Whatever you do with your horse, the basic principles still apply. What is it you want to do with your horse? 98% of horse owners want to simply enjoy them, trail ridding, safely. The other 2% want to do eventing; Hunter Jumper; Dressage; Barrel Racing; etc
Whatever it is, whatever you want your horse to learn, there are basic principles, concepts the horse should know. Think of it this way. When you build a building, there has to be a good foundation to start with or the building will fall or crumble. All good construction has a good foundation.
After, and only after, the firm foundation is set does the construction begins. Right? Right!
Makes sense to me. As long as the foundation is good the building will stand.
Well, it’s the same with horses. Build that good foundation and then you can go and do whatever it is you want to specialize in. That specialty is determined by the horses ability. A Drat Horse would make a good barrel racer but it will make a good pulling horse. Every horse has a special ability.
But even if you are simply creating a trail horse, you still need that foundation.
“Pressure and Release” It’s simple really. When you want the horse to move simply apply pressure. When the horse moves the direction you asked, release the pressure. The pressure can be physical, mental or audible. The pressure causes the movement. I’ve told my students, clinic and seminar attendees and my radio audience, it’s the release from the pressure where the horse learns.
If what he is doing gets you to stop asking then THAT is what he’ll learn to do.
As simple as that sounds, it is actually a very powerful horse teaching principle/concept. If not the Most Powerful.
The horse doesn’t know what’s right or wrong. So you have to keep up the pressure until the horse does what you are asking. That’s getting the right answer. Everything the horse does prior to what you are asking isn’t it trying to get out of what you are asking, it is just trying to figure it out. We have to remain calm and persistent in a positive assertive manner, not aggressive.
When you get what you are asking, STOP, even if it’s just a little bit, don’t talk to them, turn away (if on the ground) take the pressure off. Allow the horse to stand there soaking up what just happened. Why you stopped asking.
The horse is going to ask itself, what did I do to get them to stop asking, to leave me alone? Give the horse plenty of time to process.
For instance, if you’re trying to steer your horse to the left and he’s resisting you, wanting to go right….and you finally give in and let him go left…guess what he just learned? Right! He learned when you want to go right, he’s supposed to go left. So don’t let him off the hook until you get the right answer. But don’t be aggressive here, be persistent and consistent. This is effective and powerful horse teaching info everyone should know at the very least.
This foundation begins with proper ground work that the concepts will transfer to the saddle.
To find out more about this concept of teaching horses and how you can learn this to have a better foundation with your horse contact us at K-I-N Stables Athens, AL. We will have the time, the process and the product to suit you and your horse; Weekly Sessions, Biweekly Sessions or Monthly Sessions if you can’t get here more often and these are individual sessions, one on one sessions or you and a couple of your buddies. Each session can be videoed for your ‘Teacher at Home’ for a small additional cost. These sessions are open for public viewing as long as it’s OK with the student(s). Contact us now to schedule your foundation building for you and you’re your horse. Phone number 256-874-6781 or Jim@JimSwanner.com
As Columbo would say, One more thing.
When you ask your horse for the right answer, be sure it’s not asking too much. A difficult maneuver will take time to build up to. You’ll have to get to it in subsequent steps. Also, be very clear about what you want from him. Clarity of intention…..