Sunday, July 27, 2014

Staying the Course

     (Aaaah - I'm back after a nice break for some shows and personal travel and I have a lot on my mind to tell you about!  A break does everyone - and every horse - good now and then!)
     So often, I see people going to this and that clinic, taking a few lessons here and a few there, trying out yet another new trainer or buying the current fad in bits or training equipment.  Trying every latest thing to "fix" their horse when maybe what needs fixing is the rider or the program.
     Every rider must learn the principles of basic training and they also must work on their own seat and hands, their timing and their rhythm.  Everyone needs to evaluate their technique and understand what works and what doesn't and what's appropriate for their horse and discipline.  (I know - I tend to harp on this!)
     Along with their riding skills, they need to decide a good course of action, say - a specific program.  And, once you choose a program you must give it a chance to help.  Trying something for a day or week or even a month and expecting miracles just doesn't work.  Horses are not trained overnight.  I can give you the best advice in the world and know in my heart that my advice will help your situation but if you don't work at it, day after day, not even great advice will help.  I do expect to see progress but that doesn't mean a problem is instantly fixed - they take time.  So this is what I mean when I say "stay the course".
     Also, be sure you consider how and why some methods were developed.  Some things just won't work with some horses - period.  There are so many variables: conformation, trainability and breeding are at the top of the list I consider when I make a plan.  Some horses work well with some methods and other horses of the same breed will absolutely fail. 
     So, before you try another new method or technique, consider all the factors.  Then, if you are satisfied that you've found the right method or right trainer etc., give the program a fair chance to work.  Expect progress yes, but in small doses, one step at a time, and even with a set back now and then but, if you stay the course often you'll end up on top of the pyramid!   Hope this helps, talk to you next week.  JD