May I ask you a simple question? Have you ever tried to learn something for a period of time and you got so frustrated you just had to quit before you went nuts? Why is this? Because, if we spend a certain amount of time trying to learn something and we just aren’t getting it, we have to stop the process before we go completely bonkers. Once we reach the ‘too much’ point, it’s backwards from there.
Horses can’t learn as we do so therefore, they can’t be in a learning and especially a pressured environment for too long of a period. This is where we have to learn where that point is. I had much rather quit too soon in this situation than to push too far.
When we are teaching our horse something new, sometimes we have to back off to allow the horse to soak. Let our horse feel good by allowing it to walk around on a loose rope or rein. Any of my students will tell you this is how we do it and it helps the horse learn more quickly instead of trying to push the horse.
The next time you get your horse, warm it up at first (I don’t mean chase it around in circles), find out where its brain is, what’s it’s thinking like? Sometimes it may take longer than others, but I recommend you find out what frame of mind your horse is in before you ever fork your leg over its back. And, if it’s not at a good place, know how to get your horse to a good place before getting on. Don’t assume, we all know what that does.
Example, if you are working on a circle and your horse is better on one side than the other, work with the other for a while and at the second that side hits a good spot, STOP. That lets your horse know it did what you were asking.
It’s like us stopping because our brain had all it could process at the time.
Be smart with your horse. Understand them, read them. What is your horse telling you? If you don’t know, get with someone who can teach you and then it’s up to you to learn.
Teaching a horse is soooo much easier when you know how they think.
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