Round table with place settings

Training Performance Horses

External Programs

Course Description

This course begins with the design of a nutritional program, health monitoring and physical conditioning, as well as, special shoeing requirements for performance horses.  Students learn lunging techniques, introduction of equipment, and preparation for the first ride. Once the horse is under saddle, the student guides the horse step-by-step through basic exercises from mastering stops, backing, two-tracking, side passes, pivots, spins, leads and the flying change of leads.  Detailed instruction assures the student understands and can effectively apply weight, leg and rein cues.

Course Outline

               I. Conformation as it Relates to Performance Expected 
                     A. Develop Nutritional Program for Selected Performance 
                     B. Establish Basic Health Care Plan for Work Expected 
                     C. Outline Shoeing Requirements for the Work to be Done
              II. Halter Training, Ground Manners and Lunging
                     A. Teaching the Horse to Move Forward and in Proper Position
                     B. Demonstrate Control Over Horses During Basic Ground Exercises and
                         while on the Lunge Line 

              III. Equipment: Bits and Saddles
                      A. Choice of Saddles for the Specific Performances 
                      B. Bit Selection for Effective Communication

              IV. Preparing for the First Ride 
                     A. Preparing the Horse to Accept Equipment 
                     B. Mounting the Untrained horse 
                     C. Establishing the First Riding Controls 
               V. The First 10 Rides
                     A. Getting the Nose in the Direction of Travel
                     B. Establishing the “Stop”
                     C.  Getting the Horse to “Give” and “Respond”

              VI.  Performance Horse Stops
                      A. English Riding Requirements 
                      B. Western Riding Requirements 

             VII.  Gaits and Transitions 
                       A. Footfall Sequences of Walk, Trot, Canter 
                       B. The Half-halt Applications 
                       C. Backing the Horse Correctly 
             VIII. Lateral Work Body Position
                      A. Leg-yielding
                      B. Shoulder-in, Haunches-in, Haunches-out 
                      C. Two-tracking and Side passing

               IX. Body Control for Advanced Exercises
                      A. Pivots and Spins 
                      B. Rollbacks and Direction changes
                      C. Flying Change of Leads 
You will be asked to produce a video showing you performing the exercises on your horse which have been described within the lessons and which you have mastered.  You cannot receive a final grade for this course until the video has been submitted and your training work approved.