Categories Training In Motion

Overcoming Competition Jitters

It happens to every rider at some point. Professional and ameateur riders, alike. That gut-sinking feeling of nervousness that accompanies you into the arena or onto the course. Your mind begins to race. Do I know my pattern? Did the judge say they wanted two spins or three? Who is going to be watching me and what will they think? How will my horse react during that first obstacle or maneuver? And all of the sudden before you have time to answer these and countless other questions running through your brain – your name is called and you are up. For some riders the jitters can even begin the day before. Their night is haunted by dreams of going off course or their horse misbehaving.

Read More Overcoming Competition Jitters

Categories Training In Motion

Slowing Down the Fast Horse

Does this sound familiar?

Have you ever ridden a horse that, no matter how hard you try, you just can not get to slow down at the trot or canter? You may feel totally in control of the direction you are going and even have a great stop or downward gait transitions, but it will all be at 100 MPH? Or maybe your horse naturally is not that fast but you would like more control of their speed at each gait. In this article I will cover the most common causes of a fast horse that I deal with regularly and how to approach and fix the situation.

Read More Slowing Down the Fast Horse

Categories General, Sedona Updates

Sedona Update 4 – Flanking

Note: I am catching up on my Sedona blog.  This video was taken the day after the last one (back in the spring).  We are still working through filling you in on the first 30 days of training.

I cannot stress enough that this is not a how-to video.  This Sedona series is a look inside at our training program so you can know what to expect when sending a horse to us.  Flanking is a fabulous technique when done correctly and can be disastrous  when done poorly.

Why do we flank horses?  At the core of our program, the single-most-important principle, is to teach our horses to manage their emotions.  By that I mean their fight-or-flight response.  It is also important to us to have a full and real evaluation of a horse before swinging up into the saddle for the first time.  This means knowing what the horse’s worst-case-scenario reaction (loss of emotional control) might be.  This is a method we use to create a controlled situation where we trigger a flight or fight response from the horse.  We teach the horse how to control their emotions and how to come off of an adrenaline spike and calm down and relax.

The video goes on to explain that at some point your horse will get triggered on to adrenaline.  It might be when a deer jumps out on the trail, it might be when he leaves his buddies for the first time.  Wouldn’t you want to own a horse that knows how to calm itself down in stressful situations and doesn’t continue to escalate?  As a horse owner myself, that skill development in a horse is a must for me.

Please watch the video below for a more in-depth explanation.

Ashley Purdin


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Categories Sedona Updates

Sedona Update 2 – Lunging

At some point in every young horse’s life it is critical they learn to give to halter pressure.  I am a huge believer in building willingness and softness in a horse each time it is handled – not just while riding.  I want my horses to be willingly guided under saddle and that process starts on the ground!  Please remember this video series is not intended to be instructional.  If you need help learning groundwork, please contact us for a lesson!  The video below will take you through Sedona’s first lunging experience.  As always remember to comment and tell us what you think!  If you have any questions leave them in the comments as well and I will be sure to answer them.  Enjoy!


Ashley Purdin



Categories Sedona Updates

Sedona Update 3 – First Saddling

The first saddling is such a critical step in a young horse’s development.  When correctly introduced, the horse will learn to accept something new on its back which will set him up for eventually accepting the rider.  When done incorrectly the horse will learn to panic and get rid of whatever is on his back making the rest of the training difficult and dangerous.  Generally when we get a young horse in to start we prefer that the owner had not previously attempted to saddle it.  When starting a young horse we are laying the foundation for the rest of its life and we want to know exactly what foundation was laid.  This will give our clients a better prospect for the future and give the horse a better chance at a positive life with humans.

As always, we love seeing your comments on our posts!

Join us by watching the video below to see Sedona’s first saddling.





Categories Sedona Updates

Sedona: Update 1 – New Beginnings

My career up to this point has been built on training the everyday horse for everyday things.  Trail riding, trouble shooting, obstacles etc…  I have competed extensively in the cowboy racing world and loved it!  But last year, I finally had a team to help me run the barn, Bob and Susan Brennan Owners, Dusty LaBeth Manager/business director, Beth Olson Trainer.  These individuals made it possible for me to spend more time improving myself and showing. Read More Sedona: Update 1 – New Beginnings