taming a horse hand
Many riders who own two horses regularly go off-road with a hand horse. But have you ever thought about training with a hand horse in the ring?
Equestrian trainer and stunt rider Hero Merkel (www.hero-merkel.de) uses this training opportunity for all her horses. This is doubly effective: youngsters learn from fellow experienced as a hand horse. And for seasoned riders, working with or even using a hand horse is a welcome change.
By the way, you also have great training effects that make your daily dealings with two horses easier: the easy candidates get ahead and learn the impatient animals.
requirements: Both horses are well tolerated and well trained so that there is no fighting (no kicking, biting, etc.). The riding horse can be controlled well and precisely. If your horses already know each other, this will be easier for you. However, well-behaved horses should also cooperate when a less well-known horse walks within reach. Young horses that serve as hand horses need at least basic training on the ground. If they are operated for free, they must be individually submitted to the free labor.
This is how it’s done: At first, the horses are accustomed to working and controlling them individually. Then it will be easier for you to connect with your horses later in the saddle. It is important to always give a riding horse clear signals. You can control your hand horse, with or without a rope, mainly with body signals, for example with an object turning away; Ideally, a faltering horse would react to this immediately.
If the connection between you and the horses is correct, you can incorporate various exercises: try the track variations, lateral walking, working the shaft, and changing the pace.
advice: Frequently riding side-by-side over the trot poles will help your horses find a common rhythm. In the game between acceptance and addition – on the figure eight or in a slalom around the towers – even the rather slow horses begin. Because easy types move faster on their own because they want to keep up with the other horse.
Creative obstacles also enhance manual horse training: for example, practice riding each of the horses over a tarpaulin or through a flap curtain, or pedaling with your four-legged friend backwards through a shaft alley. Do your horses love to jump? Then set up a cavality or mini hop – and only let the hand horse hop over it and only your riding horse once.
And another tip from Hero Merkel: From time to time let just one horse run over an obstacle. For example, when going backwards through the L-Bar. This way you playfully train your horses to wait patiently at all times – even if another horse is on the move.
side by side
This opens a new perspective: you “drive” both horses off the ground or attempt a tandem ride, also known as “driving school.” Here you lead the front horse on long reins and sit behind you in the saddle of the second horse.
requirements: Both horses should know each other well, be about the same size, be bold and easy to talk to.
Come on: Bridle / English noseband, lunges for the front horse. (Long) reins for the rear horse. Tip: To make sure the lines don’t get into the horse’s eyes behind you, especially when riding, fit a carabiner into its bridle (where the cheek and nose strips meet). A loop is attached to it, through which you connect the lines. Ideal: Steering lines, steering bridles with double bridles, steering belts / harness for front horse. Quad bridle with guide rings for the rear horse.
This is how it’s done: There are two variants of linear routing. Hold the rear horse’s leash and the left leash of the front horse in your left hand, the right leash and the driving whip in your right hand (control three to one). Alternatively: Hold the horse’s front leads between your thumb and forefinger and take the horse’s reins behind as usual when riding.
At first, have a helper lead the front horse and practice tandem in the arena or indoors first. Just like driving a cart, you can only control the front horse by using lines and adjusting tools. It is therefore important to maintain good contact with this horse and radiate calm, advises Baroque trainer Elke Wedig (www.barockreitzentrum.de).
Whether on the ground or ripping – two horses can be moved in tandem with ease.
stay on the ground
You can train your husband reasonably without riding. If the horses know each other and individually have some prior freelancing experience, you can add a lot of variety to the training. Chances are more than letting two horses roam the hall.
Move freely 2.0
With these exercises, you can steer two loose horses at the same time:
This is how it’s doneEquestrian trainer Claudia Miller (www.claudia-miller.de) recommends practicing basic contact (rhythm, grab, back, turn) at first. Have both horses spin together in the circular pen. If this works, you can increase the difficulty level: one horse runs on the circle while the other is waiting for you in the middle. As you do this, practice controlling your body language so that you can build up enough energy to keep the horse moving outward while allowing the animal in the center to relax enough to stand still. Address the animals by their names to draw attention to yourself. Claudia Miller uses an equestrian wand or driving whip as an aid, as the horses are easily accessible from a distance.
If the connection is successful, you can try more demanding exercises: let the horses rotate against each other and call them individually. Also “heeling”, i.e. driving the horse to your right and left, is a good exercise in which you can practice stopping, reversing, or changing the speed.
If you are still giving inaccurate signals and possibly addressing the wrong horse, do not penalize any unwanted reaction. Repeat the exercise until your body language becomes more clear. Also, always maintain neutrality and do not favor any of the horses.
Spanish walks, compliments, sits, lies – anything you can teach one horse you can do with two.
This is how it’s done: Jana Gaedicke (www.tanz-der-freiheit.de) recommends doing the tricks individually at first. An idle horse learns by watching. If things go their own way, don’t punish her but praise her when she comes back. If you are working with both horses at the same time, start with simple exercises and short sessions (about 15 minutes). Speak to the horses one by one with voice commands. With a long dressage whip, you can touch both horses individually, for example in a Spanish walk.
Balance, navigate and condition trains in a playful way. With a little practice, you can send your horses over tarpaulins, small jumps, or through slalom poles. And when you’re walking around the course next to your four-legged friends, you’re also improving your fitness at the same time. CAVALLO introduced Horse Agility for the first time in December 2012 and reported in Issue 6/2014 how fun the training was.
This is how it’s done: You can build simple obstacles yourself in no time. Plastic pasture poles are suitable for meander poles. Stabilized tarpaulin is available at hardware stores. Wooden fence posts are suitable as floor pillars and jump posts (manufacturers of natural wooden fences have pillars of different lengths and diameters). You can use textile storage boxes as jumping stands.
Trainer Corinna Ertl (www.agility-show.de) recommends tackling obstacles individually with each horse at first. Make sure that you can steer your horses freely from either side. Work with a percussion device or with brief voice commands. If that works out well, the three of you can handle the course. Set up two obstacles parallel to each other. In between, the path remains free for humans, so you can allow the horse to run to your right and left.
advice: With guided training, you can get your horses to adjust their pace and stride length to each other. Corinna Ertl recommends letting the horses run side by side in a circle, so that the faster horse moves outside and the slower horse inside. Then guide the horses towards the obstacle from the circular line. If you repeat this often, the animals will soon get used to each other’s pace.