Horseproblems Australia
Post Office Box Victor Harbor
SA. 5211
(61) 0885521418









John O’Leary
© 2003


Today’s drivers’ have little to no regard for the safety of horses or the result that excessive speed can have upon a ridden trail horse. It is dangerous out there and if one is to safely ride in traffic, the horse must be basically bombproof.

 Traffic training the horse is a dangerous game and should really be undertaken by a professional, however many pleasure riders’ undertake the job themselves.

Drugs are now in 1 in 20 Drivers so remember that.!!!!!!!!!!

I traffic train every horse that I break in and they are all out in the traffic within the first ten days of the process. Over the years and of the thousands of horses, I have noticed that almost all of them have successfully made the transition to be able to handle the various frightening events that occur in traffic. It has been interesting to me that it has never mattered what the breed has been and that the young or green ‘breaker’ is far easier to train than the more seasoned horse that is introduced later in it’s career. There are a couple of reasons why.

By far the most important reason for my success is that I never transfer a negative vibe to any horse. I have a saying that completely sums up what ensures success or failure.

“A bold rider makes a bold horse – A nervous rider makes a nervous horse”

It follows therefore, that if a rider is nervous in any way, they simply should never attempt to traffic train any horse as they are a danger to themselves. Success comes from the rider being a strong leader and that is exactly what the horse is looking for. If the rider is in control, is an assertive confident type, the horse will be happy to place its life in their hands. There are a few rules that one must follow however:

  • Obviously the young horse should be led out by an older, seasoned horse for the first few rides.
  • The young horse should be shielded as much as possible by the older horse.
  • The rider must never ride with a contact, grab the reins up just because a car is coming or tense up in any way.
  • The rider on the seasoned horse must ride totally for and as a servant to the young horse.
  • The rider of the young horse must never allow it to look away from any frightening object.
  • Every single negative evasion that the young horse attempts must be nullified, thereby canceling it out from the list of frightening objects for the future.

 The three things most likely to exceed a horse’s tolerance are trucks, motor bikes and push bikes. It is better to be facing these as they pass by, rather than allowing them to come from behind you.

Finally, if I could, I would like to burn the following in your minds. It is imperative that a horse never escapes or learns to run. Put a ‘One Rein Stop’ control on your horses. It is the greatest asset that you will ever have. I call it ‘Air Brakes’

Happy Trails