Horse Training: Words of the Wise

We mined social media for some nuggets of horse-training advice.

Patient and consistent training in a horse’s early years will set him up for lifelong success. Journal photo

There’s a quiet thrill that comes from helping a colt take his first hesitant steps under saddle. Horse training is an art and requires experience, skill and, most importantly, patience. Gaining the trust of a young horse isn’t always an easy task, but it’s a rewarding process.

Watching and listening to experienced horsemen are great ways to begin learning how to train a horse. We were curious to know what horse-training tips you’ve received, so we posed the question on social media.

A strong start is crucial to a performance horse’s long-term success. Subscribe to AQHA’s new Performance Horse Journal to improve your horse-training skills. Tips from top professionals are featured in each issue, helping you and your young horse reach your full potential.


“What’s the best piece of horse-training advice you’ve received?”

Here are some of your answers:

  • “Never shout when a whisper will do.” - Bob Voss

  • “Reward for even the smallest of victories.” - Taylor Lee-Ann Walters

  • “One word: Feel.” - Satu Ollitervo

  • “Slow is fast. Time and patience in training allows your horse to learn and grow more quickly.” - James Light

  • “Keep all emotion out of the equation. If you get emotional, they get emotional.” - Bailey Alexander

  • “Take the time so it takes less time.” - John Crow
  • “Quit when the lesson is learned. Just because you have an hour, doesn’t mean you have to drill for an hour.” - Kathie Mautner

  • “Don’t train on a clock. Every horse is an individual. Be aware, flexible and patient. Just because you know something doesn’t mean your horse does, too.” - Jackie Berner

  • “You get out what you put in!” - Kevin Mike Graff

  • “Always end on a good note.” - Jan Austin

  • “Consistency, consistency, consistency.” - Julie Field

  • “Let them be a horse; allow them to move freely and confidently. Give them firm but kind guidance. Set lessons up correctly and give them the opportunity to do it right. Let them develop and build their body and minds at their pace. Don’t rush anything.” - Shirley Crawford
  • “Frustration begins where knowledge ends.” - Bailey Coffman

Do you train horses for western performance events? Subscribe to AQHA’s new Performance Horse Journal and brush up on your skills with the bimonthly magazine. You’ll not only find hands-on training articles, but also health, breeding and management tips. Subscribe today!

Tips From Team Wrangler

In addition to these wise words, a great resource for horse-training advice is Team Wrangler, which is an elite group of AQHA Professional Horsemen and women located across the country. They provide expert horse-training advice and guidance so you can reach your goals with your horses. Here are a few tips from Team Wrangler members:

  • “Don’t be scared of long days. But most importantly, always keep an open mind and never stop learning.” - Donnie Recchiuti

  • “Always look for new faces at shows and provide friendly encouragement.” - Brent Maxwell

As Donnie Recchiuti stated, constantly learning is crucial to becoming better. AQHA offers a variety of resources that can help you improve your skills. Subscribe to an AQHA magazine today and receive regular horse-training tips from leading professionals.