Back to Back Issues Page
Nose to the Ground September 06 Issue
September 15, 2006

A Sure Sign of Autumn.

A hearty "welcome" to our new subscribers. I hope you'll find Nose to the Ground interesting, useful, and fun to read. Following this month's article you'll find links to several past articles.

There's definitely fall in the air. The days are still warm but the nights are cooling down. The hay in the fields is being put up and the school busses are making their appearance. It's been a good summer although hot and dry. There are some forest fires, a large one in Eastern Montana, a smaller one north of here. But we've been getting most of our smoke and haze from our neighbors to the west in Washington and Idaho!


Normally this time of the year the back-to-school sales are winding down with the next stop Halloween. At least you'd think so but no. Stopping in at a discount store the first week in September guess what? Christmas Decorations, cards, and wrapping paper! C'mon now. I still think October is way too early for that. I do know that soon I'm going to have to start planning for the gift giving season, but September?

I will make a minor concession, a few suggestions that you may find useful for the approaching shopping season, particularly if you haven't done much in the way of on-line shopping before.

Some Holiday Shopping Tips

Privacy Policies: On-line mercahnts love to know (and often share) your buying habits. Most merchants have privacy policies or should. These notices tell you what will be done with information you provide when ordering a product. Boring reading but, like most things with fine print it's essential that you are aware of what is being done with your private information. If you don't like or can't understand a merchant's privacy policy, find another merchant.

Spyware: A related item is spyware. As you browse the Internet, sites you visit may "reward" you by a gift of spyware which, without your knowledge will track your browsing habits to get a profile of your interests with the end result often being spam or other unsolicited advertisements popping up on your monitor.

Over a period of time you can collect a good amount of spyware which at times can interfere with your computers performance. A simple and free solution is to download the Spybot Search and Destroy program. I use it to periodically clear spyware out of my computer. You can go to to get a copy.

Credit Card Information: I advise once or twice a year in these newsletters to never send your credit card numbers or any other personal ID information via e-mail. It's just too easy for someone to incercept.

Use a merchants secure site only when placing an order using your credit card. You can tell if the site is secure if you see a padlock on your monitor screen or if the address is https//: rather than http//:. If a merchant does not have a secure page for ordering think twice before giving away your credit card information. All reputable merchants have a secure page nowadays.

Also, if you get a request for credit card numbers, bank account numbers and the like via e-mail, don't answer it!

Spam: Usually more of an annoyance than a real danger, spam will probably always be with us in one form or another (like billboards!). A few years back I was in the habit of "unsubscribing" to spam in an effort to eliminate or at least reduce the amount of unwanted e-mail. This practice only made matters worse. Those who send out spam are basically fishing and if you respond, even if to unsubscribe they know your own e-mail address is legitimate and they've caught you.

Gift Shop

Ready for 23,000 different equine designs on apparel, wall clocks, tote bags and a host of other products? Maybe overwhelmed is a better word. I'm attempting to figure out a way to get these products in front of you without burying you in information. Hopefully by the next newsletter I'll have a good solution.

It's like the pages in Your Guide... on horse art. How to show worthwhile examples of art while not knowing what my visitors are really interested in.

In the meantime if you want to see what I'm talking about just go to the Home Page of CafePressand type horse in their search box (upper right hand corner) and 23,000 plus products are there for the choosing. You can narrow things down significantly with keywords like horse art, paint horse, freisian, etc. and a product type (the other search box). Give it a try. In the meantime I'll be working on it.

Back In The Saddle On Line Catalog - Gifts and Apparel for Horse Lovers
has a sale in progress on two dozen of their best selling products. The sale will continue while supplies last. You might want to take a look as BITS offers very high quality items and provides excellent customer service.

Guest Article - The One Minute Horse Trainer Manager

When I first saw this article's title it immediately brought to mind the One Minute Manager, a most popular management book which saw the light of day nearly 25 years ago. I read the book - it was "the thing to do" back then. It did contain good advice on maximizing efficiency and productivity in the office place yet it seemed to me to promote an impersonal and somewhat sterile approach to management. I knew a manager who was somewhat like the main character in the book. I really didn't care much for him.

Well this article is not about an efficient yet impersonal approach to your horse, quite the opposite. Rather it presents a list of little, one-minute exercises you can practice to keep your horse "in tune".

The One-Minute Horse Training Manager

If your life is so busy you literally only have a minute or two a day to spend with your horse, then here are 5 smart training tips you can use to keep your horse "tuned up" when you have just minutes a day.

Smart Tip #1: Practice Backing Up Suppose you just fed your horse some hay and he's eating. Assuming you have enough room to get beside him, put your finger into his chest and get him to back up. Getting a horse to back up is a basic and essential lesson horses should know. Plus, when you get a horse to move in a direction you want him to move, you earn respect from him.

Smart Tip #2: Practice Getting His Head Down Just before you feed your horse approach him. When you get to him pet him a couple times. Then put your thumb and first finger on his poll and push down. Do not increase the pressure of the push. Instead, on a scale of one to ten, push at a one. Then say "head down". If he doesn't drop his head increase the pressure to a two. Then say "head down". Repeat the process increasing the pressure until his head drops. When his head drops, reward him with a petting above the eyes on the forehead. Over time, work on getting him to drop his head down where you can easily put on a halter.

Smart Tip #3: Quick Lunge If you have a minute or two, before you feed your horse slip on a halter with a lead rope. Lunge your horse left and right a few times and get him to back up and come forward. You can accomplish this in just about two minutes.

Smart Tip #4: Pick Up The Feet Before feeding your horse, go pick up his feet. You should start with the front feet. Remember to reward each time he does what you ask. Then go to the back feet. If your horse is sensitive about picking up his feet you can make amazing breakthroughs over time by doing this in just minutes a day.

Smart Tip #5: Brush Your Horse Before feeding, approach your horse with a halter and brush in hand. Put on the halter then brush him. You do this because you want him to associate the halter with pleasure and he'll come to you almost every time. Thus, whenever you want to ride or work with him, and you approach with a halter, he's more willing to let you catch him. About The Author

Andy Curry is a nationally known horse trainer and author of several best selling horse training and horse care books. For information visit his website at He is also the leading expert on Jesse Beery's horse training methods which can be seen at

Submit an Article

If you've authored an equine article you'd like to share, please contact us. Of course you'll get full credit and a link to your website when it's published.

Links to Past Articles

  • How to Build an Inexpensive Round Pen - Some posts, electric braid, a home made gate and a touch of green paint produced this "world class" pen.

    See you next month.

    Bill Savage

  • Back to Back Issues Page