Saturday, October 22, 2011

Basic Steps

     The best training regimen is developed around simple and easy steps for the horse to learn and absorb.  When I am teaching students and I cannot understand what my student is trying to get the horse to do, I assume the horse doesn't have a clue either and that they're making it impossible for the horse to respond correctly.  Every rider is a trainer, period.  A horse is trained every time it is ridden, for better or for worse.
     I like my training steps to start with basic of things, forward motion, moving away from your leg, following the rein, and whoa - sound simple?  Yes, but without solid basics things are never right. Even with the best trained horses, sometimes you need to go back and refresh those earlier lessons.  If you do these easy steps first and reinforce them in every ride, you should never have to "pull" on your horse (which only makes him brace against you and accomplishes nothing).
     You, as your horse's trainer, can easily interfere with what you are trying to get your horse to do.  Frequently I see people making easy things difficult.  Remember, training is part technique, part mechanics, part understanding conformation, part feel - all together it becomes the art of horsemanship.  See you next week!  JD

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