Horse Training Tips
photo credit: sskennel
If you overwhelm your horse it may cause your horse training to back fire and slip. When a horse trainer uses too many aids at the same time or gives unclear direction the horse becomes unclear on what to do. Doing them harder or more doesn’t make them understand the aids more.
Are you overwhelming your horse with your horse training?
Horse training is building on previous lessons. For example if you want your horse to turn, you first must teach my horse what the rein aids mean. Pulling harder on the rein will not make it clear to the horse it is supposed to turn. it will more than likely make the horse lean on your reins.
Top Three Must Haves for Horse Training
Do less and get more. That’s my philosophy.
The top three things to keep in mind when riding and training horses are:
1. There should be no force when horse training.
2. There should be understanding when horse training.
3. There should be guidance when horse training.
When you use force when riding and training you lose the ability to feel what the horse is doing underneath you. When you are forcing, pulling or kicking you are tense and you will be unable to feel what the horse is freely giving you. A relaxed body will feel the horse and move in harmony with the horse.
Stay relaxed and be mindful of the feeling your horse is giving you. There is a reason why your horse is giving you this feeling. When forced, the horse will require more and more pushing and prodding to get the same result. Ask less, and receive more.
Understanding is the ability for horse trainers to know and completely understand what is required to get things done. It means to know that the horse is trying and performing to the best of his ability.
photo credit: dirkjanranzijn
Guidance is to reassure our horses they are doing the right thing. It may be a as simple as stop asking them to do something. Have you ever seen a rider continue to pull on a horse’s mouth after it has stopped. This will confuse the horse (as well as deaden their mouths) and next time, if the rider wants to stop the rider will have to pull, pull, PULL to get the job done. Once the horse is stopped relax and reward the horse by stop asking him.
I have made this point while in a lesson teaching my students. I will ask the student to, “put your heels down”. Then the next sentence will be, “put your heels down”, then I will say, “put your heels down” and again, “put your heels down”.
What do you think the rider says? They kinda look at me strangely. Or sometimes they get angry and say, “My HEELS ARE DOWN!”
This is when I jump in and explain this is what they are doing with their horses. They nag, nag, nag at their horses. Give your horse some guidance, then tell them they are doing the right thing.
If, for example, you are asking your horse to slow down. A repeated pulling on the reins will cause confusion and may in fact teach the horse to lean on the reins. But, however, if you lightly giggle the reins, the horse slows down and you reward the horse with a scratch or ‘good’ you have successfully trained him to slow down.
Now if I say to my riders, “heels down”. Then back it up with, “yes like that, very good”. The next time all I will have to say is ‘heels” and they will automatically be reminded to keep them down.