This page presents an overview of our plan for product development in this area.
As Riding School Manager at Trowbridge’s LTD, Lindsey spends a great deal of time coaching riders and running clinics. But Trowbridge’s is a full-service breeding and horse training facility, too. So she carries a full load as a horse trainer as well. Most weekdays find her training 8-12 horses, from unhandled three-year-olds to national champions.
So, with her expertise as a foundation, we’re reaching out to some of the best horse trainers around to help you get a better understanding of what’s involved in starting horses, developing their core skills, resolving training issues and turning them into successful competitors.
Some of this work is best left to professional trainers, to be sure, especially when it comes to starting horses in training. Regardless, even if you’re a rider without a farm of your own, knowing about these kinds of things can make you a much better rider. After all, you’re training your horse every minute you’re in the saddle.
Our Core Horse Training Curriculum
We’re just starting to get this program underway, but we plan to focus on things such as the following.
Horse Selection and Training
How to Choose a Good Horse
There’s a lot to know if you’re to choose the best horse for you. You need to understand what conformation and talents best suit your riding discipline. You need to understand how to judge soundness, temperament and work ethic. Even more importantly, you need to understand what kind of horse best matches your abilities, personality and riding style. In this series of lessons, professional trainers from various disciplines will give you a strong foundation for selecting the best possible horse and deciding what tradeoffs make the most sense.
Starting Inexperienced Horses
Getting a young horse off to a good start is essential, because it’s a lot harder to retrain a horse out of bad behavior than it is to train it properly to begin with. So we’ll create a program that will help you do just that. It will focus on teaching horses everything from basic manners and groundwork through what they need to know to get through the first few rides under saddle.
Developing a Horse’s Basic Skills
Once a horse knows the “ropes” and is acclimated to a training regimen, a trainer can focus more on tapping into its talents and developing its skills. This program will focus on things such as improving a horse’s balance and getting it to go to the bridle. Everything in this series should help you as a rider, too.
Developing a Horse’s Intermediate Skills
Just like a rider transitions from learning basics skills to learning intermediate skills, so does a horse. This program will continue the journey of training a horse by looking at how professional trainers broaden horses’ skill sets and improve their ability get into a proper frame, move forward to the bridle, collect and extend their gaits and respond sensitively to cues.
Dealing With Common Problems and Physical Limitations
Almost every horse presents one or more chronic problems to its trainer and rider, and you need to develop specialized techniques to deal with them. This series of videos will look at the most common challenges trainers confront with their horses and how they deal with them.
Making Horses More Amateur-Friendly
Lindsey trains horses for both open competition and for amateur classes. There’s a difference. And it’s important to understand what can be achieved in each case and tune a horse accordingly. In this program, we’ll focus on what makes a horse amateur-friendly and how to set up a horse properly for a particular amateur’s physique, skills and riding style. You can apply these principles to make sure your horse is properly set up for you.
Getting a Horse Fit and Ready to Show
A surprising number of horses fail to perform their best, or develop physical problems, simply because they’re not properly prepared for competition. It’s no different for a horse than it is for a human athlete — physical preparation for competition matters. So this program will focus on getting a horse ready for the show season, a show, and even specific kinds of classes.
Understand How Horses Think
This video series will give you an inside look into horses’ minds and how the ways they think present both challenges and opportunities to horse trainers and riders.
How to Deal With Fear in Horses
Far too many riders, and even some professional trainers, mismanage fear in a horse. This series will explain various approaches to identifying fear as the driving force behind certain reactions and dealing with it effectively.
Understanding Conditioned Response
Most everyone knows something about developing conditioned responses in horses (Pavlovian behavior). But many riders and trainers don’t have as full an understanding as they should about this fundamental aspect of horse training. This video will reveal just how powerful a training concept this is.
Teaching Sensitivity to the Touch
Here’s where various trainers will take on the issue of teaching an inexperienced horse to be sensitive to the touch. This will give you greater ability to get a surprisingly good response from the lightest possible touch.
How to Show Affection to Horses
Many riders, maybe even a majority of them, inadvertently encourage the development of vices and dangerous behaviors in their horses by handling them in confusing ways. Showing affection in inappropriate ways probably leads the list, and this video will help you understand the implications of your actions.
Help Your Horse Become All He Can Be
A great many riders, even good ones, know surprisingly little about their horses. Sure, they can ride well, as long as their horses respond exactly as they’ve been trained to do. But to really take your horse as far as he can go, you need to need to be able to do more than that. These lessons will present a variety of ways you can partner with your horse to achieve even greater performance.
Don’t Teach Your Horse These Six Bad Habits
Unless you’re an extraordinarily accomplished rider, you’re probably teaching your horse bad habits. In this program, Lindsey will review six of the most common problems amateur riders create in their horses and how to stop reinforcing bad behavior and sub-par performance.
How Bits Actually Work
This video will provide a more complete look into how bits actually work, and how you can use them to get you much more response than you would have thought possible from a light touch.
Sign Up for Product Announcements
We’re sure you’ll find these programs to be valuable resources as you work on your riding skills.
Note also that, over time, we’ll cover more advanced and specialized skills in discipline-specific areas of our website, such as those oriented specifically to hunter-jumper, dressage, eventing, reining and saddle-seat training. So make sure you use the form to the right on this page to sign up for product announcements. That way you’ll be among the first to know when each new product becomes available.
And sign up to receive alerts for articles on Lindsey’s blog. Many of the upcoming articles will focus on the issues described above.
Finally, we’d love to get your feedback on which product(s) you’d like to see next, even if it’s not on our list. Send us your ideas via our suggestion box.