hen the temperatures
drop and everything out-
side the barn is muddy or icy,
riding may not be the best plan.
That doesn’t mean you have to
stop your horse’s training.
Maintain your relationship with
your horse and have fun by teaching
Have you ever wanted your horse to step
over one little step or move closer to you so
that he’s in the perfect place for grooming?
It’s handy to be able to point your horse
where you want him to be. Teaching hand
signals will help him move into the right
place—and to move without your constant
pulls or pushes.
As you teach hand signals to your horse,
you’ll learn to sequence your cues. You’ll give
him the best possible chance to understand
what you want before the cue is reinforced.
You’ll have bonding time with your horse;
he will learn to follow your directions; and
your new cue-sequencing skills will carry
over to anything new you’d like to teach
your horse, from the ground or the saddle.
Horses detect patterns and are very
observant. They pick up on your patterns
easily. If you plan ahead and make sure
that you give a hand signal before asking your horse to do
anything, he’ll soon learn to follow that cue.
Here, I’ll help you teach your horse to respond to your
hand cues as you signal for him to back up, come to you
and move to the side.
When it’s too cold to ride, you and
your horse can benefit from barn-
aisle training to keep your relationship
strong all winter long.
BY JULIE GOODNIGHT WITH HEIDI MELOCCO
PHOTOS BY MELISSA ARNOLD