At Bless Your Heart Ranch, our goal is more than just climbing in the saddle - it involves building a relationship and solidifying trust. Rather than trying to demand and control, we ask the horses to come and learn that partnering with people can be an enjoyable process. Wouldn't it be nice to have the horse come to you in the pasture, rather than chasing them down?
A cornerstone to the training program is groundwork and liberty. During this time, we establish leadership and find out where the horse is struggling in their insecurities. We add obstacles to boost both horse and human confidence, while also breaking a pattern and giving everyone a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it's fun!
Before riding, we want to set the horse up for success. Ensuring a good saddle, bit, and bridle fit is essential. More often than not, bad behavior is an expression of pain and discomfort.
Riding should be enjoyable for both horse and rider. When frustration becomes a focal point, that's when you need to take a step back and reevaluate the problem - and it's usually not the horse. We aim to be a place of encouragement and learning! Every horse is unique and therefore we don't have a "one size fits all" program. It's personalized for both horse and rider, based on their goals and specific challenges.
Most of our training principles have a foundation in natural horsemanship and dressage, which are the building blocks to many equestrian disciplines.
Brooke Danner, BYHR trainer riding Legend at a NATRC ride.