Trailer Loading: Essential Tips for Stress-Free Travel

Encountering a horse that refuses to enter the trailer can be incredibly frustrating, especially when time is of the essence. In this article, we'll explore simple yet effective techniques to address trailer loading challenges, offering solutions that can make the process smoother and more enjoyable for both you and your equine companion.

Dealing with a reluctant horse requires patience and dedication. Nothing is more frustrating than when you are in a hurry to leave and your horse will not load. Pick a day to work on this issue when you have plenty of time to work through this and end on a good note. 

Understanding why your horse resists the trailer is the first step toward a solution. Start by walking your horse up to the trailer until you find his first refusal, look down where his front feet are and draw a line on the ground with your toe. Then back him up twenty or thirty feet and make a second approach. If he gets closer its fear.

A fearful horse builds confidence...

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How to Train your Horse for Competitive Trail Riding

Competitive trail riding is a fun and challenging equestrian sport that requires a combination of horsemanship skills, trail riding ability, and a strong partnership between horse and rider. In this article, we will discuss the steps you can take to train your horse for competitive trail riding and excel in the sport.

Step 1: Evaluate Your Horse's Physical Condition

Before beginning any training program, it's essential to evaluate your horse's physical condition. Ensure that your horse is in good health, with no underlying medical issues that could impact their ability to participate in competitive trail riding. Work with your veterinarian to develop a plan for maintaining your horse's health and wellness throughout their training program.

Step 2: Develop a Training Plan

Once you've evaluated your horse's physical condition, it's time to develop a training plan. Your training plan should include a combination of trail riding, obstacle training, and basic horsemanship exercises....

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Understanding Natural Horsemanship

 Natural horsemanship is a way of training and interacting with horses that focuses on building trust and communication between the horse and the handler. It is a method that has been gaining popularity in recent years as more people are seeking gentle, ethical ways to train their horses.

The principles of natural horsemanship are based on the horse's natural instincts and behaviors. Horses are herd animals that communicate with each other through body language, vocalizations, and movements. By understanding these natural behaviors, riders can communicate more effectively with their horses, build trust, and create a strong bond.

The Benefits of Natural Horsemanship

One of the most significant benefits of natural horsemanship is that it is a humane and ethical approach to horse training. Natural horsemanship emphasizes communication and cooperation, similar to the way a horse would communicate with each other. Another benefit is that natural horsemanship can improve the...

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Why is a Proper Fitting Saddle Important?

Uncategorized Mar 04, 2023

A well-fitted saddle is crucial for the health and comfort of horses. It helps distribute the weight of the rider evenly, prevents discomfort, and allows for natural movement. In this article, we will discuss the importance of saddle fit on horses, what to look for when fitting a saddle, and how to ensure your horse's comfort.

Why is Saddle Fit Important?

Health and Comfort

A poorly fitting saddle can cause discomfort, pain, and even long-term damage to a horse's back. It can lead to soreness, muscle tension, and pinched nerves, affecting the horse's performance and behavior. In some cases, it can cause serious injuries that may require extensive rehabilitation.


A well-fitted saddle can improve a horse's performance by allowing for natural movement and balance. It helps distribute the weight of the rider evenly, preventing stress on the horse's back and muscles. It also allows for better communication between the rider and the horse, enabling them to work together more...

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What is a willing horse?

To me...a willing horse is safe, confident, obedient and fun to ride. It’s the horse that does everything on a loose rein or without a bridle. The one that anyone can ride. Whether you are a high-level competitor or a part time recreational rider, we all love a willing horse.

This type of horse is the most sought after in the industry today. What makes a willing horse? Is it trust, leadership, communication, their ability to learn from their mistakes or just something they are born with? I think it’s all of the above. I’ve learned it’s possible to train a horse to be willing even if they have a unwilling attitude.

If I could give you one tip for creating and maintaining a willing horse... it would be to allow them to make a mistake.

Every horse will say "no" sometime in their training process, some more than others. How you handle that "no" is key. When allowing a horse to make a mistake, it's important that you keep the command on with very little...

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The difference between Soft...and Soft & Willing.

Uncategorized Feb 17, 2023

I truly got to see, feel and learn this lesson when I was 18, my dad (Doug Mills) signed me up for the Junior European Trainers Challenge in Switzerland. There was three “junior trainers”, 3 year old un-started horses, three "open" trainers to coach the juniors and four training sessions. The coaches had a mic, so luckily I had my dads help every minute of my sessions.

At this particular challenge we were  also using heart rate monitors, this would show the audience the horses heart rate throughout the entire session. It was extremely educational on a whole other level! My mind was blown at the level of peace I could bring to that nervous three year old... through leadership! The heart monitors made this very easy to see.

Throughout my sessions when I would release, my dad would be in my ear "one more time, take it one step further." At first I didn't understand because in my mind my horse was moving off my pressure softly without...

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Ground Work for Beginners

Ground work is a very important staple in every horse and rider relationship. Handling a 1500 lb animal that is dominant or doesn’t respect you can be scary! We have created the steps of our program to take that fear away and to be able to enjoy your horse on the ground in any situation.

It doesn’t matter if your looking for ground work for beginners or have won the world, step one is where we all need to start! Without step one, you won’t succeed with step two or step 3-4-5. It is like building a house, you cannot start painting the walls until you have poured your foundation. Luckily for us there are industry home building standards required to keep everyone safe, that’s what the horse world needs! We need a checklist that once completed, you know you are safe. That is exactly why the Training Thru Trust progressive training program was designed! To help people practice and master the steps needed from the ground up. Starting with the simplest of...

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Dealing With a Nervous Horse: What You Can Do To Fix It

Dealing with a nervous horse and can't seem to find a solution? Keep on reading.

World known trainer  Doug Mills shades some light on the situation and offers expert advice on how to deal with a scared and anxious horse.

1. Understanding The Root Cause

With all the different programs out there we almost need a translator for the different terminology’s. My view of a nervous horse is a sensitive horse. Arabians and Thoroughbreds generally fall into this category. But because of good breeding programs you can find sensitive horses in any breed. 

Some people get along with sensitive horses while others don’t. I find leadership is what’s lacking and communication is the key.

 Pressure Without Clarity Is a Recipe For Disaster

A sensitive horse cannot handle unclear pressure. I find most of the time horses are nervous from a lack of understanding. The rider is trying to control the horse and the lack of understanding causes anxiety.


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How To Train a Horse?

" How To Train a Horse " Broken Down By Horse Expert Doug Mills

I believe true softness is a frame of mind that comes from leadership. Leadership starts with respect from me being able to move my horse away from me as it does in the herd environment. In other words, ‘the pecking order.’ The more specific I get with the control in that direction, with a slow build of pressure with a timed release, the stronger the leadership becomes.

I’ve been learning to communicate with horses as long as I can remember. And in the last 20 years, I have developed a simplified step-by-step program that I can teach others.

Two major cornerstones of my program are horses and people. People have taught me as much as the horses. Understanding your personality type plays a big role in your ability to train a horse.


Personality Types

There are generally four personality types; however, I will focus on the two opposite extremes — aggressive and passive.

1. If you are an...

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Halter Training Vs. Ground Driving a Horse

Horse Trainer’s Challenge winner shares some of his championship training tips on halter training and ground driving a horse.

When we are starting colts, we are always looking for that safe and effective way to gain control of our horses from the ground. My goal is to have enough control before I mount so, if they spook or buck, we can shut them down and talk them through it.

Ground driving has been around for years and for good reason. I myself have always had trouble creating a soft face while ground driving.

The Training Thru Trust program designed by my dad Doug Mills has proved to be not only helpful to me but easy to follow and teach. With it I have been able to help students from the apprentice trainers to the first time horse owner.


Click here to apply for our Training Thru Trust Program.


Halter Work Program

The halter work program has the same goals as the ground driving. The goal is to prepare our horse for riding to ensure our safety and give our...

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