Desensitizing – How much is enough?

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.45 There is a lot of hype about “desensitizing” among horse people and some clinicians these days. They get the horse completely desensitized, then they have to sensitize him again to get him to operate.  In some cases, I see the horses getting […]

Flight or Fight? Yield or Resist?

Written by Martin Black We have all heard it said that “A horse’s first means of defense is flight, and his second means of defense is to fight.” Then we hear: “It’s natural for a horse to go against pressure.” Or, “Giving to pressure is against a horse’s nature, he has to be taught to yield […]

What is our Horse Telling Us?

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.43 Why do some horses have more trouble with their head position than others? This is commonly an issue with horse people, regardless of whether it’s a trainer with performance horses or recreational riders. Often the solution is tying the head down or leverage […]

What Makes Horses Unresponsive

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.40 The answer: Boiled frogs. Our horses are extremely sensitive animals. They can also be very trainable. That is what makes them such good partners. They can learn to be very tolerant, even to pain and discomfort. At one point a horse can […]

Problem Solving

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.39 There are various ways to deal with the problems which we encounter with our horses. Many times, people turn to instructional videos or books by accomplished horse trainers. This may be fine if the problem is properly diagnosed, and the correct prescription […]

Stop Holding On

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.38 In the making of a Hackamore or Bridle Horse, the quality of the finished product will depend greatly on the timing and feel offered by the hands on the reins. We can use different bits, hackamores or other devices tied at different angles […]

Where Your Energy Meets Your Horse’s Energy

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.37 A question often asked in relation to advancing a horse is “what’s the best bit for a horse?” Some people may choose a bit to fix a certain problem or in anticipation of a problem. Others may choose an ornamental bit with little […]

Rearing Strategies

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.36 In the world of horse training, there are numerous devices to bring the horse’s head down, shoulders up, control the forward motion, etc. But what do we do when the head and shoulders are going up in the air, the horse is rearing […]