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Training Difficult Horses


Gerard BernaurerIf You Love Horses You Must Respect them.
I have always had a special connection and admiration for horses. I survived a tormented childhood and always found peace in these beautiful, magnificent animals. I apply my appreciation and knowledge to help horses gain the respect they deserve and learn to trust so they will want to perform and please you.

You can Never Learn Too Much from Others
I have had the opportunity throughout my life to learn from some of the best horsemen and horsewomen in the world. I have spent several months riding with and learning from Joyce Loomis-Kernek, a living legend in barrel racing. I have had the honor to ride with and learn from Doug Milholland, World Champion Reiner and Kelly Bowser, professional trainer and rider. I have taken wonderful clinics from Ray Hunt, Troy Crumrine, Lance Graves, Ed and Martha Wright, Brad Wagner and Dale Youree. Over the years, I have also observed some not-so-good horsemen that have beaten, starved, soured and destroyed the horses spirit. I feel compelled to help these beautiful animals by sharing some of the positive training techniques that I have learned over the years. I believe you can never learn enough from other people and from your horse.

Listen and Learn from Your Horse
Did you ever watch a fly on a horse and see how sensitive they are, yet we see people pulling and knocking horses around like they don't have any feelings. Some people try to control their horses and make them slaves or try to 'conquer' them. They think by inflicting pain, the horse will listen better to them. People put horses in a straight jacket and expect them to work and perform. I do not believe that you need to instill fear into a horse to make him listen. Instead, you need to learn how to listen to and learn from your horse.

Slow is Fast
We need patience with our horse; a horse has no knowledge of time. The slower we go, the more we both can learn. There are four important points that I strive for when I am working with a horse.
1. Goal: Always know what your goal is and be clear on what you are asking. Your horse will be able to understand and respond appropriately if you are clear and patient.
2. Bond: Don't be in such a hurry, take time to bond with your horse and gain his trust. Brush and pet your horse to let him know that he is not just an object but a friend that needs love, like we all yearn for. A horse will want to work for you and will trust you more if there is bonding.
3. Limit: Make sure that you are not asking too much at once. Be patient and take it one step at a time. Praise your horse when he even tries to do something right. Don't always focus on the negative but reward even the smallest effort.
4. Timing: This is so important when you are disciplining a horse. Most of time when you see someone getting upset with their horse, he/she is really upset with them self and end up disciplining their horse at the wrong time. Discipline, which means 'to teach' can be useful if your timing is right and then you layoff. A horse will become nervous if disciplined at the wrong time and he won't know why. A horse can actually become quieter when you discipline at the right time and you give him praise for his positive efforts.

Be a Friend to Your Horse
It is a lot easier to train a quiet and trusting horse than a horse that is nervous and afraid or that has been abused. Be 'firm' and be 'kind', these are just a few of my thoughts on training one of the most beautiful and amazing animals on God's earth. Please contact me if you have any questions or are interested in corrective horse training.