Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Don't Ever Just "GET OFF YOUR HORSE"

One piece of advice I got from an old boss of mine that has always stuck with me was, "Never just get off your horse at the end of the day. When you ride up to the barn and just get off, you're teaching him (and you), to be lax, that the barn is his safe place and he can behave anyway he likes. Either get off him a ways before you get to the barn, or ask him to perform a little."

Since then, depending on the horse and the level he is at at the time, I always ask for a little something before I get off and put him up for the day. This horse is in the two-rein, so I ask him for a little more than I would a colt that's in the snaffle bit. Because this horse knows more, I ask more of him before I put him up for the day. I normally ask him to turn around slowly and correctly both directions, and then ask him for the same turn around, just a little bit faster. I also ask for a smooth and correct back up before I get off. If I was on one of my snaffle bitters, I'd probably ask them to step over their hip, give at the poll, and play around with placing their feet anywhere I ask with the lightest amount of pressure possible.

This has really helped me out with keeping my horses free from being barn sour, staying sharp, and keeping their weight shifted towards the back, even when they're "done for the day."

I hope this is something you all experiment with if you're not already! 

 xo xo Liz 


  1. My boss was, IS, a very wise man when it comes to horses! :) I feel very blessed to have had the chance to work with him when I did! :)

  2. MAN! I loved this blog post! You always are so great at reminding me to ask more of myself and help ask more of my horses and not just be LAX....I have such a hard time with that! BRAVO! Love you and thank-you for always being so amazing and just YOU! <3


    1. hahaha thanks puffin!! You're so sweet!! HUGS!!!! <3

  3. I do this every time I ride, as when I was in college, I rode for a reined cow horse trainer and that was one thing he taught me. It makes sense to the horse too! Always good to share this knowledge with others!

  4. Working summers on a cattle operation always translated to me ending up riding the problem horses. The summer I remember the most was spent on a sorrel mare that would avoid water like the plague and would start crow hopping whenever and someone taught her to run back to the barn. It was a long summer but after a lot of circling all the way to the barn and keeping her thinking of something else as you worked your way back to the barn. I finally was able to walk her back to the barn and still worked her until I did get off. So thankful that horse was finally sold as a broodmare, the following summer.