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Horse Training Basic Strategies
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Horse Training Basic Strategies

There is a lot of things to remember when horse training. And taking it one step at a time can really help. Some of the basic to horse training include:

1. Find a starting point

2. End when you have made progress

3. Be consistent

A lot of horse training can and does include doing the same thing over and over again. That is how horses learn, through repetition and consistency, and variety after they have learned it is how it keeps them interested in their job.

Find a starting point

You can’t know if you have made progress if you don’t have a starting point. Let’s take yielding the hindquarters for example. If you were to take a horse that’s never done it, you wouldn’t ask for a complete 360 degree yield at the start. Ask for one step, maybe you only ask for one step 2 or 3 time and reward the horse. That is your starting point. Then you ask your horse for two steps, and build.

The same is true for desensitizing. If the horse spooks and totally runs around the round pen away from the scary object, well, that’s your starting point. Maybe you can only get within 20 feet of the horse with the object. Now you know where you are starting and can tell if you have made progress or not.

End when you have made progress

Just like us, horses don’t like to be drilled over and over. If the horse is doing it better today than yesterday, move on to a different exercise. You don’t want to spoil a good horse, end on a good note. You can always come back tomorrow and improve. Master horseman Ian Francis says, “If I make a 1% improvement a day, in 100 days the horse will be perfect.”

Moving on also lets your horse know they have done well. Ending when they are doing good will have them do even better the next day.

Be consistent

We learn with consistently, and so do horses. You aren’t going to learn a new skill only practicing once a month for 4 hours very fast. Neither are they. You have to be consistent and work with them on a regular basis when you are teaching them. Now ideally you might need to work with your horse 5 or 6 days a week, but if you can only do 2 days a week that’s fine as well. Sometimes when I have a short amount of time like that I will double up on my training. 2 times a day for 2 days is 4 training sessions. It does work, and gives results like if you were to work the horse 4 days in a row.

Recap

Finding a starting point is how you know where you are going to be building from.

Ending when you have made progress is how you build the horses trust in you and build the horse’s ability to perform better the next day.

Being consistent is how the horse learns.


Street Talk

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