Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday: Never let your past experiences harm your future. You're past can't be altered and your future doesn't deserve the punishment.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday

Tech Tip Tuesday: Excerpt from an upcoming article.  Improving Performance; A Weighty Issue                                                                                           
  I am always hearing people trying to come up with ways to improve the performance of their horses or themselves by changing their feeding program, adding supplements, or buying some sort of a new fangled gimmick to gain some sort of a competitive edge. The easiest and cheapest way to gain an edge in your performance is to BECOME FIT! I know that we all have seen or heard of how we need to maintain proper riding position with a vertical line being drawn through our ear, shoulder, hip and heel. We have had our coaches and trainers riding us like a rented mule about keeping our shoulders back and our head up. And can you remember what the reason was? It was due to the fact that our heads have a certain amount of weight, some more than others, and when that weight falls in front of the vertical line we throw our horses out of balance. So riddle yourself this question; if your head weighing 8-10 lbs. is enough weight to throw your horse out of balance, how can being over weight or out of shape not effect you and your horses ability? 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday: No matter how good of a person you are, there will always be someone criticizing you. Always stay true to yourself.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fun Working Horses

Kai and mom watching Dad and Teryn Muench working horses.

Fact Friday

Fact Friday: There is only one correct answer to all questions in horsemanship; It depends on the horse.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Theory Thursday

Theory Thursday: When the going gets tough, shut up, do your job and work harder.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday: Whips and spurs are training aids, not weapons.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

We Start em Young

Tech Tip Tuesday

Tech Tip Tuesday: The biggest misunderstanding is that when a horse has his head down, neck arched, and is flexed at the poll, that he is collected. The good news is that your horse is framed up, the bad news is he is not collected. The only way a horse can be truly collected, is to be allowed to move FORWARD into a light soft hand and have drive and impulsion coming from behind  (Think about riding a tube of toothpaste, you have to squeeze from the back of the tube to get the toothpaste out). The drive from behind allows the shoulders and front legs to become lighter and starts the beginning of self carriage/collection.  Without FORWARD movement there can never be collection, the horse can be framed up, but never collected.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Happy Happy Happy

Yay! Got the new mare home, aka "Fergie". Once again,.Steve Kutie of Steve Kutie Performance Horses has worked his magic. Thanks Steve! We love the mare. My turn next LOL

Forward Fixes Everything

The simplest and easiest way to fix most of your training issues is to understand the concept that your horse has to be moving FORWAR...D from your leg. Anytime your horse loses steering or doesn't cross over cleanly in a spin is usually due to your horse not moving FORWARD into the bridle. The key to keeping your horse moving FORWARD into the bridle is to understand that you have to ride your horse FORWARD with your legs out to the bit rather than pulling the bit back to the horse. Your legs are what create the drive and impulsion in your horse; basically, you need to think that the more you squeeze with your legs the more the horse will drive up under himself, your left leg controls his left hind leg and your right leg controls his right hind leg. You have to understand that the more leg you use DOES NOT mean your horse speeds up, more leg means more drive and impulsion creating more lift and lightness, never more speed.

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday: Our fears are more numerous than our dangers, and we suffer more in our imagination than in reality.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Fact Friday

Fact Friday: There are no severe bits, just severe hands. Any bit that you place in your horses mouth will never cause harm or pain on it's own, the riders hand will ALWAYS be the determining factor in the severity of the bit. Remember that a bit is only as mild or severe as the riders hands that are using it. - Steve Kutie

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Theory Thursday

Theory Thursday: If you don't know about pain and trouble, you're in sad shape. They make you appreciate life.- Evil Knievel

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday: Draw reins, tie downs, martingales etc... are gimmicks that just stick a bandage over the problem. A wound does not heal faster just because you apply more bandages to the cut. Learn how to better understand horse mechanics and function to fix the true issue and stop using gimmicks. Not only will it improve your skills and knowledge, your horse will thank you.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday

Tech Tip Tuesday: Some horses are blind, you need to make the opening of the tunnel bigger so they can see the light... make the right decision easy and obvious, make the wrong decision difficult and hard work. Help them make the decision and don't make them afraid to make a mistake when answering your question. - Steve Kutie

Monday, July 15, 2013

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday: There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Your Husband said it was OK

Your husband called and said that it was OK to send your horse to Kutie Performance Horses to make him a Champion. We currently have a training spot available, contact us for more info.

Fact Friday

Fact Friday: They can buy palaces, they can buy the best horses, they can buy the best trainers, but they can't buy a seat.... they can't buy that. They have to earn it. - George Morris
Your preaching to choir George.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Theory Thursday

Theory Thursday: The difference between a successful person and other is not the lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. - Vince Lombardi

Bonus Training Tip; Bare Backing is not the Answer

Bare backing is not the answer

I have heard people tell me the best way to learn how to ride with a balanced seat is to practice riding bare back, aka saddle-less. I believe this is one of the biggest lies in the business. Sometimes I think most people just like to do whatever their friends are doing or whatever their uncle's first cousin's best friend's brother-in-law who had a miniature pony and couldn't ride might have to say about the proper use of their seat.

The biggest problem I have found with riding bare back is that your seat makes up 90% of the riding equation (90% seat, 8% leg, 2% rein), so the mechanics of riding with no saddle really only teache you to grip with your legs causing your seat to lighten and lift from the horses back and basically rendering your seat useless. In addition, it encourages you to stay in position by hanging on to the reins in order to help balance yourself. Sounds like it really helps, huh?

I understand that there will be a bunch of people that will try to say that it works, and it might have been the way that they started. However, what they have forgotten about is all of the time they have spent with trainers,and taking lessons to overcome most of the problems that riding without a saddle causes. Also, your heels will naturally rise up and your toes will point down in an effort to stay on by gripping. If your horse moves too quickly, your natural human reaction is to hold on, whether it be with the reins or your legs. As for me, I cannot blame you, because the last place I want to be is laying on the ground under my horse.

I believe the best way to learn how to use your seat properly is to spend time in a dressage saddle having a lunge lesson at least 2 days minimum per week. It doesn't make a difference to me which discipline you ride; I believe that the proper Dressage basics will take you further than any other thing you can do. But you have to remember that you really need to find a trainer that understands the theory and basic applications of having an independent seat and legs. Just as in any other discipline, there will always be good and bad trainers and instructors that do not truly understand, so be sure to do your homework and find a trainer that is well schooled in the basics of Dressage.

Now as a trainer myself, I spend time taking lunge lessons and going to ride with other top professionals outside of my discipline to continually improve my seat, position and riding. When you think that you know it all and can't get any better, it is time to hang up your spurs.

If you want to see if your seat is really working, go to a fenced in arena, or round pen, by yourself, pull off your bridle (don't cheat by using a neck rope) and start asking your horse for transitions, both up and down. Think you have that mastered? Try it with another horse and rider in the arena. It is easy to keep your horse listening when you're alone, now up the ante and see how it goes. I guarantee this exercise will be the most frustrating, yet truly beneficial, exercise from which you can learn.

Learning to ride properly with just seat and legs is like having your friend ask you about your dating relationship. You know, 'Do you love him, or do you love him love him?' Most people will have ridden a horse at some time in their lives, but that does not make them a rider. There is a big difference between being a rider that actually is able to influence the movements of the horse they are riding, and a rider that sits on the back of a horse as a passenger. A trained monkey can sit up on a trained horse and go where the horse wants to go, but it takes a rider to convey their thoughts to a horse in such a subtle way that it looks so natural that the horse looks like he is performing the required maneuvers on his own.

With the level of competition getting so good and the margins of victory becoming smaller and smaller, it is getting more important to utilize what you have in your training tool box that you are allowed to take into the show ring and doesn’t cost you a penny. Bonus is your horse will thank you for becoming his partner rather than treating him like a prisoner on the Maricopa County chain gang.

As Always.....Ride Hard, Be Safe and Have Fun. - Steve Kutie

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eating Breakfast in Style

Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday: You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. - Mae West

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday

Tech Tip Tuesday: Patience, n ; 2 The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting upset or angry, also the only way to become successful in the horse business.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday: Unless you faint and die, keep going. If you just faint, when you come to get going. - Steve Kutie

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Helpful Horse Training Tips

These are Carl's 35 top tips on everything dressage - from finding the right horse, to training ...and stable management techniques:

1 Dressage is not just for competition. It is gymnastics for horses and all horses can benefit from it, as they are more likely to stay sound with a long, stretchy neck, soft body and easy movement.

2 You don't have to spend a fortune on a horse for dressage - as long as the basic paces are there, the rest can be acheived through training. The main paces to look at are walk and canter, as with a bit of work a horse with a very normal trot can trot beautifully.

In walk, the horse should use the whole of his body and have a good overtrack, where the hind foot lands in front of the print left by the front foot. A good canter has a bounding stride, with the hindleg jumping right underneath the horse and the front end lifted. Above all, though a good, natural rhythm is essential and is always more important than big movement.

3 When a horse is tired, he’ll try to stretch down. Let him do it for a while as it’s something you want to encourage. To stretch your horse, lengthen the rein, lower your hand and massage his mouth with the bit by gently squeezing and releasing each rein. Stretch him regularly throughout your training sessions to relax him and reduce the risk of tension.

4 In canter always ride forward – imagine there’s a big jump at the end of the long side that you’re going to take on!

5 Dressage is about repetition, repeating exercises over and over again until it becomes part of the horse’s way of going. It takes dedication, but is simply about producing a well-schooled horse – something we’d all like to have!

6 Even if your thing is dressage, mix your horse’s schooling up with hacking and jumping as it will keep him relaxed and interested.

7 Always compete at the level below the one you are working on at home, so that you are able to cope at the competition where there are many more distractions.

8 Mirrors are a huge help in training as they enable you to see what your horse is doing – for example, how do you know whether he is straight without being able to see him?

9 Working-in is one of the most important aspects of dressage. You want your horse to be long, round and stretching before you start more taxing work, to get the muscles in front of and behind the saddle soft and working – gymnasts don’t hop straight onto the top bar! Ideally, walk for 10 minutes to start with, but if your horse is fresh, it is best to trot on to settle him down.

10 Your horse must work in front of the leg. This means that he should move forward of his own accord and not expect you to keep motivating him – for example, if you ask for canter, he must learn to stay in canter without any leg pressure, until you tell him otherwise.

11 If your horse is not responsive to your leg, ask for halt and with a loose rein, give him sharp quick taps with your leg until he moves forward – it doesn’t matter what pace he goes into, just let him move forward.

12 Create a work station on your yard, where everything to do with work happens – for example, tacking up and washing off – and keep his stable for relaxation only. Then your horse knows he can totally relax when he’s in his stable and won’t be expected to work.

13 If your horse is too sensitive to the leg, work on lots of downward transitions.

14 Lots of transitions between canter and trot will help to improve the trot by getting him to carry more weight on his back end.

15 To maintain balance while you’re working your horse, use lots of half-halts. Think about using one before you ask your horse to do anything.

16 Give your horse sugar during training sessions as a reward and to help him mouth the bit, which will encourage him to salivate and make him lighter in the hand.

17 Riding your horse ‘on and back’ involves asking him for a few lengthened strides before asking him to come back to his working pace, then repeating it several times. This will help you to get him to carry his head and neck, and achieve self-carriage.

18 When doing tempi changes – a series of flying changes – with more advanced horses, we ride along the wall of the arena to help keep the horse straight.

19 With a horse who is trained to do collected canter, you want to aim for a speed where someone can walk alongside you.

20 Use leg-yield in canter to make your horse more aware of your legs.

21 To help you maintain the rhythm while riding, keep a song in your head and sing it to yourself while you ride.

22 Get someone to video you riding so you can see what’s working and where things are going wrong. Sometimes it’s more beneficial than having someone on the floor telling you what you’re doing wrong.

23 A good trot is all about suspension. When our horses are strong enough, we teach passage and use it to get suspension in the trot. We rise while doing this exercise, as it makes it easier for the horse and encourages lift. From passage, we take the trot forward until he realises that he needs to keep the suspension that he had in passage. If he loses the suspension, we halt, ask for passage and then try it again until he maintains the suspension in trot.

24 As a test of your training technique, go into rising trot and drop your reins. Your horse should stretch down, but if he sticks his head up, something needs adjusting in your training.

25 Never tell your horse off when teaching him flying changes, just keep repeating them until he gets it right, or he’ll start to get nervous and tense about doing them.

26 If you can’t halt square on the centre line, it’s your fault! It requires training, so to make sure you can do this, teach your horse that he must always stand square, even for mounting and dismounting. To teach your horse to stand square, ask for it along the side of the school. Trot, ask for a few steps of walk, then step forward into halt. He must step forward to halt, not back to halt.

27 Hacking up hills will help with fitness and muscle development.

28 In walk, try not to interfere too much and remember that during a test, a long walk on a free rein is not a time for a break! It requires as much attention and concentration as the other movements.

29 Don’t rush your schooling and ask for too much, too soon. It’s important that your horse is strong enough to be able to do what you’re asking him to do, or he could suffer injury. It normally takes four to five years to get to Grand Prix level, without any problems along the way, as it takes that long for the horse to become strong enough to perform the movements required at that level. If you have any setbacks, it can take longer and often does.

30 When you stop and salute the judge at a competition, remember to smile!?

31 Get to a show in plenty of time and hack your horse around the showground on a loose rein, so he has time to get used to his surroundings before he is expected to concentrate.

32 Plenty of turnout allows your horse time to relax and he’ll be more relaxed during his training.

33 At competitions, wear clothes and tack that you and your horse are used to and comfortable in. Suddenly using different equipment on competition day can affect your performance. If you have special show boots and tack, have a few dress rehearsals at home just before the show date.

34 The key to training horses is patience and consistency – you will get there!

35 If possible, recreate the type of arena you’ll be riding your test in at the competition and have a practice in it. For example, check what size the arena will be and measure one out the same size at home to practise the test in, or if you usually work in a school, but the competition is on grass, practise riding the test on grass.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Champion In The Making

You know you want to.... Stop by the ranch for a test drive and let's talk about your next Champion.

Fact Fiday

Fact Friday: It's a good, to have a good day.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Theory Thursday

Theory Thursday: The horse has two teachers, the rider and the coach. If the rider is weak or faulty, you have to correct them first, so that the two of you can address the horse better. The horse cannot work better then what the rider allows. - Charles de Kunffy

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Reining Made Easy "The Spin" with Steve Kutie

      Reining Made Easy “The Spin” with Steve Kutie
Steve Kutie began his career training Dressage horses on Ohio, later moving to Texas and making the transition to Reining and Cow horses. Steve’s training operation has includes youth and non pro riders competing at local, state and national levels in a variety of disiplines including: Hunt Seat, Rail and Pattern Classes, Reining, Dressage and more. In addition to training and instrustion, Steve is a respected judge and sought after clinician. Don’t be surprised to find Steve in the show pen either! Steve’s horses and students are all started with the principles of classical Dressage. It’s his belief this classical foundation carries over into each and every riding disipline- including just riding for pleasure! Steve now brings his popular clinics and instruction straight to you with this  “Made Easy”  series of DVD’s covering numerous aspects of riding and training.Whether you’re trying to get the most from your Reining horse or are interested on the finer points of Western Pleasure, learn from a charismatic, master instructor how easy training and riding your horse can be. Teaching your horse to spin is a super easy to follow step by step DVD that starts with teaching a green horse the basic cross over step, then moves to perfecting the maneuver on an intermediate horse and finishes with putting the polish on your show horse.

Horse Vacation

What does former KPH graduate and IALHA National High Point Champion, IF Michaelangelo do when he's not in training? He goes trail riding back home in Idaho with his owner Janet Lee-Parker.

Wisdom Wednesday

Wisdom Wednesday: In my house I'm the boss, my wife is just the decision maker.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tech Tip Tuesday

Tech Tip Tuesday: Consider using a round bale, turning it on it's end and stuffing hay nets. Most round bales contain roughly 16-20 square bales, so figure; $50 per roll divided by 16 = $2.12, compared to 16 bales x $6 = $96, a savings of $46 almost double!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday: Success consists of going failure to failure, without a loss of enthusiasm. And becoming an overnight success usually takes about 38 years.