|Training With Less Intensity|
<.5in>Would you like your horse
to be responsive and solid in his training when he is twenty years old? Do you
wonder why a majority of the futurity horses do not go on and make a grade as a
“senior horse” after they were pushed to succeed as a “junior horse”? If this
is so, you must understand the importance of a soft, Resistance Free® and
patient method of training.
a trainer, buying horses for youth and amateur riders, I can immediately
recognize the horses that were rushed and turned into “thirty day wonders”.
Whenever these horses feel pressure, they tighten up and tense their neck,
shoulders and face in resistance. This, in turn, hollows their back and
lengthens their stride. Now you are off to the races!
best advice I can give you is to relax your intensity and not force the issue.
Most of all, be patient. These lessons provide your horse with the opportunity
to heal the hurt of a misused cue or confusion through communication on your
part. This gives the entire learning process between you and your horse a
chance to settle and coverts a difficult, resistant situation into a chance for
a fresh, new understanding.
horses are unable to relate verbally, the only means of communicating and
instilling self-confidence is through this understanding. This communication
between horse and handler is crucial for the horse to understand what is being
asked of him. I often refer to the old saying, “When the fish are not biting,
banging on the water with an oar won’t help”. You cannot keep your horse light
and wanting to learn with force. Relieving aggression created through
miscommunication or confusion might help you feel better at the moment, but it
will all come back to bite you later on.
parallel training and working with horses is like keeping a bank account. Each
quiet, soft cue that is accepted is like making a bank deposit. As well, each
quick, forced and misunderstood cut is a bank withdrawal. Remember this when
you go for your first big ride or horse show and you want to have a large bank
account for emergencies. Don’t let yourself get into a situation with your
horse with an overdrawn bank account. It is so important to acknowledge that
your horse does not forget and if you have done anything negative with him, he
will remember this when you least expect it or want it to happen.
and resistance can be trced back to when your horse first began his training.
For a clearer understanding, correlate the mind of a young horse to that of a
computer. Each and every experience is logged into your horse’s mind and stored
whether good or bad. If you have enough favorable experiences being remembered,
your chances of your horse’s reactions being positive are greater. Unfortunately,
it does not take an abundant of bad experiences for your horse to mentally
record the misused or abusive training and therefore react with a resistant
for every action you have a reaction. For example, if the action or cue you
give your horse in training is accepted and responded to with a relaxed
disposition, then a learned response of obedience has been created and set. On
the other hand, if you have a horse who misinterprets the cue and responds to
confusion with a resistant attitude and adverse movements, you have just
trained into your horse a learned response of disobedience and stiffness.
a young child, I used to help my father break many horses that he brought in
wild off the range. Back then, we did not give the horses a choice of whether
or not they wanted to be broke and trained. We would put what you call a “running
w” on the horse. This contraption took their legs away and dropped them onto
the ground when they tried to run away. This entire process took less than an hour.
There is never an excuse to treat a horse in this manner, but at that time this
method of breaking and training horses was all that we knew. I know that this
forced treatment left a horse with bad habits, broken spirit and rebellion.
Every time the horse felt the least amount of pressure, he would throw his head
nervously and approach with resistance. After this trained beginning, it was
inconceivable to continue on and train the horse to accomplish higher, well
of my methods to keep in mind when training your horse:
<-.5in>1. Never let your temper ride your horse
2. Your horse will learn
faster and in a positive mode if he is relaxed and has a choice.
3. The learning process is
only successful when it is allowed to flow naturally and freely, not forcefully
4. When necessary, take a
step down in your training program
5. Make it simpler for your
horse to gain confidence and understanding rather that keeping him confused and
6. When you run into
resistance, back off and wait for a few minutes and then proceed slower and
clearer with your positive cues.
7. Never quit working with
your horse until you are both communicating on a positive responsive, relaxed
level. Remember, the next time you work with him, his attitude will be exactly
the same as when you quit working with him the last time.
<.5in>If it were not my years of
repairing the adverse effects of the old breaking and training methods, I would
not have the appreciation nor the excitement and energy to teach a soft,
Resistance Free® method of training and teaching. When the timing is right,
learning flows very naturally and freely. To rush or force the process creates
resistance and composes fears which take years to ease. Intensity leads to
futility and more resistance. Remember the little boy who plants the seed and
then nervously digs it up every day to see it it has begun to grow. Always
practice patience with yourself and your horse. You want to create a lifetime
relationship and this does not happen over night.
May you always ride a good horse………Richard Shrake