Expo provides horse training clinic

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Combining his love of horses and the chance to teach others to better communicate with their horses, horse trainer Orrin Barnes presented a clinic Tuesday at the 15th annual New Mexico Ag Expo.

Barnes uses his clinics as an opportunity to teach horse owners about the proper bridling and saddling techniques. He also teaches participants how to prepare their horses for show and trail riding, he said.

“It’s one of those deals you can teach every day,” Barnes said.

The clinics provide an equal ground for beginners and more experienced riders to be together and learn new ways or techniques to incorporate into their training programs, Barnes said.

Barnes said many people do not or can not communicate with their horses. By incorporating his techniques and returning to the simple way of doing things, horseowners are able to achieve an understanding of their horse, Barnes said.

“It’s pretty important (the clinics). You can’t believe how people think about horses,” Barnes said.

Using the touch and release method, Barnes relayed to the audience how to teach their horse to perform different moves, such as backing or turning their hind end in a precise smooth manner. Called suppling, the method is used to teach the horse to move in a confident manner, he said.

Local horse trainer and riding instructor Wendy Toombs said she has been able to incorporate many of the techniques Barnes teaches into her program.

“I come to further my knowledge, Toombs said. “You can learn something from everybody.”

Toombs uses the clinic as an opportunity for learning and gaining new ideas and techniques to pass on to her students.

“It’s good to know how to read the horse,” Toombs said.