Thoughts on Washing Horses

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.35 Every summer I witness people washing their horses. This is a very good practice; it helps to cool them down and remove ground-in dirt and salt from sweat. Horses learn to enjoy a bath as long as the water isn’t uncomfortably cold. […]

Fair Expectations of a New Horse

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.34 Today there are all levels and all types of horse people and horses. As horses change homes, whether it is changing owners or trainers or from one rider to another, horses can be the victims of being misplaced. When this happens the […]

Rub the Hair Off ‘Em

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.33 The way we catch our horses can reflect a lot about our understanding of them and their outlook toward us. If we could only see through their eyes at how they look at us, how they interpret our actions, we might be […]

Let the Cow Work Your Horse

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.32 Of all the techniques, methods and gimmicks to get our horses to do what we want, one of my favorites has always been a cow. By making position comfortable for the horse, whether it be offense or defense, we can encourage him […]

Trading Physical Scars For Mental Scars

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.31 Many times what people identify as discipline problems with their horses are really frustrated and confused horses, basically caused by the horse having an identity crisis, and or too much stored energy. Horses that are confined and isolated for extended periods where […]

Preparing Your Horse for the Hackamore and Bridle

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.30 The Spanish-type hackamore and bridle are both traditionally designed to operate from feel not force. When they become a forceful tool, the outcome will be reversed from the original intent. Both the hackamore and bridle put pressure on the outside, the jaw […]

A Soft Feel and a Useful Horse

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.29 Quite often I get around people who make a reference to a “soft feel” with their horse, and I know I am learning more about getting with my horse everyday. But what I see is some people may be getting a soft feel […]

Managing Fear Into Courage

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.28 When a horse is confronted by something unknown to his senses he deals with it in one of two ways: defensively if he feels confined, or if he does not perceive a threat and his attention is maintained, his curiosity provokes him […]

Straighten That Horse Out

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.27 How straight can you ride your horse? If you think your horse can ride in a straight line, pick an object like a fence post 50 or 100 yards in front of you and another object farther away, maybe a power pole or […]

Understanding Collection

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.25 Collection is something I find that is greatly misidentified and misunderstood among many riders. Instructors may drill students, trainers may drill their horses, and many times what I see is confused and lethargic victims. Not only does the person need to understand what […]