Jack and Paula Curtis

"Helping People Understand Horses"

Many people consider the disciplines as separate entities. They may focus their  training program solely for one particular discipline.  Results can vary, from the horses apparent boredom to sour expressions, anxiety, resistance, and lameness.

We view the training of the horse as a full educational experience.  It could be compared to that of a high school student.  A high school student will have courses in mathematics, english, history, foreign language etc...   This gives the student a better understanding of the world around them.  Then, when they go to college they may narrow their studies, but are still required to take liberal arts courses that compliment their particular area of study.  

If the horses final goal will be the dressage arena, we do not focus only on dressage.  We find other activities that will compliment their dressage education.  The horse may learn to work cattle, barrel race, jump, trail ride, and do basic reining maneuvers. These situations give the horse a reason and a purpose to engage the hindquarters and help him discover self carriage.  He becomes handier and more aware of  his body, building the correct muscles while he is enjoying himself.  He is not drilled in mindless circles, but has a real purpose.  Then when he is brought to the dressage arena he is fresh and interested in what is being done.

Interdisciplinary work increases the horses knowledge base from which to draw upon. Because the horse is a naturally intelligent and curious animal, when you vary his job, and introduce new tasks he becomes much more interested and enthusiastic in  his work.




Paula jumping a 5 yr. old TB bridleless. He is interested and aware of his job.





Jack and Paula  in the warm up ring.  (note the absence of nosebands on the horses, and horses expressions)





Paula riding a 3 yr. old Trakehner stallion at Dressage at Lamplight.




Jack working cows on a young warmblood stallion.




Paula working cows on a young throughbred gelding.



Jack showing a 6 yr. old Warmblood at Equifest a AA rated show.




Paula showing at the NBHA world championships, the only competitor out of 2000 people to ride in an english saddle.




Paula demonstrating on her relaxed happy barrel horse.




Paula progressing a green horse through a gymnastic grid. Look at the good bascule or arc from nose to tail.




Jack training a young horse in the best setting possible, Nature. (note horses expression and awareness of his feet)




A student Jumping  a 3"6' fence bridleless. (with a rope around the horses neck).




Jack training a young horse on rocky terrain. Notice how the horse is lowering his head and watching where he is going.




A student  showing cross country. Notice the horse and riders attention, they are both looking well ahead.


Paula Jumps a 4 foot jump with a 3" 9' spread bridleless.

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