Stay Sane by taking advantage of at home horse training opportunities for you and your horse.
Amateurs are hardy individuals. We work full-time jobs, participate in family activities, hobbies, and more. On top of our obviously full days, we find time to walk to the barn, saddle up and ride our horse(s), while daydreaming of the next time we get to walk in the show pen.
Despite our commitment, it is often times challenging to schedule regular lessons with trainers or even find a trainer within a drivable distance. This leads to asking more questions than finding answers and even though you are a devoted reader of all training articles, you just want to know more.
Now, more than ever as many of us are social distancing or self isolating we need to find unique and creative ways to stay connected, sane and advancing our horsemanship skills.
Good news! There is a way.
The growth of technological advancements with videos and online social groups, “riding” with professionals is more comfortable and more convenient than ever before.
Cleve Wells, one of the most successful Western Pleasure trainers in the performance horse industry, works with HorseTrainingChannel.com.
“This site began with an idea to produce the world’s first live online Western Pleasure Clinic. In live video, like horse training, you have to have a good, solid connection!” states the website. It continues, “And what we learned was this: that people need help, and they want it fast and easy to get to. So we thought why not get people the help they need from some of the best in the industry, we’ll shoot relaxed, laid back clinics, power packed full of information and give it to people who have a true hunger, a true competitive spirit, with a drive to get out there and get things done. And so, the monthly membership site, HorseTrainingChannel.com was born.”
Cleve, who started his equestrian journey in 4-H as a boy, knows the value of being inclusive. He reminisced on a conversation he had with the late Jack Benson.
“Jack said, ‘The industry cannot survive without pilgrims.”
“And we need more pilgrims,” Cleve finishes.
Cleve goes on to discuss that the horse show industry can at times be intimidating to people who are new to the industry, or who do not have access to a trainer. Hence, the development of HorseTrainingChannel.com.
Cleve’s advice to amateurs is to be open-minded when processing information from a variety of trainers.
“And I’m fortunate enough to be I’m confident with myself, and I’m confident with my belief that I am willing to share,” he states.
HorseTrainingChannel.com has approximately 100 videos currently on the site with a variety of topics. Members have access to all videos and each new installment on a monthly basis.
Nancy Cahill has been a leading all-around trainer for many years, all the while acquiring knowledge and expertise that never goes out of style. In the late 1990s, she developed training DVDs titled, “Taking Your Obstacles out of Trail,” Competitive Trail: Training Package,” “The Fundamentals of Excellence Horsemanship: Part One, and “ Drills for Ultimate Control Horsemanship: Part Two.” available on her website HERE.
Her opening statement on her website states, “My videos are a result of 50 years of working with horses and riders of all levels. Because some people don’t have access to a trainer, I felt these videos would be the next best thing.”
Nancy’s videos contain, “detailed information about the basics and how to perform them. It includes easy to understand instruction, when various drills are going to work well, and provides a Plan B in case Plan A does not work out.”
Nancy also welcomes viewers of her videos to be interactive. She will view home videos sent her way and give feedback to amateurs to ensure they are completing the drills correctly.
She also shares that riders outside of her discipline use her videos to improve maneuvers such as lead changes.
“Lead changes are the same no matter the discipline. I have had hunter jumpers watch the videos and call me with clarifying questions. I had a man in Australia watch my video dozens of times, and when he went to a national level show, he won.”
One aspect of her videos that she believes is helpful to at-home amateurs is that she included an unfinished horse.
“Not everybody has that nice horse. I’ve got a nice horse there. But I also put one that was a long way off from being finished. You know, he was kicking at my foot [sometimes]. It made the people feel like, “ you know what, I’m not the only one.”
Jenny Jordan and her husband, Robin Frid operate a hugely successful training business, with a focus on winning amateurs. They recently created Showmanship videos available HERE that feature not only the “how-tos” in the show pen but also the training process of teaching your own horse how to start completing showmanship patterns from the beginning stages to finished stages.
“One of the main reasons we developed the DVDs is because we believe in education. Robin loves to teach and wants to help people,” explains Jenny.
Jenny and Robin also welcome people, who have purchased their DVDs to send them videos to watch that they can give feedback on. They have had videos sent to them from across the United States and even Europe.
One amateur from Germany sent them a video of a yearling, who was already learning Showmanship, all thanks to their DVD.
“It is our job to answer questions,” shares Jenny. Even if she and Robin cannot help with a specific discipline, they help amateurs find the perfect fit.
Dana Hokana, Show Horse Today’s resident trainer, has taken online training to a new level. In addition to her many training DVDs, she launched Team Hokana, an online training membership. For a monthly fee of $19.95 or yearly fee of $199.95 , members are treated to approximately 200 streaming videos, plus new additions each month, ranging a wide variety of training topics that appear in everyday situations when riding and training horses.
In addition to her online training club, Dana has also developed full-length video lessons.
Individuals may send Dana (upon request) a video of you and your horse at home or from a horse show, send it to Dana to review and in turn, receive a full lesson from Dana. She provides the amateur with in-depth instruction of the how-tos to improve maneuvers, quality of movement, and overall feel of the horse and rider.
For those amateurs who are looking to start their own horse from the ground up, and are not quite ready for these more advanced training techniques, Ed Harrison’s Training By The Book: Colt Starting is an excellent choice.
Ed developed this DVD in 2018 that features a three-part learning process (introduction- explanation of the drill, demonstration with a trained horse, live action with a horse who has not completed the exercise before), with six drills to ensure your colt is ready for its first ride.
A newcomer to the at home learning experience is Jewett Equine TV – Where Trainer and Judge Brad Jewett offers 28 streaming videos for the All Around rider from beginner to advanced.
Brad is an AQHA Professional Horseman and Judge, NSBA Judge, Co Owner of Show For Dough, and Clinician. He grew up in San Antonio, Texas where he played many sports, but never rode horses competitively. It wasn’t until he decided to go to school at Rawhide Ranch in California that he realized his true passion for riding and training horses. From that moment on he was hooked. Going on to work for Robert Chown reining horses and then going out on his own.
He has been training horses for 25 years with experience in horsemanship, trail, western pleasure, western riding, equitation, showmanship, ranch riding, and reining. Brad is dedicated to creating a friendship with his clients as well as pushing them to their own limits to reach their goals. Jewett has coached multiple World and Congress Champions and has produced some of the most talented horsewomen and men in the industry.
In his video lessons he has also partnered with Tim the Trail Man to bring you some amazing tips for navigating today’s tough patterns and obstacles.
No matter your specific interests in horses, you can always reach out to the trainers you admire and ask for their advice and guidance. You will be thankful, and your horse will appreciate it too. With a little creativity and the help of modern-day technology you can learn from your idols, from the comfort and safety of home.