horse must learn to carry himself and work in a nice, light, steady contact. He must be responsive to the aids and be a pleasure to sit on, you will only achieve this through correct training.

10 – Keep your training interesting and varied, hack out, pop over some jumps, and challenge your horse to keep learning something new.

11 – Let other people ride him, so he gets used to the slightly different way everyone rides in preparation for the judge riding him.

12 – Everything you do to train your horse for the show ring is to make him not only perform to the best of his capabilities and to give the judge a better ride but to make it easier and more pleasurable for you to ride and show him.

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