Feb 2015 Update

I can’t believe it’s almost two months since Wayne has joined me to train at Smart Start.  Time flies when you’re having fun.  Thought I should post on update on the blog on how things are going.

You know, I always thought our horses were happy and well behaved compared to others, for example, when I was at the USDF Finals in Kentucky last November I saw upper level horses in double bridles, with their riders on, being led with lead chains.  To me that means some very basic things are missing from their training and how can they truly be great dressage horses if they don’t trust their riders to go to and from the dressage ring?

I thought I’d post some photos of the things Smart Start horses cover in the beginning of their training (even if it’s a new to the farm but well seasoned riding horse) to make sure they are safe and know how to deal with their fears and emotions.

The photos on this post are of Wayne and Oops, my 3 1/2 yr old Oldenburg gelding.  Oops is learning some basics before being started under saddle.  He’s done ground work to learn to give to pressure, respect and yield space to humans, desensitize to things touching his body and also to sensitize to yield to the pressure from the scary things.

Next Oops and Wayne head to the round pen where Oops learns to respond to Wayne, doing all the things he’s done with the halter and lead, now doing it 100% on his own free will.  Oops is continues on with his sensitize/desensitize training as shown with the lariat on his head and ears.


Ground work, desensitizing the horse

Ground work, desensitizing the horse

Oops going through a gate softly and on his own

Oops going through a gate softly and on his own



About smartstartstable

We are a training barn that uses "Smart Horsemanship", a training method that blends 'natural horsemanship' with dressage that teaches horses the way horses learn, not how humans learn. It teaches them to think-- to have questions asked and to find answers. The Smart Horsemanship methods can be applied to any style of training but we focus mainly on dressage and trail riding.
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