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Jessica Forliano Arizona Horseman’s Challenge Competitor


by MIRIAM LUCERO Y


ou’re competing for the 2020 Arizona Horseman’s Challenge & Expo. What does the competition consists of for those who have never attended or entered the contest?


This will be my first year competing in and attending the Arizona Horseman’s Challenge & Expo. I am very excited to participate in all that the expo has to offer. The challenge is a nice way to showcase your horsemanship. It’s not necessarily how far you get, but more about how well the horse responds to what you are asking.


You train horses, would you share some of your techniques on training horses?


Yes, I train horses at my farm in New Hope, Pennsylvania. I specialize in problem horses and starting horses under saddle. My approach is all about being clear and consistent, recognizing that each horse is different and knowing how to listen to what your horse is telling you. When I give a cue, I don’t release the cue until I get the response I want; and I do that consistently. Of course, the more I repeat the cue, the faster the horse gives the right response. This approach allows me to give each horse the best chance at success.


How and why did you start training horses? What is the best part of training horses?


I have always wanted to have horses in my life, even from a young age. I bought my first young horse at 26 and had no clue how to start him. I hired a trainer to guide me through the process. He soon be- came a mentor and friend. He encouraged me to apply to the John Lyons Certification Program in Parachute, CO. I graduated from the program in 2006 and started my own business. I train because I love helping people connect on a more intimate level with their horses. Having mutual respect and understanding is the key to any success- ful relationship.


Many of our readers are families, some are new to horses or use to ride and now are returning to horsemanship. Any advice on new ownership of horses, types of horses that would best suit their needs?


My best advice to any new or seasoned horse owner is one thing, buy a horse that knows more than you do. All too often, people try to buy young, green or problem horses. Unless you are willing to send that horse to a reputable trainer for at least 3 months, you should only buy a well-trained, educated horse from a reputable trainer or seller.


How do you prepare for competing against the other competitors?


I prepare for competition by sticking to what I know, and making sure I stay patient and read what is in front of me. I take the horse for what he gives me that day.


Our theme for February/March Issue is “Heart Healthy for You and Your Horses” any healthy tips for you and your horses?


Healthy horse tips: don’t be afraid of alfalfa for your horse. Let him eat some hay before you work; it helps him stay relaxed. It also helps keep ulcers away, and allows the horse to be ready to learn.


18 FEBRUARY 2020 I HORSE & AG MAGAZINE


Jessica Forliano John Lyons Certified Trainer www.forlianofarm.com www.jessicaforliano.com 307-899-5572


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