The training aspect that goes into preparing a horse for showing can begin soon after a horse is born. The earliest a horse trainer could begin training a newborn horse is only after they have been weaned off of their mother for a few days. Once this has been accomplished, the horse trainer may begin putting the horse through the process of knowing what they need to know so they are able to take part in shows once they are ready enough. The horse is first put through learning the basics, being taught to understand when it must stop, to go when the rider clucks their tongue, and how to trot alongside them. With this training, the youngest a horse is allowed to begin participating in official events is at the age of 4 months.
After a horse has learned the basics, they are free to begin to learn other skills; however, a horse should only be taught one skill at a time to prevent overwhelming it from having to remember too many things. When training the horse new skills, it is best to keep in mind that horses learn best through reinforcement, which is the process of using rewards and punishment to help create a certain response or behavior. There are two ways of going about using reinforcement on a horse to get them to obey: positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is rewarding the horse with something ...
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...red if it participates in shows regularly, in which case the rider will need to transport them in a horse trailer.
Draper, Judith, Debby Sly, and Sarah Muir. Complete Book of Horses and Riding. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble Inc., 2003. Print.
Wright, Gordon. Learning to Ride, Hunt, and Show. New and rev. ed. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company. 1996. Print.
Walker, Chuck. “Dressage Equipment - Test your knowledge!.” https://www.usef.org/_IFrames/Licensedofficials/clinics.aspx. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2014.
ASPCA, “Training Your Horse.” http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/horse-behavior/training-your-horse. ASPCA, n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014.
Cole, Deborah L. "The Basics of Horseback Training Safety."http://www.esc.rutgers.edu/downloads/HORSERIDING.FACTSHEET.pdf. Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.
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