Help With My Horse

6 Focal Points. Green Broke To Foundation Trained

Training a green-broke to a foundation trained horse is akin to modeling the live horse like a piece of clay, embarking on a journey of communication, understanding, and mutual respect. It’s a process that unfolds in layers, each building upon the last, towards a refined partnership between horse and rider. Let’s delve into the specifics of achieving each of the six foundational training points, drawing from the wealth of information shared.

Refining Steering with Soft Aids

The cornerstone of our journey begins with refining steering and direct rein control. This is where the nuanced dance of communication between my horse and me takes its initial steps. I start with the basics, walking my horse and introducing rein cues to guide direction. These cues are a delicate balance—soft enough to encourage trust, yet firm enough to establish clear guidance.

The art of steering is in the subtlety of the cues. I begin with the lightest pressure, a whisper of a request, and watch closely for any response. A slight shift in weight or a gentle turn of the head is all I’m asking for. The moment my horse responds, I release the pressure, rewarding the effort. This immediate release is crucial; it’s the horse’s signal that the correct action has been taken. If there’s no response, I gradually increase the pressure, teaching my horse that responding to softer cues is preferable.

As we progress, the expectations evolve. Initially, a simple turn of the head might suffice for pressure release. Over time, I ask for more—perhaps a full turn or maintaining a specific bend. This incremental elevation of expectations is the essence of training, where each new skill builds upon the last.

Soft Stop

The soft stop is an extension of our communication, where I teach my horse to halt with minimal cues. It begins with a gentle pull on the reins, but the real communication happens through my body. I slow my movements, signaling my intention to stop. My horse, attuned to my cues, responds by matching my pace and coming to a gentle stop. The key here is consistency and patience, rewarding the horse for responding to the softest of signals.

Speed Control with the Rider’s Seat

Controlling speed through my seat is a sophisticated dance. I use my body’s rhythm to influence my horse’s pace, a subtle yet powerful form of communication. To speed up, I increase the rhythm of my movements; to slow down, I do the opposite. This method teaches my horse to attune to my body’s cues, creating a harmonious flow of movement. Regular practice of transitions between gaits reinforces this communication, making speed control intuitive for my horse.


Mental Engagement

Keeping my horse mentally engaged is crucial for effective learning. I read my horse’s body language to gauge its attention and mood, adjusting my training approach accordingly. Regularly changing exercises and patterns keeps the sessions interesting and challenging. Understanding and adapting to my horse’s learning pace ensures that each session is productive, building a foundation of trust and willingness to learn.

Correct Back Up

Teaching my horse to back up involves a nuanced approach where I use the reins not to pull but to block forward movement. I apply gentle leg pressure, encouraging my horse to step back while maintaining a relaxed and rounded frame. The key is in the gradual application of pressure and rewarding even the smallest step backward. This teaches my horse that backing up is not just about moving in reverse but doing so with grace and balance.

Frame and Collection

Developing frame and collection starts with leg yields, asking my horse to step its shoulders out while walking in a circle. I then introduce outside rein contact, limiting lateral movement and encouraging vertical movement in the shoulders. This process engages the horse’s back and hips, leading to a rounded frame and collection. The transition from a circle to a straight line marks the achievement of collection, a state where my horse moves with power and grace, fully engaged in the movement.


Foundation Trained

Take a good look at this picture.

All of the pieces fit together and when a horse can do all of this softly, and correctly he is what I call a Foundation Trained Horse. By that, I mean that he has all of the necessary foundation training needed for any horse and now is ready for specialized training. Notice that all 6 areas of training are not enclosed and isolated. That is because each one affects the other. That is why there can not be any step-by-step process. A trainer must teach this training in all 6 areas at one time, one piece at a time, continually working on the weakest area.

Foundation Trained Horse

Training a green broke horse to these six foundational points is a journey of patience, understanding, and incremental progress. It’s about building a language of cues and responses, where each step forward is built on trust and mutual respect. This journey is not just about refining the horse’s skills but also about deepening the bond between horse and rider, creating a partnership that is both rewarding and profound.

The journey in equine partnership is a path of continual learning and growth, and adopting this proactive approach will pave the way for a rewarding and fulfilling experience with your equine companion. If you need professional help with your horse, you might consider an Equestrian Virtual Lesson. This is a great way to get a private lesson from Tim Anderson. My horse training journey has brought me from winning world titles to now trying to make every horse the best they can be and to help you improve your equestrian knowledge.

1 thought on “6 Focal Points. Green Broke To Foundation Trained”

  1. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of training horses. I love seeing your training lessons on tv as often as I can. I have raised and trained horses for many years. There is still more to learn and enjoy.
    although I am too old to do it now. Still I have a pony companion that smells like a horse and communicates with me very well. She has trained me , and we understand each other.

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