How to Train a Horse

AQHA Professional Horseman Mozaun KcKibben explains why teaching a horse to move away from leg pressure is a critical part of training.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

In the January Journal, Mozaun McKibben explains how to train a horse to move away from leg pressure, a skill critical for performing the sidepass. (Credit: Journal)

Whether it’s Versatility Ranch Horse, ranch riding (formerly ranch horse pleasure) or cow horse, Mozaun McKibben focuses on the importance of training a horse to move away from leg pressure. 

The AQHA Professional Horseman and multiple world champion from Whitesboro, Texas, has a four-step process to train a horse to yield from leg pressure. And the end result translates into a horse that can sidepass, open a gate, roll back, turn and work a cow. 

As with all horse training exercises, though, the key to Mozaun’s horse training techniques is the release and the reward. 

“When I’m training a horse to get off my leg, I start by touching him with my calf, then with my spur, then laying my spur on him and finally rolling my spur,” Mozaun explains. “But – whether it be his shoulder, ribs or hip, whichever I am trying to move – the second he gets off, I take my leg off and pet him and reward him for it. The horse figures it out pretty quickly.”

The four steps Mozaun focuses on when it comes to how to train a horse to yield to leg pressure are face first, hip next, moving the hip and doing it right. He covers these in detail in “Borrow a Trainer” in the January 2015 issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal.  

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