Andrea's Blog

How to Desensitize and De-Spook a Horse

How to Desensitize and De-Spook a Horse

Desensitizing is an essential exercise for all horses to learn. It teaches them to think versus react when in a scary situation or presented with a scary object. Desensitizing also allows us to gain our horses' trust and "prove" to them we are able to guide them through a scary situation. I think we all can agree that we rather have a nice ride in the arena or stroll down the trail without spooking and looking. This exercise is perfect for building confidence in all horses.  As always, thanks again for digging deeper into the philosophy behind this exercise, you're...

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The Hidden Dangers of An All Copper Snaffle Bit

The Hidden Dangers of An All Copper Snaffle Bit

Endorsed and promoted by riders and trainers of all disciplines, the copper snaffle bit has quickly become a tack room staple. Unfortunately, an all-copper mouthpiece poses extreme danger and can cause some serious headache for you and your horse.  Copper has been used in horse bits for ages and has proved to provide some awesome benefits. From increasing equine salivation to it's antimicrobial properties, copper has been a favorite of horses and riders alike.  The problem with copper, though, is that it's a very soft metal. Like the category suggests, this makes it extremely prone to wear and tear. This...

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What is a Snaffle Bit?

What is a Snaffle Bit?

Oh the glorious snaffle bit- while being a universal and common tool amongst horse trainers and hobbyists alike, this piece of equipment has been the topic of many debates and misconceptions. Words like "shanked snaffle bit" and "argentine snaffle bit" are thrown around left and right, without much agreement on what exactly those bits are. Is "snaffle" a mouthpiece? A group of products? Or is it just 1 specific tool? Clinician Andrea Cao is here to answer some of your most asked questions and to clear the fog surrounding the bit. What it is First of all, let's start by...

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How to Correctly Round Pen a Horse

How to Correctly Round Pen a Horse

To watch my full length, in-depth training tutorial on round penning for free, simply head over to my Youtube channel Andrea Cao or click here :) To start this off, let's first go over why this is the very first exercise in my series. Surprisingly, I didn't choose the order of my exercises by random chance. They are all designed to build off of each other, and lay the foundation needed for the next. I start all of my horses in the roundpen-yes, every single one of them. That means that the way I start a wild mustang is almost identical...

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Your Horse's 3 Buttons-Foundation Training Under Saddle

Your Horse's 3 Buttons-Foundation Training Under Saddle

Question: 1. How do I teach my horse to move her shoulders, rib cage, and hind under saddle? 2. Where do I position my leg for these 3 cues? I call these 3 movements my horse's buttons, and they are essential to gaining control of your horse. We also use these buttons as a foundation for other more advanced cues like bending at the walk, spins, and sliding stops :) To start, I teach almost every under saddle exercise on the ground first. Since we start our horses with groundwork, we are working and teaching in a way that's familiar...

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