Think Outside the Boxing

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.54 After returning from The World’s Greatest Horseman competition, I found it interesting how the contestants handled their cattle in the fence work. After a lifetime of working cattle and studying how other people handle cattle; how and why they do what they […]

Turnarounds

This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.16 Riders usually get their horses turned around one way or another, but few really get things worked out to where the horse stays balanced and really uses the whole body to execute the maneuver. Some horses reach and use their front end good, but with speed […]

Spring Checkup

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.52 This time of year, when a person starts riding a horse that has been laid off for the winter—or at any other time—and may have prospered, it might be a good idea to check the horse mentally to see if horse and rider […]

Flagging From Your Horse

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.51 When I was a boy, the older buckaroos would say ”Don’t do anything on foot that you can do on horseback.” I learned that if you wanted to become a good horseman that was good advice for two reasons. First by trying […]

Thoughts on Using a Flag

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.50 There are probably as many ways to use a flag on a horse as there are different types, shapes and sizes of flags. The way I flag a colt for the first time may be different from most. I like to implement […]

Can Your Horse Survive a Fire Drill

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.49 Many things have changed since I was in grade school, but one thing I remember the teachers doing was testing us with a fire drill. It was just a drill, but they made an impression that nothing less than an immediate response […]

To Spur or Not to Spur?

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.48 People often ask about spurs—when or if they should use them. I think it depends on the individual and “when or if” they can control them and “when or if” they are aware of when they are using them. To me spurs […]

Why Do You Change Bits?

Written by Martin Black Why do we change from one bit to another on our horses? This can tell us something about our horsemanship and ourselves. Sounds like one of those dreaded self-evaluations? — “It’s not me, it’s them!” If you want to improve your horsemanship, look at what you are doing, let your horse […]

Backing Up a Hill

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.46 If your horse doesn’t back up very well, you might find this exercise helpful. If you think your horse backs up well, try backing him up a fairly steep bank and see if he improves or stalls out.  If he improves, what you […]