Online Course

Training Performance Horses

           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 lungeing 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.

               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 Lungeing
                     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.

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Equine Studies Institute
Phone: 602.689.6171