Teach your horse to wait.
Wellmann teaches all her horses
to wait on the rider. “I want the
horse to understand that ‘whoa’
means they stop, whether the
rider is putting pressure on the
reins or not,” she explains. “When
you open a gate, you may not
always have both hands on the
reins. You can’t worry about the
horse moving forward every time
the rein is released.”
Goal: The horse should wait for
First, trot your horse, ask for
a stop, and then drop the reins. If
your horse walks o;, engage rein
contact, say “whoa,” and then
back several steps while repeating
“whoa” before dropping the reins
and asking your horse to stand.
If necessary, increase the
steps back each time your horse
attempts to walk forward after a
stop. “Be sure to back, say ‘whoa’
and release the rein, then back,
say ‘whoa’ and release again,” says
Take it to the next level by
asking your horse to stop, and
once he stands, wiggle your body
like you are opening a gate. If
he moves, correct it in the same
manner. Wellmann says it’s
important to maintain a calm,
soothing tone of voice when you
say ‘whoa.’ Don’t scold your horse;
focus on teaching him.
Control the horse’s body parts.
When it comes time to open a gate,
even one step sideways, forward or
back can change your position and
angle to the gate. You must be able
to control the parts of your horse’s
body to open, move through and
close a gate. It’s important to
be able to sidepass, but also to
shift his hip or shoulder closer or
farther from the gate, depending
on how you need to move the
horse so you can reach the gate.
as a trot, so
there is a clear
and the stop
you ask for.
horse to stop,
and when he
If your horse
walks off, lift
and back up.
lift, back and
release until he
is to stand still.