NOTE: these are what I call 'isms'. they are clear, brief principles and sayings. a few are mine, most have been said one time or another, one way or another by many good horsemen and women. to all from whom these have been gleaned over the years, I offer my gratitude and appreciation. if anyone reading these recognize one as their own, please contact me...I will happily add your name to your quote!!

That halo only has to slip about 6" before it starts choking you!!

Trust is a process, not an event.

Don't set anything up just so you can fix it.

Its not about looking for the bad and correcting it, its about looking for the good and building on it.

Misery is optional.

Horses, life, teaching, learning...any relationship....with whomever and whatever...
"If we are forever yearning for "more," we are forever discounting what is offered."
~Julia Cameron

Becoming part of their daily routine is the route to acceptance.

Softness is important because its synomonous with willingness.

Always try to find an immediate benefit (payoff) for the horse in any task that you ask him to do.

A relationship built on trust is stronger than one resulting from a truce!

Learn to read what's going on in the inside of the animal...might not be the same as what you see on the outside.

Higher learning is just a refinement of the basics.

Learned have experiences that you believed to be uncontrollable (by you) events. They become locked in the cells, memory, etc by repetitive experiences. Distractions are just a band-aid. Look inside, not outside fix. There is one single moment before you take that first action when you can control the situation.

For any living thing, its past will always be a part of its present. Use it to understand, not to excuse.

Confidence comes, not from always being right, but from not being afraid to be wrong.

Happiness is one of the greatest paradoxes. It can grow in any soil, live under any conditions; it comes from within. Happiness is the warm glow of a heart at peace with itself because it knows that the person is leading the right kind of life. Seek happiness by limiting your wants, understanding your needs, by making the best of situations; not so much by doing what you like but by liking what you do, give of yourself to others.

Stop. Back up if 'dribbles' to a stop; circle if pushes thru a stop.

Punishment is too late...example: a horse that bites. He knows he's gonna get hit, but he DOESN'T know HOW NOT TO BITE. i.e. how not to do what he's about to be punished for. Biting is natural for all equines.

If he's not going at the speed you asked for (***make sure ..he might be going at the speed you ASKED FOR, but not the speed you had in mind!!!), he shouldn't be going in a straight line.

Give them a bit of support from the reins. There is a difference between picking up a soft feel and a horse being soft.

There is a difference between a horse being soft and a loop in your reins.

A horse can be running away at a slow walk.

How smooth was it? How little did it take?

Not allow to keep at same gait for a long time. The mind goes away and they will stay locked there all day.

Ground work - with a high energy horse watch for:

When he slows, kiss. If he blasts away from you, he's not ready to work yet. Even if he cocks an ear or looks at you while he's going fast. When it gets to where you ask him to pick it up and there is the slightest hesitation before taking off, he's about there.

If horse is flying around you, don't get into a pulling match to slow him down. Watch for when the inside front leg is off the ground, then tug on the rope a bit, he will have to come in or slow down or he will fall!

Start where you want to end.

Pre-Cues: Have a pre-cue that is used consistently and is unique to anything else you might use. The pre-cue gets his attention and lets him know something is about to be asked of him.

Then ask!! Don't wait around or you will lose his mind again.

When we have the partnership, our pre-cue is the feel we offer him


"Humility will safeguard you. We cannot change people, but through humility we can make the adjustments in ourselves so as to deal with them."

-Martin Poetzinger,
concentration camp survivor May 15, 1983


"I think of good horsemanship as an approach to learning that combines the flexibility of thoughts and actions with a willingness to experiment and to indefinitely postpone negative judgment. Judgment of the horse, of oneself, the previous owner, the last trainer - all of them."

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