The ultimate guide to the “complete” riding horse—whether a performance, working, or “just for fun” prospect.
Professional horseman Sean Patrick's now legendary Countdown is the most clear, thorough, “doable” system of horse training available. Quite simply, you begin at Lesson Number 33 and count your way down through the basic exercises—the “primary education”—every horse needs. And when you get to Lesson 1, you've done it; you've prepared your horse for advanced work in any number of equestrian disciplines. You can't get lost along the way. There's no room for confusion. The happy result? Sean trains you to be a trainer.
Whether your horse is a foal or five, green or educated, well-started or lacking fundamentals, he will benefit from the Countdown—a true “foundation” program, serving to prepare him for the endless variety of activities and “jobs” horses perform today. From indispensable handling, “sacking-out,” and tying exercises, to how you, the rider, can control the different parts of the horse's body from the ground and the saddle; from mounting on both the left and the right to performing flawless flying lead changes, you'll be amazed at how effective and efficient this program is. In this book you'll find:
- Explanations of the “conditioned response,” the Five Control Points, and how to recognize and use a “give.”
- Advice for building the horse's confidence, knowing when to “push” but most importantly, how to be fair.
- Lessons in conscientious use of the round pen for teaching movement, turning, and inviting the horse in.
- Progressive steps for preparing for first rides and having them be successes.
- Tips for developing the back-up, “whoa,” and seat stops without stress.
- Exercises for achieving a correct and soft collection.
Because you are the one teaching your horse, you also have the opportunity to build your own skill set. Sean promises that by the end of the Countdown, readers will have a deeper understanding of how horses learn; an improved ability to gauge the pressure necessary to communicate with the horse and pace teaching accordingly; a capacity for recognizing behaviors (both good and bad); and an intuitive understanding of the root of a problem and the steps to take to work on it. In essence, he helps you become self-sufficient and ready to take your horse that next step, whether along the rail, down the trail, or into the show pen.
Trailer courtesy of Horse & Rider Books