I’m not a big fan of tricks for treats. I was steadfast in my resistance to this with horses through all the “new and improved” training techniques over the decades that heralded food as a “positive training” motivator. That’s good for creating muggers and distracting the horse from what you’re trying to communicate, but not […]
The day I entered the paddock without a cookie and was greeted with charging, teeth bared, kicking and striking is the day I decided to put her into training much earlier than planned. I like to give young horses a week or so to acclimate to the new surroundings and routine before engaging in a serious training regimen, but she earned an early start.
Some are in a big hurry to accost a foal with training regimens the moment he drops. This may create a compliant equine, but it rarely teaches a baby to view human contact as interesting and engaging – and to enjoy building a trust together that offers a lifetime of opportunities for collaboration. Usually, it’s just a matter of days spent giving the foal the opportunity to choose that means the difference between forcing a conciliatory attitude and building a reciprocal, exciting and special relationship.
Want to bring along a young horse that loves to train so much he nickers when he sees you coming? It’s not that hard if you’re willing to hear the horse. Below are some easy ways to ensure your horse is excited about performing the jobs you request.
Whether you are a novice or professional, there’s a lot the horse you are working with can teach you about communications. Keep it safe, fun, engaging and interesting for both of you and you’ll be amazed at how much more effective short and collaborative lessons can be than long sessions you dictate alone.
Most of the prior book excerpts featured on this blog were culled from Section Three, Tips from the Trenches. These snipets spotlighted perspectives, tips and stories from a variety of trainers from a diverse array of disciplines. In the coming weeks, we’ll feature the stories of real horses and how challenges were met and resolved […]