Be Your Best Horsemanship

"Be Your Best" is hosted by professional horse trainer and clinician, Phil Haugen. Inspired by his “1% better everyday" training philosophy, Phil explains the methods, mindset, and performance tips that drive continuous learning and growth in horsemanship, as well as in life.  Join us each week as Phil shares his experiences over the past 30 years in the horse training industry, discussing the methods that have helped him bridge the language barrier between horse and rider to enhance understanding and performance from foundation to finish.

00:29:20 2022-08-02
When working with young horses, you will often see their natural defensive, reactive tendencies come out when asking them to respond to pressure. Teaching a colt to respond to pressure instead of react to pressure is a critical step in the training proces...
00:28:57 2022-07-26
This week, I had a chance to visit with one of my best and oldest friends. This conversation brought a flood of memories back, and it reminded me that time truly is our most precious commodity. On this episode, I’m sharing some ways that you can maximiz...
00:29:29 2022-07-19
On this episode, I’m joined by my marketing director, Stacey Smith, to chat about how small, intentional actions have led us to continually pursue growth in business and in life. Read the full show notes at philhaugenhorsemanship.com/podcast. ...
00:28:10 2022-07-12
You always hear people say, "work hard, and success will come to you." While I believe this to be true, I also know that I have run myself into the ground just for the sake of "working hard." Over the years, I've learned that knowing when to take a break ...
00:28:55 2022-07-05
When it comes to routines, we always hear that consistency is key. But the truth is, there are very few things in this life that you will start and finish without some interruption along the way. It can become discouraging when we are interrupted and cann...
00:27:29 2022-06-28
Do you ever look at your to do list and feel overwhelmed? Do you ever feel like the distance between where you are and where you want to be is an impossible feat? As human beings, it's easy for us to get focused on the 99% that seems impossible instead of...
00:26:52 2022-06-21
I’m a big believer that there are always more opportunities to pursue, new heights to reach, and new ideas to consider. When I practice this mindset, I'm always striving to seek growth. I'm training my mind to avoid complacency, and to always be seeking...
00:27:18 2022-06-14
Horses naturally have 60-70% of their weight distributed on their front end. In performance events, this natural stance becomes problematic. When a horse’s weight is heavily loaded on the front end, it is very difficult for the horse to perform the quic...
00:26:30 2022-06-07
Have you ever been in a season of life where you felt like you were waiting? Maybe you’re waiting for a colt to grow old enough to ride, or maybe you’re waiting to heal from an injury. Maybe you’re waiting for your work schedule to become more manag...
00:26:59 2022-05-31
As a professional trainer, it can be challenging to place a value on your time and expertise. Especially in this rapidly-evolving horse market, what is your time truly worth? On this episode, I’m breaking down my formula for managing my workload of cust...
00:27:55 2022-05-24
Do you have a horse that gets anxious in the corner of the box or in the alleyway? If so, this episode is for you. On this episode, I’m covering some tips for helping your horse relax and engage the thinking side of its brain in high pressure situations...
00:30:07 2022-05-17
This episode is a tribute to my dad–a man who taught me many things about life and horses. My dad was one of those people that always challenged others to be their best. If there's one thing I learned from him, it is the importance of a good work ethic....
00:26:24 2022-05-10
Have you ever heard someone say, “my horse just doesn’t get it”? Oftentimes, if a horse just isn’t ‘getting it,’ there’s a good chance that the signals that animal is receiving are not correct. Most trainers know the importance of being cons...
00:29:03 2022-05-03
For whatever reason, whether it be escalating futurity incentives or simply our human desire for immediate gratification, the age factor is one that greatly affects our expectations for where our horses should be in their training journey. The truth is, a...
00:28:32 2022-04-26
When it comes to training, I live by the philosophy ‘less is more.’ If you take time to watch some of the top trainers in the world, it is very difficult to notice the cues they are sending their horses. That is by design. No matter the discipline, mo...
00:28:52 2022-04-19
A horse’s body is naturally front-end loaded. It is estimated that 65-70% of a horse’s weight is distributed on the front end. But in the performance events, we want our horses to engage their back end. So, how do we bridge this gap? Tune into this ep...
00:29:30 2022-04-12
When you are dealing with a challenging horse, it can be difficult to maintain confidence and consistency. In my experience, most of the challenging horses I have trained have all had one thing in common: a default reactive mindset. On this episode, I'm s...
00:27:00 2022-04-05
In today’s performance horse industry, we have the privilege of owning and riding some of the most physically talented horses in the world. However, when these horses are young and just getting started, this physical skill is often accompanied by anxiet...
00:27:39 2022-03-29
When you live a busy lifestyle, sometimes, it’s hard to take time for yourself. In pursuit of family obligations, career goals, and other ambitions, many of us are hard-pressed to find a few extra minutes in each day. But, if there's one thing I've lear...
00:25:11 2022-03-22
In the training business, failures are inevitable. There will be seasons of your horsemanship journey that are more challenging than others. Your resiliency during these seasons is what determines whether or not your horse reaches its full potential. In t...
00:25:49 2022-03-15
Have you ever questioned if you had what it takes to make it as a trainer? Have you ever felt guilty for pursuing your passion? If so, you're not alone. On this episode, I'm sharing a few stories about overcoming limiting beliefs as a trainer, and offerin...
00:27:19 2022-03-08
For those of us who are in the ranching world, we don't always have the luxury of 'slowing things down' and giving our horses time to find the right answer.  When it's time to get a job done, sometimes, getting the job done is the only thing we can f...
00:28:53 2022-03-01
Collection is a key component of a horse’s foundational success. However, most breeds of horses are not built to be naturally collected. Tune into this episode as I share my step-by-step process for building collection and confidence in a horse. Read th...
00:26:42 2022-02-22
One of our biggest faults as human beings is that we don’t like to fail. That's why when we are introducing a new concept to our horses, we have the tendency to micromanage. When we micromanage their every move, we think we are preventing them from fail...
00:28:19 2022-02-15
One of the most common conversations that pops up in the roping pen has to do with how we approach practice. Oftentimes, when someone comes to me for roping advice, they are having trouble catching consistently. Naturally, they ask me to watch their swing...
00:29:22 2022-02-08
How do you deal with frustration? This was a question submitted by one of our loyal listeners, and it's a topic that has taken me years to find a good answer to. In short, my approach to dealing with frustration comes from a mindset shift.  Tune into...
00:45:12 2022-02-01
If you’re a first generation horseman or horsewoman, this is an episode you won’t want to miss. On this episode, I’m joined by an ambitious young trainer named Paula Cooper who transitioned from competitive skiing into roping and rodeo at the age of...
00:29:08 2022-01-25
If you’ve listened to our podcast for very long, you have probably heard me mention how much I love the western industry. I truly believe that I have one of the best jobs in the world, and that is because of the people I get to work with on a daily basi...
00:16:02 2022-01-18
In this episode, we're throwing it back to the beginning. The audio in this episode is pulled from an introductory lesson in Phil's very first DVD series, Foundation to Finish. Over a decade after these training DVDs were originally recorded, the training...
00:27:03 2022-01-11
After nearly 40 years as a professional horse trainer, I have come to the conclusion that there is one thing that I must have to make a great horse. It has nothing to do with tack or training equipment. And, it has nothing to do with the skills that I hav...
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