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Training Performance Horses

You can learn horse training techniques, train your horse with professional step by step help, and earn a college certificate--all at the same time, and at home.

A Horse of Course

Training Performance Horses is an online, distance learning course
which begins before the first saddle and takes the student through each
progressive step of training until the horse is learning to perform the
flying change of leads. The focus of the course is on the "how-to" steps
of teaching the horse forward, backward and lateral exercises, proper
cadence and stride, impulsion, suppleness and collection.
Any horse and any trainer, no matter what their previous experience, will
gain new insights to training without force, gimmicks or specialized

The course isn't about western or English, it is designed to give the
trainer and horse all the basic movements and footfall sequences necessary
to allow the partners to advance to the highest levels of performance at
any discipline, if that is their desire.

Developed by Success Is Easy, the course is offered by Scottsdale
Community College and Paradise Valley Community College. Anyone,
worldwide, with access to the Internet, can participate. Online
registration is available. Training Performance Horses is the first of a
series of online equine courses being developed by Success Is Easy.
Internationally known author/trainer Don Blazer designed and wrote the
140-page text for the nine individual lessons which begins with the
nutritional requirements, general health care and the basics of hoof
balance and shoeing for performance horses. The text includes
demonstration photos, and can be viewed on screen or downloaded as hard

Haltering, leading and lungeing techniques make up the second lesson,
while the use of bits and saddles complete the third lesson.
Saddle, bridle and step up for the first time is the subject of the fourth
lesson, while the first rides, with emphasis on "tipping the horse's nose"
are covered in lesson five. Performance stops, sliding or square, are
studied in lesson six, while transitions, half-halts and backing are
detailed in lesson seven. Lesson eight is all about leg yielding,
two-tracking, shoulder-in, haunches-in and haunches-out. The final lesson
covers side-passing, pivots, spins, rollbacks and the flying change of

Students complete a true-false test and a narrative report at the end of
each lesson. Blazer will review the tests and reports with each student,
making suggestions and offering specific assistance. Once students
complete the lessons satisfactorily, the college will issue a Certificate
of Recognition.

"Nothing else empowers you quite like increasing your knowledge and
polishing your skills. And your college certificate says your
accomplishments and talents have been tested and recognized. It is an
excellent basis for a home-based, horse-training business," Blazer said.
Each week students will have access to a chat room where they can get
personal help, share ideas and discuss their progress with Blazer and other

Originally written as a correspondence course for the University of
California, Riverside, the effectiveness of Training Performance Horses
has already be proven with hundreds of students. "It is amazing and
gratifying to see how much students can achieve with step by step guidance
while they are perfecting training techniques," Blazer said. Blazer is the
author of the nationally syndicated column, A Horse, Of Course, which is
must reading for thousands of fans. He authored Natural Western Riding,
used by more than a dozen colleges as text for riding courses, and Nine
Secrets of Perfect Horsemanship, the basis for training clinics and a
college course. As a trainer, Blazer has had horses compete in the AQHA
World Championships, win at jumping, dressage, reining and both western and
English pleasure. Blazer has won stakes races with both Quarter Horse
sprinters and Thoroughbreds.

Contributing "how-to" articles to most of the major horse publications
during the past 25 years, Blazer has traveled from Alaska to Australia
helping trainers improve their horsemanship skills.

Students will be able to register for Training Performance Horses after
Jan. 4, 2002 by calling Scottsdale Community College at (480) 423-6305, or
Paradise Valley Community College at (602) 787-6800. Once registered,
students may begin the course at any time, and take as much time as needed
to complete the course. The course fee is $200.

Other community colleges are encouraged to offer the course, allowing
students without Internet access to participate by using college computer
labs. If you don't have a computer, call your local community college and
ask them to offer the course.

Additional information about the course is available on the web at

Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.