When I was growing up in the desert, my Dad and I developed a training business for me. Four things I taught my horses helped me develop the kind of connection that my clients wanted their horses to have. I created a horse that was better than what other adult training business’s were able to give back to their clients. What I was able to return to a client was a settled horse that enjoyed human interactions so much that when he got back to his owner, the horse was willing to perform and stay well trained for them as well.
The reason for this is that the horse was no longer on guard and enjoyed working for humans. I had made pets out of them that were very well trained without needing to be policed to keep the training in them. They did not need the direction of a true horseman to keep the training they had been given. It is a big problem when sending a horse into professional training. The owners think that they can send a horse off to training and get back a horse that will stay trained and the only way that is going to happen is if the horse has been there long enough to become seasoned or that the owner is a good horseman that knows how to keep the training in the horse. The owner needs to know never to take a horses training for granted. Each ride on your horse will affect the next day’s performance little by little, they are getting better or worse. How to keep a horse a good horse is to see when the horses’ attitude is going to cause the training to leave his performance. Then the owner must choose an activity that will keep the training in place rather than letting the horse get worse and try to ride him through it.
The horses that I developed were different. They were optimistic and willing to figure out what was being asked out of them and could just about put up with anything because of how happy they were. I also focused on getting my horses to understand that their biggest job was to fit in with me rather than to get them to respond to specific aids. My thinking was that the owners request would not be clear enough for the horse to make sense out of the aids they would given and the owner would not pay attention to the horse so the horse would need to learn that was his job to figure out all of that. I needed to develop a horse enjoyed human interaction and that the horses’ reward was that he was able to bring his owner happiness by performing what was asked out of him.
I had an advantage over other training centers in that I never had more that two horses in training and that I spent a lot of time getting those horses to care and enjoy their time with me. My focus was on understanding what the horse would be facing before he got back to his owner and I worked on those issues. The four secrets to a well performing horse is time, focusing on developing a horse to have well-being, optimism and politeness and to receive cues that may be different than what he is used to. Hand walking in nature and teaching a horse to stay tied and not pull back and enjoy the signals to halt, to go, to turn left and right and to enjoy new places. Well maybe it is not just four things and this is what it is like owning a horse.
Well, Ok I won’t leave you hanging…the four secrets are - Connection, Desire, Ability and Time spent together.
Next week I will focus on some "how to" training lessons, so stay tuned!
Because of how many people missed out on joining the Spring Insider Circle program, and due to amount of students wanting to continue in the Insider Circle program, I am offering another Insider Circle and Extended Circle program starting August 28, 2011. Registration is not currently open, but will be in a couple of days.
Be on the look out for new horse and human sightings!
Have a great weekend!