Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Attention Spans

Yesterday, the new farrier (Toni), commented that Izzy's attention span is roughly 20 minutes. She recommended working on that by asking her to focus for longer periods of time and gradually expanding what Izzy is capable of doing.

That seemed like sound advice as I reflected on it later. Then I realized something: my attention span is only about 20 minutes as well. That's why Izzy can only focus for that long.

Nuts. Yet again, Izzy problem comes from one of my weakest points.

1 comment:

  1. Then again, the average dressage test is around 5 minutes and how long does a hunter/jumper round take? 2 minutes?

    What you need to do is do various exercises during a training session. Do lots of changes of direction, changes of gait, and changes of pattern. Don't drill any one exercise for too long. This will keep Izzy's attention for longer and longer periods and also get your brain working for longer and longer periods as you try to think of how to keep the work varied.

    I remember a dressage trainer years ago, who told me not to worry if my horse couldn't manage to stay on the bit in a perfect frame for more than 10 minutes at a time because the tests weren't that long. He did not advocate long drilling sessions.

    As for doing a longer ride cross country, the varying terrain and different sights along the way keep your attention diverted and entertained.

    The shoer is right, though, that Izzy does need to learn to be more patient about standing for handling. If you needed to bandage or medicate her, she would need to be manageable for longer periods of time. Kenny Harlow just ties horses up and lets them stand there for long periods of time.


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