Knodel horse training at Husker Harvest | TSLN.com

Knodel horse training at Husker Harvest

Photos by Gayle SmithRon Knodel shows the crowd how to halter a colt during a demonstration at Husker Harvest Days.

“Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.”

This is the philosophy Ron Knodel uses as he instructs students how to successfully train their own horses. Knodel, who makes his home in Grand Island, NE, has a goal for his students to learn about themselves when he hosts a clinic.

“I want to be an inspiration to my students and their horses,” Knodel explained. “I think most of my students learn more about themselves than the horse at the first get together we have for learning how to train horses.”

Knodel, who has trained horses for a number of years, takes care of a fair size ranch in western Nebraska and has trained his own horses to where he can doctor cattle by himself. His philosophy is simple. “I am as firm as possible when working with a horse, but as soft as necessary,” he says.

Knodel showed a crowd of equine enthusiasts how he successfully trains wild mustang colts during a equine training demonstration at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island.

Knodel brought horses of several different skill levels to the demonstration. His older horses were well-trained mustang ranch horses – one could even bow and lie down on command. The younger horses were two-year-old colts from Bureau of Land Management, who hadn’t been worked with until Knodel unloaded them from his trailer into a round pen.

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During the first demonstration, Knodel showed the crowd how to separate two horses – one that has been worked with some during a demonstration earlier in the day, and another that had been worked with very little. In a round pen, Knodel stood in the center and kept the horses moving around the round pen, allowing them to bump into one another, bump heels and crowd one another. The objective, Knodel said, was to not only make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard, but also to try and make the horse believe its right decisions are its own ideas.

Eventually, the horse that had been worked with started to separate from the one that hadn’t. At that point, Knodel worked with the horse, mentally, and by keeping its attention, to get two eyes instead of the rump.

“You can communicate with the horse through body gestures, motion and feel. You don’t have to stand on the ground to work with a horse,” he explained, keeping the two horses separated while his 76-year-old assistant worked with the horse Knodel had started during a demonstration earlier in the day. The assistant was able to rub the unrestrained horse all over the top of him and sit on it while keeping one leg on the fence. “If you don’t feel safe in the pen with him, then work with them from the fence,” he said.

Once Knodel demonstrated how to separate two horses, he loaded the horse that had been worked with into a trailer, and proceeded to start a colt that hadn’t been worked with.

Knodel said it is important to set up a line of communication with the horse that is clear and precise, with no confusion. To prepare the horse to be caught, Knodel stood at the center of the round pen and swung a lariat at his side and over the horse’s nose. “You don’t have to know how to rope to do this,” Knodel tells the crowd. “This method takes a lot of the trauma out of catching the horse.”

Once caught, Knodel puts pressure on the neck of the horse, while smacking the lariat against his leg to get the horse’s attention. “I want him to move his rump around and look at me,” he said. Knodel also approaches the horse and proceeds to rub the horse on the face with the rope to get it used to haltering. “I always say the first haltering should be as good as the last,” he explained. “Just like the first saddling should be as good as the last, too.”

Knodel said once he can get both hands on either side of the horse’s jaw, the horse has developed total trust in him. “He is just totally falling apart for me,” he said, urging the crowd to show some patience and restraint when working with young horses. “You really need to take your time and not hurry through it. A young horse needs to be taught knowledge slowly. What is one more week?”

Knodel showed the group how to start leading the colt from the side, and work toward the front. “Try not to pull and drag the colt,” he said. “It doesn’t work anyway.”

Knodel uses body language to make the colt move.

“You don’t have to touch the horse on the hindquarters or in the flank with a rope,” he said. “If you can get the horse to drift sideways or sidepass, it will keep them from flipping over backwards from fighting the rope.”

Knodel also used a whip with a small piece of tarp on the end of it to work the colt. During the demonstration, he also used a full size tarp to rub the colt all over its body to get it used to the feel and sound of the tarp.

“These colts are a living, breathing, decision-making thing just like us,” he said. “To successfully work with a horse, you just have to make yourself a part of their life.”

To get the full effect of starting a colt, Knodel holds various demonstrations and schools throughout the region. To obtain more information or attend one of his clinics, he can be reached at 308-382-1231.

“Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.”

This is the philosophy Ron Knodel uses as he instructs students how to successfully train their own horses. Knodel, who makes his home in Grand Island, NE, has a goal for his students to learn about themselves when he hosts a clinic.

“I want to be an inspiration to my students and their horses,” Knodel explained. “I think most of my students learn more about themselves than the horse at the first get together we have for learning how to train horses.”

Knodel, who has trained horses for a number of years, takes care of a fair size ranch in western Nebraska and has trained his own horses to where he can doctor cattle by himself. His philosophy is simple. “I am as firm as possible when working with a horse, but as soft as necessary,” he says.

Knodel showed a crowd of equine enthusiasts how he successfully trains wild mustang colts during a equine training demonstration at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island.

Knodel brought horses of several different skill levels to the demonstration. His older horses were well-trained mustang ranch horses – one could even bow and lie down on command. The younger horses were two-year-old colts from Bureau of Land Management, who hadn’t been worked with until Knodel unloaded them from his trailer into a round pen.

During the first demonstration, Knodel showed the crowd how to separate two horses – one that has been worked with some during a demonstration earlier in the day, and another that had been worked with very little. In a round pen, Knodel stood in the center and kept the horses moving around the round pen, allowing them to bump into one another, bump heels and crowd one another. The objective, Knodel said, was to not only make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard, but also to try and make the horse believe its right decisions are its own ideas.

Eventually, the horse that had been worked with started to separate from the one that hadn’t. At that point, Knodel worked with the horse, mentally, and by keeping its attention, to get two eyes instead of the rump.

“You can communicate with the horse through body gestures, motion and feel. You don’t have to stand on the ground to work with a horse,” he explained, keeping the two horses separated while his 76-year-old assistant worked with the horse Knodel had started during a demonstration earlier in the day. The assistant was able to rub the unrestrained horse all over the top of him and sit on it while keeping one leg on the fence. “If you don’t feel safe in the pen with him, then work with them from the fence,” he said.

Once Knodel demonstrated how to separate two horses, he loaded the horse that had been worked with into a trailer, and proceeded to start a colt that hadn’t been worked with.

Knodel said it is important to set up a line of communication with the horse that is clear and precise, with no confusion. To prepare the horse to be caught, Knodel stood at the center of the round pen and swung a lariat at his side and over the horse’s nose. “You don’t have to know how to rope to do this,” Knodel tells the crowd. “This method takes a lot of the trauma out of catching the horse.”

Once caught, Knodel puts pressure on the neck of the horse, while smacking the lariat against his leg to get the horse’s attention. “I want him to move his rump around and look at me,” he said. Knodel also approaches the horse and proceeds to rub the horse on the face with the rope to get it used to haltering. “I always say the first haltering should be as good as the last,” he explained. “Just like the first saddling should be as good as the last, too.”

Knodel said once he can get both hands on either side of the horse’s jaw, the horse has developed total trust in him. “He is just totally falling apart for me,” he said, urging the crowd to show some patience and restraint when working with young horses. “You really need to take your time and not hurry through it. A young horse needs to be taught knowledge slowly. What is one more week?”

Knodel showed the group how to start leading the colt from the side, and work toward the front. “Try not to pull and drag the colt,” he said. “It doesn’t work anyway.”

Knodel uses body language to make the colt move.

“You don’t have to touch the horse on the hindquarters or in the flank with a rope,” he said. “If you can get the horse to drift sideways or sidepass, it will keep them from flipping over backwards from fighting the rope.”

Knodel also used a whip with a small piece of tarp on the end of it to work the colt. During the demonstration, he also used a full size tarp to rub the colt all over its body to get it used to the feel and sound of the tarp.

“These colts are a living, breathing, decision-making thing just like us,” he said. “To successfully work with a horse, you just have to make yourself a part of their life.”

To get the full effect of starting a colt, Knodel holds various demonstrations and schools throughout the region. To obtain more information or attend one of his clinics, he can be reached at 308-382-1231.

“Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.”

This is the philosophy Ron Knodel uses as he instructs students how to successfully train their own horses. Knodel, who makes his home in Grand Island, NE, has a goal for his students to learn about themselves when he hosts a clinic.

“I want to be an inspiration to my students and their horses,” Knodel explained. “I think most of my students learn more about themselves than the horse at the first get together we have for learning how to train horses.”

Knodel, who has trained horses for a number of years, takes care of a fair size ranch in western Nebraska and has trained his own horses to where he can doctor cattle by himself. His philosophy is simple. “I am as firm as possible when working with a horse, but as soft as necessary,” he says.

Knodel showed a crowd of equine enthusiasts how he successfully trains wild mustang colts during a equine training demonstration at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island.

Knodel brought horses of several different skill levels to the demonstration. His older horses were well-trained mustang ranch horses – one could even bow and lie down on command. The younger horses were two-year-old colts from Bureau of Land Management, who hadn’t been worked with until Knodel unloaded them from his trailer into a round pen.

During the first demonstration, Knodel showed the crowd how to separate two horses – one that has been worked with some during a demonstration earlier in the day, and another that had been worked with very little. In a round pen, Knodel stood in the center and kept the horses moving around the round pen, allowing them to bump into one another, bump heels and crowd one another. The objective, Knodel said, was to not only make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard, but also to try and make the horse believe its right decisions are its own ideas.

Eventually, the horse that had been worked with started to separate from the one that hadn’t. At that point, Knodel worked with the horse, mentally, and by keeping its attention, to get two eyes instead of the rump.

“You can communicate with the horse through body gestures, motion and feel. You don’t have to stand on the ground to work with a horse,” he explained, keeping the two horses separated while his 76-year-old assistant worked with the horse Knodel had started during a demonstration earlier in the day. The assistant was able to rub the unrestrained horse all over the top of him and sit on it while keeping one leg on the fence. “If you don’t feel safe in the pen with him, then work with them from the fence,” he said.

Once Knodel demonstrated how to separate two horses, he loaded the horse that had been worked with into a trailer, and proceeded to start a colt that hadn’t been worked with.

Knodel said it is important to set up a line of communication with the horse that is clear and precise, with no confusion. To prepare the horse to be caught, Knodel stood at the center of the round pen and swung a lariat at his side and over the horse’s nose. “You don’t have to know how to rope to do this,” Knodel tells the crowd. “This method takes a lot of the trauma out of catching the horse.”

Once caught, Knodel puts pressure on the neck of the horse, while smacking the lariat against his leg to get the horse’s attention. “I want him to move his rump around and look at me,” he said. Knodel also approaches the horse and proceeds to rub the horse on the face with the rope to get it used to haltering. “I always say the first haltering should be as good as the last,” he explained. “Just like the first saddling should be as good as the last, too.”

Knodel said once he can get both hands on either side of the horse’s jaw, the horse has developed total trust in him. “He is just totally falling apart for me,” he said, urging the crowd to show some patience and restraint when working with young horses. “You really need to take your time and not hurry through it. A young horse needs to be taught knowledge slowly. What is one more week?”

Knodel showed the group how to start leading the colt from the side, and work toward the front. “Try not to pull and drag the colt,” he said. “It doesn’t work anyway.”

Knodel uses body language to make the colt move.

“You don’t have to touch the horse on the hindquarters or in the flank with a rope,” he said. “If you can get the horse to drift sideways or sidepass, it will keep them from flipping over backwards from fighting the rope.”

Knodel also used a whip with a small piece of tarp on the end of it to work the colt. During the demonstration, he also used a full size tarp to rub the colt all over its body to get it used to the feel and sound of the tarp.

“These colts are a living, breathing, decision-making thing just like us,” he said. “To successfully work with a horse, you just have to make yourself a part of their life.”

To get the full effect of starting a colt, Knodel holds various demonstrations and schools throughout the region. To obtain more information or attend one of his clinics, he can be reached at 308-382-1231.

“Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.”

This is the philosophy Ron Knodel uses as he instructs students how to successfully train their own horses. Knodel, who makes his home in Grand Island, NE, has a goal for his students to learn about themselves when he hosts a clinic.

“I want to be an inspiration to my students and their horses,” Knodel explained. “I think most of my students learn more about themselves than the horse at the first get together we have for learning how to train horses.”

Knodel, who has trained horses for a number of years, takes care of a fair size ranch in western Nebraska and has trained his own horses to where he can doctor cattle by himself. His philosophy is simple. “I am as firm as possible when working with a horse, but as soft as necessary,” he says.

Knodel showed a crowd of equine enthusiasts how he successfully trains wild mustang colts during a equine training demonstration at Husker Harvest Days in Grand Island.

Knodel brought horses of several different skill levels to the demonstration. His older horses were well-trained mustang ranch horses – one could even bow and lie down on command. The younger horses were two-year-old colts from Bureau of Land Management, who hadn’t been worked with until Knodel unloaded them from his trailer into a round pen.

During the first demonstration, Knodel showed the crowd how to separate two horses – one that has been worked with some during a demonstration earlier in the day, and another that had been worked with very little. In a round pen, Knodel stood in the center and kept the horses moving around the round pen, allowing them to bump into one another, bump heels and crowd one another. The objective, Knodel said, was to not only make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard, but also to try and make the horse believe its right decisions are its own ideas.

Eventually, the horse that had been worked with started to separate from the one that hadn’t. At that point, Knodel worked with the horse, mentally, and by keeping its attention, to get two eyes instead of the rump.

“You can communicate with the horse through body gestures, motion and feel. You don’t have to stand on the ground to work with a horse,” he explained, keeping the two horses separated while his 76-year-old assistant worked with the horse Knodel had started during a demonstration earlier in the day. The assistant was able to rub the unrestrained horse all over the top of him and sit on it while keeping one leg on the fence. “If you don’t feel safe in the pen with him, then work with them from the fence,” he said.

Once Knodel demonstrated how to separate two horses, he loaded the horse that had been worked with into a trailer, and proceeded to start a colt that hadn’t been worked with.

Knodel said it is important to set up a line of communication with the horse that is clear and precise, with no confusion. To prepare the horse to be caught, Knodel stood at the center of the round pen and swung a lariat at his side and over the horse’s nose. “You don’t have to know how to rope to do this,” Knodel tells the crowd. “This method takes a lot of the trauma out of catching the horse.”

Once caught, Knodel puts pressure on the neck of the horse, while smacking the lariat against his leg to get the horse’s attention. “I want him to move his rump around and look at me,” he said. Knodel also approaches the horse and proceeds to rub the horse on the face with the rope to get it used to haltering. “I always say the first haltering should be as good as the last,” he explained. “Just like the first saddling should be as good as the last, too.”

Knodel said once he can get both hands on either side of the horse’s jaw, the horse has developed total trust in him. “He is just totally falling apart for me,” he said, urging the crowd to show some patience and restraint when working with young horses. “You really need to take your time and not hurry through it. A young horse needs to be taught knowledge slowly. What is one more week?”

Knodel showed the group how to start leading the colt from the side, and work toward the front. “Try not to pull and drag the colt,” he said. “It doesn’t work anyway.”

Knodel uses body language to make the colt move.

“You don’t have to touch the horse on the hindquarters or in the flank with a rope,” he said. “If you can get the horse to drift sideways or sidepass, it will keep them from flipping over backwards from fighting the rope.”

Knodel also used a whip with a small piece of tarp on the end of it to work the colt. During the demonstration, he also used a full size tarp to rub the colt all over its body to get it used to the feel and sound of the tarp.

“These colts are a living, breathing, decision-making thing just like us,” he said. “To successfully work with a horse, you just have to make yourself a part of their life.”

To get the full effect of starting a colt, Knodel holds various demonstrations and schools throughout the region. To obtain more information or attend one of his clinics, he can be reached at 308-382-1231.