Why Some Horses Just ‘GET IT’

I’ve had a few lesson clients this week that have had wonderfully successful training results – horses that are unrecognisable from one week to the next (or in some cases fortnight, depending upon how often I see them).

Here’s what the DIDN’T do differently:

  1. Work any harder
  2. Work any longer
  3. Had more experience than others
  4. Rode better than others
  5. Had better horses
  6. Had more educated/better behaved horses

So what was the difference?

They had 2 things – a GOAL and a PLAN:

  1. An overall goal for the week/fortnight
  2. A clear objective for each training session
  3. Short (20 min) sessions
  4. Broke the lesson down for the horse
  5. Prioritised relaxation at all times
  6. Training small, manageable chunks at a time
  7. Building the horse’s confidence in the training process
  8. Kept the short sessions positive, interesting and engaging for the horse
  9. Kept the horse in the Engagement Zone during the sessions
  10. Build on the previous session’s training outcomes

In the next couple of posts I’ll tell you how they achieved these results – one an elderly dressage schoolmaster that was so desensitised to pressure that he required ‘carrying’ around the arena. He learns to be soft in the bridle and maintain self-carriage. The other a horse that took an hour to load on to the trailer (and that wasn’t pretty) to walking straight on, faster than the owner.