Show Horses

   Training the show horse: Reining, Cutting, Working Cowhorse, Reined Cowhorse, Ranch/Western Pleasure, and Trail Classes. If you want better performance from your show horse than you need that horse to achieve flexion and softness throughout his body. If my horse isn't soft it doesn't make a difference if he can slide, spin or do flying lead changes. If he's resistant in my hands, I'm not going to like how the horse performs the maneuver.

   It's important that I don't try to achieve softness by only using my hands. Collection is a combination of vertical flexion and impulsion. My legs are a tremendous aid in developing a soft feel and collection. As I use the calves of my legs and  hold my horse's face with my hands this will cause him to pick up his back. 

   When the horse moves forward this creates drive from the hind end to the front end. This produces a more collected and athletic frame that he'll need to perform at higher levels.  However, this all has to begin at slower speeds with positive results before I step things up. 

   Horses get frustrated when they attempt to yield and soften without a reward. If I don't reward his effort by releasing pressure, he'll begin to brace and pull against my hands. When the horse gives, I give back. In time I can reasonably ask the horse to hold this feel for longer periods of time.