Training Annie

Flamemaker’s Annie D went to Cathy Morris’ Training and Rehabilitation Stable on February 11, 2011.

Cathy allows the horse to get familiar with the new surroundings – maybe a couple days. The first thing she teaches the horse is to back on command.  Annie is allowed to run around the arena to release energy.  After a few days of introductions Cathy takes Annie D out in the arena with a training rope halter and lead. 

When Cathy takes Annie out to the arena she stands with Annie for a short period for bonding and quiet time.  The stick and string are utilized by swinging it in front of the horse and around the horse. This is done nearly every time Cathy goes out with the horse.  Annie learns to circle both ways on the end of a long rope in the following steps.

1. Walk

2. Trot

3. Canter

4. Whoa

In upward and downward transitions.

Using a kind and comforting voice Cathy uses verbal commands througout the training process.  She uses various clucking, kissing, and popping noises to move Annie forward.

A bend in the rib cage and the nose tipped towards her is what Cathy strives for in all gates.  When the horse walks in a circle on a loose rope, in a relaxed, rhythmic manner, in both directions,  then Cathy lets the horse rest.

Every session a request for a whoa is made.  Annie is asked to face her by slapping the ground with the stick and string near Annie’s hindquarters. Cathy always gives the horse a chance to respond to an action. If it doesn’t, for example, she will progressively swing the rope of the stick and string harder and harder along side the hindquarters until the horse faces her.  When the horse swings it’s hind end out and away and the horse faces her she rests. Her timing is impeccable.  She flows with the horse from one step to the next dealing with whatever comes in the way of the goal.  The goal is an obedient, light and responsive horse.

The one thing that is prominant in Cathy’s method is she moves her feet very little and is always walking towards the horse pushing it away from the gate.

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