Top 5 Tips For Training Your Horse

You and your horse are a team, working together and looking after one another to achieve your goals and dreams. However, training can be a long, tiring and frustrating process, full of ups and downs, good days and bad days. Bear these five simple training tips in mind though, and you and your partner will be well on the way to equestrian success.

1)     Always start from the ground up.

Don’t just jump straight on and expect your horse to know exactly what you want right away. Be sure to take your time and be patient, spend time on the ground with your horse, building up a bond and establishing trust through simple daily tasks like grooming and feeding. Rushing this stage will only lead to disappointment and a good relationship on the ground will definitely lead to a much happier riding experience for both of you.

2)    Never mount your horse with a rigid training plan in mind.

Having an area of focus for your training session is important, but it’s also necessary to gauge the mood of your horse. If your horse is struggling with a certain exercise, being adaptable with your schooling schedule will work wonders. Instead of forcing a task, change it. Have a back-up plan in mind and different exercises that are aimed at achieving the same goal, such as straightness or suppleness.

3)    Add variety to your weekly riding.

Horses, especially green youngsters, can get easily bored when faced with repetitive training tasks. Having a schedule is essential and many horses respond well to routine but adding subtle changes, such as trotting poles, are a great way to engage your horse in what you’re doing without intimidating and overwhelming them. Hacking out is also vital when trying to familiarise your horse with unusual surroundings and sounds, making them calmer when faced with the excitement of a competition, for example.

4)    Get an outsider’s opinion.

Sometimes when training a horse it can be hard to work out what’s going wrong and why. Bringing in a friendly but honest outsider, such as your trainer or another rider at the yard, and asking them to observe one of your sessions could be just what you need. From down on the ground they might notice things you don’t and offer you constructive criticism to help you improve.

5)    Finish all rides on a positive.

Finally, riding can be frustrating and tiring for both you and your horse and some sessions won’t go as well as others. When training, it is really important to remember the positives from a session, as well as how to improve on the negatives. Maybe your horse didn’t ace their flying changes, but how was their trot to canter transition? Did they feel confident? Taking pros and cons from each ride is a really handy way to work out where to focus your attention in a stress-free way.

 

Canter on in style this summer

Summer is here and now is the time to embrace this season’s latest trends. From bright colours to bold patterns and layering, check out our top tips for staying on-trend during the long hot days ahead.

Revamp your equestrian wardrobe with colourful accessories – bright colours are a key trend for summer 2015 and this easily translates into equestrian clothing and kit. One of the simplest ways to bring your wardrobe right up-to-date is with vibrant summer accessories for both rider and horse. Wearing a bright colour from head-to-toe may seem a little daunting, but a bright ‘pop’ of colour from a patterned sock can be an easy way to embrace the trend, or if you’re feeling a little braver, why not break away from beige and make a statement with coloured jodhpurs?

You could even try subtly colour-coordinating your horse’s kit. Brightly coloured saddlecloths can instantly update your horse’s everyday wear, while adding a matching crochet fly bonnet is both practical and super smart. Check out our coordinating saddlecloths and bonnets which come in eye-catching combinations of black and pink, navy and bright blue, purple and green.

Layer up in style for unpredictable conditions – layering is set to be a big trend if London Fashion Week is anything to go by and this is also a really practical style for horse riders to embrace. A gilet is the perfect go-to item when it comes to layering, no matter what time of year and whatever the weather. Throw on a gilet over a t-shirt for summer mornings at the stables or layer with a sweater or fleece for chiller summer evenings.

Invest in the classics – when it comes to certain parts of your kit, it’s important to choose classic designs which are proven to stand the test of time. Leather is an equestrian staple that is always in fashion and there’s no leather like Italian leather, known for its high quality and long-lasting suppleness.

Here at Bridleway, we have launched a brand new collection of Italian leather ‘Lavello Leatherwork’. There are four styles of bridle available, as well as a running martingale and a breastplate. All bridles feature ergonomic, all-in-one padded headpieces for pressure relief and come complete with flexible, non-stretch rubber grip reins.