Expect MORE from your horse – Stop making excuses for lack of training.
Horses are a lot smarter than most people give them credit for. They are incredibly skilled in evaluating situations, noticing patterns, and have a keen sense of the environment around them and they learn by habit how to respond to that environment accordingly. They have an uncanny ability to know what we are thinking sometimes even before we do, and are AMAZING at remembering patterns!
It breaks my heart when a rider or student accepts the status quo in their training. Just “good enough” isn’t always good enough. I have seen so many horses become incredible partners by just breaking down a skill into manageable parts, and it can happen very quickly!
I see so many partnerships that are not at their full potential just because the human side of the partnership doesn’t believe that horses can actually learn this, so here’s your kick in the pants to give your horse a lot more trust while taking responsibility for teaching them how to be solid equine citizens!
With this said, most of the time our horses lack of excellence in comes from a lack of understanding. This stems from us not being able to break down concepts small enough for them to understand the pattern.
IN EVERYTHING YOU DO!”
Let’s look at this example with mounting.
Most people will come tell me “My horse is an OTTB and won’t stand for mounting” but yet they hop on, and immediately ask their horse to walk off. Time and time again! The act of mounting is not the problem – and the pattern here is teaching your horse to walk off from the mounting block, not to stand still. Yes, an OTTB off the track will have a conditioned response because most trainers at the track never expressed this expectation to them. But, YOU CAN. Everything is connected in horsemanship, and this mounting pattern is triggered the second you start walking towards the mounting block. We can get into problem solving with mounting later.
Stop making the excuse that your horse can’t, won’t, shouldn’t learn a skill, because more than likely it’s because we as trainers, haven’t taken the time to break down the expectation for our horses, and then actually trust them to take responsibility of that expectation.