Training Exercises: A Good Start

Getting Ready to Train Your Horse

Meet “Mojo.” He’s a good egg.

Plan Ahead: If you pre-plan your exercises you can frame them to fit your time schedule. Review what you want to accomplish and how you will work before you enter the stall or the round pen. Your attitude will be relaxed but purpose-driven and your horse will be more willing to work in the same way.

Accept Small Successes: Horse training happens in baby steps. If you have a small success, build on it to the next step. If the next step eludes you, back-step to the last successful lesson and work there again until confidence returns and you can try the progression again.

Don’t push past a successful end. Plan the lesson so that you can end on a successful maneuver. If things get difficult and he “just doesn’t get it”, retreat to the previous successful level, work there for a few mintues and then end the session.

Don’t work too long in one session. Horses can learn a lot in a single day. But it is best to end one lesson on a successful note, put the horse back into pasture or somewhere he can rest for at least an hour or two (preferably alone). If you want to work again after a rest, you will have almost as much success as if you had waited until the next day. See: Retrospective Learning.

Don’t get angry. Horses don’t understand anger. They understand tension and translate it as danger. That kind of apprehension and nervousness is not conducive to learning.

Move on to “joining Up”

Horse training can be dangerous. Not all methods work on all horses. Instruction presented here is not meant to be prescriptive in nature, and takes no responsibility for the welfare of any animal or person using our methods.

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