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MC Performance Horses: Training The Way It Should Be

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Training Philosophy
Marshall Shearer
Candace Heide
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We often get questions about our training philosophy and with the big movement of Natural Horse Trainers all trainers must meet certain industry standards if they are to succeed.  This page will be dedicated solely to answer any questions you may have for us before you decide to send your horse for training. 
The first part of our training starts with what we call the "Training Tree".  This tree starts with the basics or the trunk and ends with a highly trained horse reguardless of the discipline.  If you have any questions about the training tree or anyting else feel free to contact us.
Rhythm - I cannot stress how important it is to establish a rhythm in everything you do with a horse.  This is probably the most over looked step but by far one of the most important.
Relaxation - To me this is the most important step.  If relaxation is lost you have nothing. 
Freedom of Gait - This is where the training tree starts to get a little more tricky.  Everyone has their own idea of what Freedom of Gait should look like but basicly the horse should be able to Walk, Jog on a loose rein and pick up both leads at the Lope.  The horse should also want to move forward freely.  Excessive kicking, spurring and whipping does not display Freedom of Gait. 
Contact - This should be the first time that you really start to make contact with your horses mouth.  Other than turning and occasionally stopping you can now start riding this horse with concact on the bit and start asking him to get into a frame whether it be a dressage or western pleasure frame.  Remember if at any time you feel your horse start to get sluggish or lazy go back to Freedom of Gait and get him moving free and relaxed again. 
Balance - At this point you are ready to start asking the horse to carry himself in a balanced way.  This means transferring 70% of his weight to his hind quarters and 30% on his forequarters. 
Impulsion - This is a very difficult step to understand.  Unless you have ridden a very highly trained Dressage horse chances are you have never felt true Impulsion.  But, when you get your horse completely re-balanced you will be able to feel a little bit of Impulsion.
Suppleness - I often wonder if this step should come before this point in the tree but I have had success with it here.  To complete this step you need to be able to put your horse in any position and have it stay there until asked to do something else.  At this point your horse is truely supple.
On The Aids - This step is one of the easiest to recognize but one of the hardest to achieve.  You horse is on the aids when you ask him to perform a maneuver and he does it without hesitation or resistance. 
Collection - This step is usually reserved for Dressage horses also but western trainers are starting to pick up on it and it really shows.  The horses are looking much better and moving a whole lot better.
This is the steps that we here at MC Performance Horses take to training some of the most competitive Western Pleasure, Reining and Trail horses in the industry.  If you have any questions or comments about the training tree please feel free to contact us.  We would be more than glad to answer them.

MC Performance Horses