HORSE TRAINING QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS Part 1
Dear Friend and
In this issue, I’m
going to share with you the answers to some of the training questions
sent in by my subscribers and members.
Some of these
questions were pretty darn good so I think you’ll find the answers
As one of my
subscribers, I want you to know that I welcome your emails letting me
know the success you’ve had with my videos. I also welcome your training
questions via email.
Please keep in mind though, I
get a ton of emails. I’d love to personally reply to each and
every one of them but there just is too many.
About all I can do is pick
and choose the best ones and then give my answer in the newsletter.
So, to give you a
better chance of getting your email answered, I’m going to describe the kinds of
emails I never answer.
If you have sent me a
question and didn’t receive an answer, the reason “why” just might be found
Now, before you send me an email
calling me an insensitive jerk (actually, I can be a jerk sometimes but
I’m never insensitive), let me say this: I know these folks mean no
harm. They are just unaware.
Still, these types of emails drive me
horse training questions I never answer and the reasons why
the “totally unrealistic” questions. The ones that ask, “How do I
train my un-broke 2 year old filly to be a champion reining horse?”
What can I say?
I really don’t want to write an
entire training manual and send it to them in the return email?
If you want a reply to your
training question, you need to be more specific.
I also delete the
multi-page letters that read like somebody’s life history.
These emails usually
start out with a sentence like this… “I’m 46 and love horses. Let me
tell you about myself so you know where I’m coming from.
I know they mean well but…
they usually go on for daaaaaaaaays.
Here again, I just flat don’t
have the time.
If you hope to get a
reply, your email needs to get to the point. Also, be truthful. Nothing
bugs me more than reading a bunch of fabricated hooey.
The emails that I
totally ignore are the ones where the sender doesn’t even have the common
courtesy to address me by name.
They write, “hey, I’m having
a problem with my horse, answer this
question for me.”
Talk about rude!
These folks don’t want
me to know their name either.
They don’t type it anywhere in the message at all.
If you want me to take
time out of my schedule to answer your training question, at least have
the courtesy to address me by name and tell me who you are too.
Also, one other thing. If you
have typed something in the email’s “subject line” that
isn’t related to horses, I’ll probably miss it.
You need to put the
word “horse” somewhere in the subject line to alert me that your
email isn’t spam.
Okay, okay, enough of my
ranting. Let’s get to the actual training questions.
Answers to good horse training questions
I purchased some of your videos a while back, I
think I’ve got 3 of them….
They’ve helped a lot!
If I purchase another…what else do I need to become an “inner circle”
member? (Sounds like something out of “Lord of the Rings”!)
I’m working on training my new mare. She frames nice on just a simple
snaffle.. no gadgets.. but she’s got one speed… she likes to lope
really fast. Any suggestions on how to slow her down without hauling on
her face? Any videos to suggest??
I have a horse in training right now that has the same problem as yours. He’ll
frame-up nice and as long as you have his face, he’ll lope okay. As soon
as you give him a loose rein, he wants to lope fast or flat out run.
Here is what I usually do to correct this:
Rollback into the fence repeatedly (every 3 or 4 strides) until the
horse WANTS to lope slow.
Lope circles without stopping until the horse WANTS to lope slow.
3. If the first two techniques fail, I’ll
try this: I put the horse in a lope and give him the slack. If he takes
off, I’ll pull him into the dirt and stop him abruptly. I stop him with
strong pulls and releases. Then I pull him back a few steps and make
him stand for a few seconds.
Take note. I do not jerk the horse
into the ground. I use a smooth yet strong pull.
Next, I ask him to lope again and repeat the
correction if he doesn’t lope at a reasonable speed. I keep doing this
as long as it takes to get a good response. On most horses, by the
seventh or eighth repetition they are willing to lope fairly slow on a
On the horse I’m now training, the first technique didn’t work but the second
one did. However, I had to lope him (actually he was running) for almost
30 minutes before he started to slow down and lope slow.
And yes, I thought he was going to bow a tendon or have a heart attack
but the running was his decision and it needed to be his
decision to slow down too.
After three days of this, he is loping slow on a loose rein like a
I do have a video that addresses this. It is Teach Your Horse to Stop Light
and Collected volume 1.5.
Good luck with your horse on the loping thing.
Larry Trocha Training Stable
I recently purchased a 2yo mare and I have her in training for 90 days
(part-time cattle). If she has potential and I want to show her
competitively, where do I go from here? Do I give her a break for the
winter and start her off heavy in the spring? I don’t have a lot of
money to invest but I think she has real potential. Can you give me some
guidance? Thank you for any help you can provide.
If your funds are pretty limited, cutting horse competition may not be for
you. Cattle costs make the training and entry fees for that event more
Reining or ranch sorting might be more in line with your budget.
It takes a minimum of 18 months of training before
most horses are solid enough to be shown in “any” high performance
event. I wish I had some creative advice for you but your only option is
to leave her in training. There is no substitute for time under saddle.
I see no benefit to laying her off.
Since limited money is a factor, you’d better make sure she is good enough to
justify spending the
Ask the trainer if she has the attributes to be a “winner” or is she
just an “average” horse.
Few trainers will flat out tell you the plain and simple truth
(they don’t want to hurt your feelings or they need the training money) so
be prepared to read between the lines when he gives you his answer.
Also, since you are interested in competition, make
sure you are using a “professional” trainer who has had some success in the show
arena. A part-time or back-yard trainer usually won’t have the
experience to make a realistic evaluation.
Larry Trocha Training Stable
I have your videos and appreciate your efforts in
trying to convey the appropriate actions for training a good reining
I bought a 2 yo and got him lined out pretty nice with the exception of
the slide stop. He will whoa, drop his head and stop, but he does not
like to get his hind feet up under him.
I tried backing him and then asking him to back a little faster and he
just doesn’t have the hustle in him to scramble backwards, in turn, he
isn’t learning to get his feet up under him for the stop.
He will stop RIGHT NOW when I settle myself in the seat and just say
whoa on a loose rein. Picking up the reins and giving the tap, tap, tap
doesn’t seem to improve his desire to stop harder or faster. Any ideas?
Without seeing the horse, it’s hard to make an accurate diagnosis but
here are a few ideas that should help.
The most common reason for a horse not using his
hindquarters when stopping, is the rider asking for the stop at the
wrong part of the horse’s stride.
You’ve got to say WHOA when the horse’s hind feet are in the air. Asking for the stop
when the hind feet are in the air is what allows the horse to shoot his
hindquarters way up under himself.
If you aren’t timing the horse’s stride properly, a
front end stop is inevitable. And every time you stop him on his front
end you are creating that habit in the horse. For consistent hindquarter
stops, you absolutely MUST use the right timing.
I show an example of this in one of my newsletters.
Check it out here:
I also show a good “slow motion” example of it in
the “Teach Your Horse to Stop Light
and Collected volume 1.5” video. If you have this tape I suggest you watch it
again and pay particular attention to the timing that’s demonstrated.
If you are sure you are doing your part right, I’d
go to a different training technique. Try using the “Easy Stop”
head-gear I demonstrate in the video. Almost ALL horses respond well to
that piece of equipment.
Using an Easy Stop
encourages a horse to stop instantly and really hard. Of
course, if you’re not timing the horse’s stride right, you’ll still get
stops on the horse’s front end.
Some horses will respond well to a “spur” stop.
I demonstrate it in the stopping video. Use your
hands to set the bit so the horse can’t go forward and ask for the
back-up with your legs.
Once the horse understands this, ask for the
back-up while the horse is still going forward. From the walk,
say whoa and without hesitation, immediately ask for the back-up with
your spurs. This will really get the horse stopping and shooting its hind legs under
Once you have this mastered at the walk, do it from
the trot and then at the lope. Don’t rush it though, it’ll probably take
You also want to make sure your horse’s hock joints
or stifles aren’t inflamed. Many horses nowadays are plagued by
this. Most cutting and reining prospects will need an anti-inflamatory
treatment sometime during the training process.
Also, check for sore suspensory ligaments (high and low) in the hind
legs. He won’t stop if they are hurting him.
I hope this helped.
Larry Trocha Training Stable
I have watched your videos for a couple years and was also in your Inner Circle. It was very helpful and you did a great job on the videos. I
have learned a lot from you. I spend a lot of time in the saddle and
have taught many things to several people, but I am still learning
myself. I really appreciate what you do.
There is one thing that I am learning and that is,
that collection and suppleness is probably the most important thing
there is. I am not in your inner circle any more, but I still think you
are the best teacher I have had. I play with the reining on young horses
a lot. I feel like you should really stress to your inner circle members
about collection and softness.
Your Avid Student,
Good to hear from you again.
What most riders don’t realize is that if you get
the horse light and supple and then get him collected, you have 75% of
the horse’s training covered. The rest of the training will just about
fall into place automatically.
The one thing I would like to really stress is a
term I call “self collection”. Self collection happens when a horse
comes to understand that he always has to have his hindquarters under him to
Once a horse gets this, you can do all kinds of
stops, turns, circles and just about anything else and the horse will
automatically have his butt way up under himself. It makes a horse’s
movements well balanced and very catty.
Larry Trocha Training Stable
Well, this wraps it up for this newsletter. I hope
you liked it.
time, have fun training your horse.