Being able to read horses is one of the greatest skills a horseman can have. It tells you what approach you need to take and helps you resolve problems quickly. Stage 1 is where ‘horse savvy’ begins, creating a positive balance of trust and respect, eliminating many common problems and safety issues.
The Camps and Clinics for Stages 1 & 2 help you develop a clear understanding of how to achieve respect and safety and give you a chance to put them to practice with hands-on help.
You’ll learn to play the 7 patterns horses play with one another, break down the prey-predator barrier, create a language with which to communicate with your horse and teach your horse on the ground the things you want him to understand when you are on his back.
We will also be preparing for Stages 3 & 4 and covering other topics such as saddle savvy, the critical elements of how saddles can restrict or promote movement, trailer loading, and powerful strategies for building confidence and overcoming fear in both the horse and rider.
The bare minimum any horse owner or rider should know is Stage 2. In a perfect world, Stage 5. – Glenn Stewart
You have Stage 1 Savvy when:
- Your horse comes to you. You don’t have to “catch” him.
- His ground manners are great. He is willing, cooperative, calm, more confident, compliant, friendly and adaptable.
- He is easy to control. You don’t have to use a bit to force him to stop or slow down.
He willingly moves forward at all gaits.
- He stands quietly for saddling and willingly picks up his feet for cleaning and trimming.
- His attitude toward you is positive, responsive, confident and respectful.
- You have started to learn some of the essential keys to reading and motivating the horse. Also learning to understand what it is that humans do that upset and create problems with horses.
A few highlights of what is covered in Stage 1:
- Catching your horse, using approach and retreat and not having to “hide” the halter
- Build respectful confidence in your horse – taking out the spook.
- Learn how to move your horse using steady and rhythmic pressure, backwards, sideways, hind quarters, front quarters, build the quality of your feel and touch for the horse so that you can be soft, effective, and meaningful.
- All the cornerstones for moving your horse online at a distance of 12′ feet – building blocks for liberty, trailer loading, sending over and onto objects, into small spaces.
- Saddling with savvy – the many things that should be common knowledge that is not, saddling without offending your horse.
- Learn the right way to mount your horse, in a way that it is smooth and safe, and how to have your horse respect the process and stand still.
- Lateral flexion – this will give you true control over your horse regardless of what you have on its head, the ability to dis-engage the hindquarters and ride with softness in a rope halter. We believe in saving the horse’s mouth. We also believe in bits when it’s time – we use them for refinement, not control, and we will show you how.
- Step by step fundamentals of the 9-Step backup
- Emergency dismount – how to get on the ground safely when your warning bells go off!
Detailed Task Sheets for each Stage are available to students breaking down each of the skills covered.