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 […]

Finding The Sweet Spot

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No. 24 Before man domesticated horses for working animals, they were prey animals. Their survival depended on their speed, agility, intelligence, and strength. Since the domestication of the horse, man has tried to improve those traits for personal gain through selective breeding programs. Different […]

Confidence vs. Confusion

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.26 The Foundation a young horse gets is very important to his success later in life. A performance horse that has a good solid foundation, or a horse that has a lot of confidence in the basics, will be prepared to be more […]

Doubling and Its Importance

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.23 Doubling isn’t a maneuver you would see in a reining pattern, dressage class, cow horse event, or any other advanced performance competitions. But if it is the first maneuver a horse learns and maintains properly, it can help prevent a lot of mishaps […]

Get Back

Written by Martin Black This article originally appeared in Eclectic Horseman Issue No.22 The majority of a horse’s movement is in a forward motion. If something is causing a loose horse to back up, he will usually shift his weight back, then turn and move away in a forward motion. The horse’s inherent instinct is to […]