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Exotic ABCs of Trick Horse Training by Sylvia Burrage


Exotic ABCs of Trick Horse Training
Sylvia Burrage

Conventional longeing leaves much to be desired. Everyone I see flails after the haunches resulting in the horse bending the wrong way, throwing the shoulder in and haunches out. Chains used on the nose makes it even worse as the horse leans his head out to try and avoid the punishment of a bounce on his nose. The horse is totally out of balance and kept that way. It would be better not to longe at all.

This unique program uses no gimmicks. Forget martingales, draw reins, overchecks, chains and whatever other contrivances there are that prevent the quiet understanding contact between hand and mouth. Gimmicks actually inhibit training, but people love to think they found a shortcut.

Sylvia started these horses as if being trained for a schooled liberty performance. A halter nose band that gives complete relief when the horse relaxes his neck is used for the initial sessions. The band is also a tool for focusing attention, and if necessary, discipline. Horses rapidly learn to give themselves total relief to the band by giving the exact bend that we wish. In the horse's mind this is easily understood and accepted, as it is supremely consistent. The band is soon discarded when the horse learns the cues. Then he can lunge from a snaffle and will be very light as you have taught him to relax his neck. The only other equipment you need is a bridle, western saddle, rope, lunge whip and short lashed whip.


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