Horse Training 101: Step-By-Step Guide to Training Your Horse

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Horse training can be a daunting task, but you’ll have your horse behaving in no time with this guide. For a beginner, it’s best to start with groundwork basics. This will teach your horse to respond to your commands and get used to being around you. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced training techniques, like riding and jumping.

One of the most important things to remember for horse training Granbury, TX is to be patient. Horses are smart creatures, but they learn at their own pace. If you try to rush things, you’ll likely end up frustrated, and your horse won’t learn anything. Just take it one step at a time, and soon you’ll see progress!

At Texas Made Cattle, we understand how important it is to have a horse that you can trust and rely on. That’s why we offer services for horse training Granbury, TX designed to help you build a strong bond with your horse. Contact us today to learn more about our horse training services or schedule a consultation.

The Basics of Horse Training

So, if you want to learn more about horse training Granbury, TX, read more on the step-by-step process below:

Establish Rapport with Your Horse

This is the first and most important step in horse training Granbury, TX. If your horse doesn’t trust you, it will be harder to get it to do what you want. You need to build a trusting relationship with your horse before you start asking it to do anything. Spend time just being around your horse, grooming it, and letting it get used to your presence. Horses are social creatures, so the more time you spend with yours, the better!

But, how will you bond with your horse? Listed below are some ways how you can build a connection:

  • Spend time with them. For horse training Granbury, TX, if you want your horse to get used to you, you need to spend time with them every day. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, horses appreciate the attention!
  • Create positive associations. Horses are creatures of habit, so if you always do something nice before you ask them to do something, they’ll start to associate that behavior with you. For example, if you always give your horse a treat before you ride it, it will start to look forward to being ridden!
  • Be gentle and consistent. Horses are sensitive creatures, so they’ll pick up on your moods. If you’re all over the place, they’ll get anxious and won’t be able to focus on what you’re trying to teach them.

Start with the Basics of Groundwork

Once your horse is comfortable around you, it’s time to start working on the basics of obedience. This includes things like leading, haltering, and feeding. These exercises will teach your horse to respond to your commands and get used to being handled.

When it comes to learning the groundwork basics, you need to be aware of the following exercises:

  • Standing still. One of the first things you’ll need to teach your horse is how to stand still. This is important for things like grooming and tacking up. To get your horse to stand still, simply ask it to “stand” or “whoa.” If it doesn’t listen, apply gentle pressure on the lead rope until it stops moving.
  • Properly leading. To lead your horse properly, you need to ensure that you’re holding the lead rope correctly. The rope should be in your dominant hand, and you should be holding it about a foot away from the horse’s halter. Keep your arm straight and your body close to the horse’s side.
  • Flexing. One of the exercises you’ll need to do is flexing at the poll. This teaches your horse to yield to pressure and follow your lead. To do this:

Take the lead rope in your left hand and put your right hand on the horse’s withers (the area between its neck and back).

Apply gentle pressure with your right hand and ask the horse to “flex” or “give.” The horse should lower its head and give to the pressure.

If it doesn’t, apply more pressure until it does.

  • Softening the face. This part of horse training Granbury, TX is similar to flexing, but you’ll work on the horse’s face instead of its neck. Take the lead rope in your right hand and put your left hand on the horse’s jaw below the halter.

    Apply gentle pressure with your left hand and ask the horse to “soften” or “give.” The horse should lower its head and give to the pressure. If it doesn’t, apply more pressure until it does.

Desensitize Your Horse

This means getting your horse used to things that it might find scary or uncomfortable. For example, you’ll need to get your horse used to being touched all over its body, having its feet handled, and being ridden. 

The best way to desensitize your horse is to do it gradually. Start with something small, like touching its face, and work your way up. If you try to do too much at once, you’ll overwhelm the horse, and it won’t be able to learn anything.

Listed below are the reasons why you need to desensitize your horse before you put a saddle on them:

  • To build trust. By encouraging your horse not to be afraid, the horse will eventually trust you and do what you ask of them. Keep in mind that your horse looks up to you for guidance. It would help if you were calm and patient to communicate safety to your horse.
  • To prepare your horse for the saddle. Getting your horse used to the saddle is called “sacking out.” This is when you gradually introduce your horse to the saddle and all the gear that goes with it. You’ll want to start by just putting the saddle on the horse’s back and letting it get used to the feel of it. Once it’s comfortable with that, you can start adding more weight, like a rider or a bag of sand.
  • To get your horse used to being ridden. Once your horse is saddled up, it’s time to start riding! If you’ve done everything correctly up to this point, your horse should be ready and willing to work with you. The first few times you ride, keep it short and sweet.

Get Your Horse Used to the Saddle

One of the last things you’ll need to do before you can start riding is to get your horse used to the saddle. The best way to do this is to put the saddle on the horse’s back without tightening the girth. Let the horse walk around with the saddle for a few minutes to get used to the feel of it. Then, tighten the girth and let the horse walk around again. Repeat this process until the horse is comfortable with being saddled.

Get Your Horse Familiar with the Weight in the Saddle

Part of horse training Granbury, TX is to get your horse used to the weight of a rider in the saddle. To do this, you’ll need someone to help you. Have your helper sit in the saddle and add weight gradually until the horse is comfortable.

  • Desensitize the horse to the added weight. Start with a light person in the saddle and have them get off and on the horse frequently. This will help the horse get used to the weight of a rider.
  • Work up to a heavier rider. Once the horse is comfortable with a light person in the saddle, you can gradually add weight until the horse is carrying a full-grown adult.
  • Ride for short periods of time. To begin with, only ride for short periods of time so that the horse doesn’t get tired. As the horse gets more used to being ridden, you can start riding for longer periods.

Once the horse is used to the weight, it’s time to finally sit on your horse!

If you want to get the best out of horse training Granbury, TX, don’t forget to contact Texas Made Cattle & Horse Company to experience high quality and happy horses to train.

Things You Shouldn’t Do to Your Horse

When your horse misbehaves, it’s important to know how to discipline them properly. However, there are some things that you should never do when disciplining your horse. Here are some things you should avoid:

  • Don’t Hit Your Horse. Hitting your horse is a surefire way to make them fear and resent you. If you need to discipline your horse, try using positive reinforcement instead.
  • Don’t Yell at Your Horse. Yelling at your horse will only startle them and make them more likely to misbehave. If you need to get their attention, try making a loud noise with an object like a whip or a flag.
  • Don’t Use Food as a Reward. If you use food as a reward for good behavior, your horse may start to misbehave to get a treat. Instead, try using verbal praise or petting to reward your horse.

With these tips in mind for horse training Granbury, TX, you should be well on your way to having a well-behaved horse that you can enjoy spending time with. 

Call Texas Made Cattle & Horse Company Today!

For the best horse training Granbury, TX services, don’t hesitate to contact us! Texas Made Cattle & Horse Company is a full-service cattle and horse ranch located in Granbury, TX. We offer a variety of services, including horse training, cattle sales, and more.

Contact us today at 817-408-9130 to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation. 

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