|Looking like we could be cover girls for a training book|
That said. I like to pick up training snippets and actively apply them to my work with Courage.I don't take as many lessons as I'd like due to being poor-ish, but I love to watch and learn and cherry pick what I can apply. My favorite snippets of late:
|Forward. That is where we're going.|
1) Horses react very quickly, but think very slowly.
It's so basic and obvious and true. I like to let this phrase shape the way I interact with Courage on a day to day basis. Yes, he can get himself out of trouble in a hurry, but that doesn't mean he's LEARNING anything other than a basic fear response. Move slowly towards goals--he has to figure things out at his own speed.
|Funky left arm move as I give the inside rein.|
2) Give a little.
I audited an Allison Springer clinic recently and this was a game changer. I swear she almost choked because she said it so often, but with each rider, she was driving home the point that horses learn from a release of pressure, so give IMMEDIATELY when the horse even thinks about doing the right thing. Most of the really exuberant/naughty behavior Allison deals with is all about the horse trying to find that release of pressure.
|Long and low enough for an uphill horse|
Little snippets like these are easy to keep in my head and cross apply into my day-to-day training. It's amazing how much easier the whole training process is when you start with the horse's perspective and put everything in a framework that makes sense to them.
Anybody else? What specific ideas do you keep in mind when working with your horse?
Great snippets! I remind myself to take a deep breath and often the horse follows suit!ReplyDelete
This, whenever i feel myself getting frustrated I exhale and immediately everything releases in both me and the horse(s)Delete
Right now, I'm remembering to keep the legs loose. Horses tune out constant pressure, so keep your legs on for stability, but loose enough that your aids mean something. Don't clamp your leg on and expect your horse to do something with that. It seems so easy, but isn't...ReplyDelete
"Short reins win gold medals" - Charlotte DujardinReplyDelete
Slow, straight, light.ReplyDelete
Similar to the "give" thing... I always hear GM in my head saying "raise your hands to resistance, lower your hands to acceptance".ReplyDelete
Really great points! I'm constantly thinking "Follow and support" when I go around, I am trying to learn to stop over riding my now not-as-green greenie.ReplyDelete
It is never the horse's fault and every ride is training.ReplyDelete
"Quiet your hands." When things start falling apart with my TB mare, if I quiet my hands- the rest comes together and magic happens. She moves like she should making riding her so much easier and fun for both of us.ReplyDelete
I'm with you on the books and theories. There are some really good books and magazine articles out there, but they don't always apply for me because in training- my horse isn't there yet.
Every single day, every single ride, every single thing you do with your horse, even just stuff in the barn... your horse is learning or unlearning things. He is learning or unlearning good manners. He is learning or unlearning good/bad habits. He is learning or unlearning things under saddle, or on the lunge, or even when you're just leading him around. And so are the dogs, cats, horses, and people around you - we're all going through that learning and unlearning process about how to interact with the world around us, every day.ReplyDelete
When in doubt, just crawl around and stand on top of Big Papa.ReplyDelete
I always think in terms of pressure. Apply it appropriately (and consistently) when you want a response and then don't forget to release it when they are good and do what you want! Most of the time I think people don't realize they are applying pressure. They also have a hard time recognizing when the horse tries to take a step in the right direction and so they don't release the pressure, or they release it too late, all of which causes the horse to either become frustrated or dead to your aids. I think it was John Lyons (?) who said that horses by nature want to be left alone and are happiest when you aren't "in their way". When they do what you want, reward them by releasing the pressure and just letting them be. I think that is the best advice I follow because it is so applicable to everything.ReplyDelete
JLE has a saying that's similar to Alison's that I'm always trying to repeat to myself:ReplyDelete
"If you're not giving, you're taking."
Basically, give up the pressure and release when the horse does what you ask.
Ask your horse a question you know they can answer. Be fair and be ready to change your question to set your horse up for success.ReplyDelete
This was key for me when working with a very spooky horse. I was trying to get her over a tarp and nothing worked until I starting asking her smaller questions that would help build up her confidence and take the overwhelmingness out of it. She really came around when I started breaking it down into simpler questions like "nose and the tarp--great! Good girl, let's go eat some grass". I now keep this in mind for all my training. If something is going horribly wrong, I ask myself if I asked too big of a question and then break it down accordingly. I find now my horse has so much more trust in me and is willing to try scary things.
good pieces of advice :) I also claim that rewarding is one of the most important things - and: BREAKS! just a round in walk on the long rein to give them time to think and digest!ReplyDelete
I'm with you. Lessons, books, clinics, articles - I take away the short and sweet "gems." Right now they are:ReplyDelete
"Negotiating aids" from Denny Emerson.
"You're Dancing (not fighting)" from Dr. Christian Schacht.
The biggest thing that's helping me right now is the sports psychology stuff. Ride as if I'm already the rider I want to be. When I ride M's horses, ride as if I am M, and not some loser who is just trying not to mess them up. And imagine the ride going the way I want it to be going. It helps me a lot.ReplyDelete
UP. Mainly eyes up. Like always. Nearly ran into a wall doing a lead change and trainers first words were 'well quit looking down! How can you know where you are going looking at her ears.' I always try to look up jumping but really its an all the time,duh, thing. And I try to memorize all things GM says.ReplyDelete
My trainer his huge on the release of pressure. To move forward, leg on and release immediately when they move forward...don't keep picking to maintain. So hard to remember!ReplyDelete
Jumping mantra: "Just look up and kick on."ReplyDelete
Dressage mantra: "Ride your horse up to heaven and not down to hell."
All-time favourite: "The most important thing to remember whilst riding a horse is to stay on." ~ Franz Mairinger
I have such a hard time picking things up from training books and videos. I can read through the article or watch the video, get to the barn and have very little memory of what I read or watched!ReplyDelete
Well, this doesn't pertain to horses directly, but it's a good rule of thumb for animal training in general. Aim for 80% accuracy before increasing the difficulty of an exercise. They don't need to be perfect, but they need to show you, consistently, that they understand what you're asking before you change it up.ReplyDelete
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My latest thing is "rhythm" - I have to stop worrying about how fast he's going and work on his rhythm. When that's sorted, then his speed settles down and we end up with a nice relaxed trot that is also cadenced. Yay!ReplyDelete
bonita of A Riding Habit
Wow these comments are great! Thanks for asking that question. :D I think I learn best my watching clinics and other lessons because I see what is happening as the trainer is giving the instructions. Sadly my memory sucks and I forget almost everything before I ride again haha.ReplyDelete