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The Savvy Station

It’s a dream for many horse people to turn their passion for horses into a paying career. Unfortunately, the world of horse careers can feel a bit intimidating and overwhelming. With high costs and lots of competition, it is wise to research your proposed equine careers thoroughly before starting on the career path.

Here’s a list of careers in the horse industry you should consider.

  • 4 min read

I remember reading every book available about horses. I remember getting the Western Horseman every month and reading every article about training horses. I remember even purchasing a book on how to train horses for tricks. I even got a copy of Professor Barry's home study program.

I was searching, searching, searching.

Then, I ran into a real horseman. His name was Troy Henry. I was his apprentice for five years until the day he died in December 1981. I realized he had a blueprint he was trying to share with me. Start on the ground, get horses to bond, to be obedient, and to be exuberant using a short rope, then a longer rope, before moving to liberty.

  • 4 min read

When determining how to engage with your yearling horse, the first thing to remember is that horses are prey animals and precocial species. This means that they are full-faculty learners at birth. As soon as a foal is about a month old, they start playing with the other foals. Guess what they do: they play prey animal pecking-order games!

Most of these games are fun and friendly to see who is the fastest, who can turn the quickest—fun little things like that. But it doesn't take very long before they become good buddies and start wanting to find out “who's who in the zoo”. Once your horse is weaned, you can start to play Seven Games with your horse on the ground, both On Line and at Liberty.

  • 4 min read

Whether to leave a horse barefoot or not is a question that arises a lot, and one of my mentors, Tom Dorrance, had the perfect answer for everything: “It all depends”.

Since we're talking about feet, we must remember that the horse industry is predicated on four things: wives’ tales, mythology, bovine fecal matter, and ego. For a lot of people, their ego gets in the way, and they believe the wives’ tales and mythology they've been raised on. For example: Horses with white socks have white feet that are always softer than horses with black feet. To the contrary, I've seen horses with white feet that had hooves as tough as nails. And I've seen horses with black feet that couldn't walk across a sandy arena.
  • 4 min read
One of my best friends and true mentors, Dr. R.M. Miller—Bob, as I call him—introduced this concept of foal imprinting to the world. He talked about it the very first time I met him, and I just nodded and said, “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.’ But it wasn't until he came to the little ranch I had in Clements, California, that the concept came alive to me, because during his visit we had a newborn foal.
  • 5 min read
Horses communicate through a combination of body language, vocal sounds, and facial expressions. Much like humans, what they don’t say can be just as important as what they do say. While we speak vastly different languages, we can learn how to communicate with horses when the starting point is love, when we take the time to learn their language, and when we choose to be their leader before pursuing any other accomplishment.
  • 5 min read