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Basic Horse Training Aids To Help You Get Started
There are tools for every trade, and the right set of horse training aids can make the difference between success and frustration. Don’t be tempted to skimp on this area of investment.
All horse training is serious business. The average animal outweighs the trainer by an impressive margin, and the horse training aids you choose can help prevent serious injury.
-- Rope Halter
The most basic of horse training aids is the halter and lead rope combination. A rope halter will facilitate tying and leading, and works better than a flat halter because it will prevent leaning while at the same time being comfortable for the horse. The halter is placed on the animal’s head.
-- Lead Rope
The lead rope is attached to the halter and used to direct or “steer” the horse. In many ways this horse training aid is like a leash.
-- Longe Line
The term longeing refers to the set of training skills used to teach a horse direction, posture, and how to yield or move off pressure. And the longe line is the training aid used to accomplish this.
-- Progress String
In most cases, this horse training aid is a thin, braided rope with an eye splice at one end and leather “popper” at the other. This device is used in many ways.
You can apply a progress string as a visual aid. For instance, to let the horse know when he is in your space.
Also you can use this tool to make physical contact from the saddle. The progress string is not heavy enough to cause a horse any pain, but the popper end make s a distinct noise when applied, and can work in place of a crop.
-- Large Rubber Ball
Perhaps a less traditional horse training aid is a large rubber ball, like the kind you can buy at any toy store. This aid is great for conditioning the horse’s nerves.
You can roll the ball around in front of the horse, and even roll it gently into the horse’s legs. Also, while in the saddle, you can direct the horse into the ball and gently guide the animal to move the ball around with its legs.
This sort of training will help you desensitize your horse to unexpected movement and objects, thus decreasing the likelihood of getting spooked.
-- Plastic Tarp
Another tool for developing the horse’s courage, a common plastic tarp is an inexpensive and effective training aid. Start by laying the tarp out in the training area and leading your horse over it, or even asking the horse to walk over the tarp on its own.
As you know, a tarp can get pretty noisy when walked on. And it will create the illusion of strange footing.
You could even slowly work into an exercise where you place the tarp over your horse’s back, possibly completely covering him or her with the tarp. This not only develops the horses’ trust in you, it also simulates noisy brush and other riding situations and helps desensitize the horse to such conditions.
This list of horse training aids will give you plenty to work with in the beginning. Of course as training progresses you will need more advanced tools and tactics.
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