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Horse Training Tips and Techniques, Helpful Hints for Health Care;
Plus Business Advice on Making Your Career With Horses a Financial Success

By Don Blazer

         If you want your horse to slow down, relax and be calm, try turning his or her engine "off".

         When you pick up your reins and move them around, you are "turning your horse's engine on."   You are saying to your horse, "Get ready, I'm about to ask you to make a specific movement."

         Your horse prepares mentally and physically to perform…your horse is now anticipating your request…..your horse is ready to move.

         Turn your horse's engine "off" by saying "Ho" and dropping the reins…..yes, let them go.  Don't touch the reins.

         When you are first teaching your horse to respond to "engine off", you may have to give the verbal command "Ho" several times, and drop the reins several times.  When the horse stands quietly, offer plenty of verbal praise and lots of pats on the neck or rump.

         It won't take long for your horse to learn to stand with the "engine off".   Once that request is well understood, you can use it any time your horse gets too excited or animated and begins to fidget or prance.

         Simply turn the "engine off".  A few minutes of no action and your horse will be much calmer, more relaxed and ready to respond in a "slower mode."

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