Cameron Foster Horse Training

As a 4th generation rancher, the passion for horsemanship is in my blood. Over the past 6 years I have embraced the natural horse development methods of Bill & Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and Joe Wolter. My experience has taught me that nothing is more rewarding than a positive relationship and mutual respect between horse and rider.

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Location: Baker City, Oregon, United States

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas

This is a good time of year to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. The love and support I get from my family is truely a blessing. Having a great circle of friends, some old and some new, is very fulfilling also. I look forward to making new friendships in the New Year and building a greater bond with the friends I have now. I've found new friends that would have never been started if it wasn't for those horses that entered into my life. The best advice I could give any horse owner would be, become better friends with your horse and you'll trust in each other more. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Buck Stops Where?

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I am truely blessed with great family and friends. Blessed to be living in the best country in the world. Blessed to be protected by the most honorable service men and women, who protect our freedom and liberties. Thank you, to the soliders that give their lives daily for this great country.
When working with young horses on a daily basis, it is pretty common to have a few that will buck. Usually, the colts will buck the first time they are saddled. Once they get used to wearing the saddle after a few days, they do get better. Sometimes if it's a cool morning, they will feel good and need to work the kinks out. On the other hand, some colts that seemed extra bothered by the saddle, need special attention. Why are they bucking? Is it because their feet are stuck? It may be like a car in park and flooring the gas. The horse needs a place for that energy to go. By ponying your colt it helps them get used to you above them, plus getting them to move off of pressure and yielding to pressure. Work on moving their hindquarters away from you, as you ride in towards their hip. If you can, have another person pony you on your horse for the first few rides or until the colt is more confident will help. They can ride into the colt if he goes to bucking, plus the colt will buddy up with the other horse and help him move out. The other person helping you needs to be pretty handy or it could be a wreck. Working the braces out and getting the horses feet moving will save heart aches... and back aches.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Get The Go

Back in my Grandad's day they would blind fold the horse as the rider was getting on, and turn him loose to " ride the rough off." Those bronco busters were tough. A good bronc twister was pretty valuable in those days. A lot of things have changed since then, some for the better, some for the worse. I've talked to a lot of old timers and most will tell you how rank some of those horses were. They had a job to do and they needed to get it done. I think it's very important to get the horse moving out in the first few rides. The upward and downward transitions are key to building a solid foundation in your horse. I prefer to saddle the horse and then take the halter off. Let the colt walk, trot, and lope in the round pen both clockwise and counter clockwise. There isn't a need to round pen the horse until they've worked up a lather. You will need that life in there later down the road. Having the confidence to let the horse feel you in those upward and downward transitions is the key. Even before I ask the horse to turn or back, I like him to move forward. Seems like almost everyone is making videos about horsemanship and colt starting. I would say learn from the best and buy Ray Hunt's "Back To The Beginning" video.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Heartfelt Thanks

I would like to take the time to thank Mike and Anna Dean for not only their business, but more importantly, their friendship. Mike and Anna raise horses the right way. They spend a lot of time with their horses. Daily checking of the herd, especially the foals for bumps and scraps that come with growing up. I've had the privilege to start two 2 year old fillies of Mike and Anna's. The extra time they spent on the halter breaking process really helped in putting a solid foundation in their horses. If a person wanted some great Paint horses with out standing blood lines, my choice is Mike and Anna's. They can be reached at www.amdeanranch.com. The Dean's have a true love for horses and it shows.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Quiet Hands

There has been a resurrection of the old Californio vaquero training methods. The starting of the colt in the hackamore, progressing into the two-rein, and finally straight up in the bridle. A lot has been said about the use of the tool, either the hackamore and or the bridle bit. What ever the training tool you use, it all comes down to having feel and quiet hands. The bit or hackamore doesn't control the horse, it is a tool of communication to correctly move the horses feet. It is hard to keep your hands perfectly still when riding, especially in a trot or lope. Everything you are doing when your riding means something to your horse. If your hands are bouncing the bit in the horses mouth, it's more then likely causing the bit to hit his teeth or the tender bars of his mouth. Good body posture includes quiet hands. I like to start most colts in a snaffle bit. Used correctly, it teaches the young horse a lot of things. Moving off of pressure, flexing of the poll, and the start of using the indirect rein (neck reining). Don't be nervous about experimenting with your hand position. By moving your hands lower to the saddle horn or higher slightly above your waist can help your horses movement, especially in the back-up. Good luck and ride safe.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Don't Be Too Critical

Leon Harrel, the famous cutting horse trainer, once said," if you're always dinking with your horse, you'll have a dink for a horse." The line between not enough training and too much training is a thin line I think we have all crossed. When should a person stop or should they keep pushing for something more? I've seen folks at horse shows riding the horse around the pen for hours just see-sawing the horses head down. At the time, I wondered why the horse just doesn't buck them off. It's amazing what a horse will put up with. Setting a riding goal for the training session will help. Just recently I had a horse in for training that was 8 years old. The poor horse had a lot of human caused problems. There were a list of about 10 things I was hoping to help him with. If I picked on him on all 10 in the training session, I think it would have made him worse. Each day for our ride, I would pick one and ask him to do that one correctly. For the first 5 to 10 rides on a colt, I try not be too critical. It's been my experience that schooling a horse to soon takes away the bond you've made in reaching those first few rides.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Ultimate Goal

Setting and achieving your riding goals are very important for you and your horse. If you have a goal for that days ride, it helps you stay focused on the ultimate goal, having a well-broke horse. Sometimes it's easy to get "lost" in the ride mentally and the horse will leave you mentally. Staying with the horse is very important at least for the first 30 days of riding. We have all ridden a horse that you can't seem to get lined out straight. Finding a focus point out ahead of you and heading straight for that point will help keep him straighter. Keep him between your feet and hands. Bending your horse a lot in the first few rides will also make him wallow around instead of lining out straight. In the previous journal, I mentioned getting out of the round pen. This will help your horse move out if he has a place to go. On the ranch, the sooner the horse is being productive, the better. Riding out through the rocks and sage brush to a bunch of cows gives both you and the horse a job and a goal. That's good for both of you.