Horse training isn’t complicated.
Your horse concentrates on three simple things, every time you ride or handle him.
When you concentrate on the same three things, you’re thinking on the same level as your horse.
Understanding this is the key to horse training.
Every movement you teach every horse comes back to these three things.
The first thing your horse concentrates on is exactly where he moves.
Every second of every time you ride or handle your horse, he concentrates on exactly where he’s moving.
When you walk from one end of the arena to the other, most people are happy to arrive at the other end.
They don’t really care what path their horse takes to get there.
The horse on the other hand, concentrates every step of the way.
He thinks all the time – ‘I don’t like the look of that rug hanging on the fence. I’ll skirt around it.’
‘There’s the gate and it’s open. I’ll drift over and maybe I can get out of here.’
‘My friend is on the other side, maybe I’ll jog over to him.’
And on it goes.
The next thing that your horse concentrates on is exactly how fast he moves.
He knows that if he can control the speed, he’s one step closer to doing as he likes.
When he sees the rug on the fence, he’ll speed up before he skirts around it.
Or maybe he’ll slow down to look at it, before he moves sideways.
When your horse sees the open gate, he’ll put his head up and rush towards it.
Every horse knows that dictating the speed is the one of the first steps to taking control.
The third thing that your horse concentrates on is exactly how he moves.
Your horse can take control by moving in whatever gait he chooses.
When you ask him to trot or canter, he may put his head up and resist.
Instead of cantering when he’s asked, your horse may prefer to run along for a few steps first.
Your horse may carry his head to one side when you ride him.
He may move his hindquarters in or out of the circle.
His back legs may not travel on the same track as his front.
There are hundreds of different ways that horses carry themselves to try and keep control.
Everything you want to teach your horse comes back to these three simple things.
Through every stage of training from the very first lesson, where your horse moves, the speed he moves and how he moves, are the things that you need to concentrate on.
Whether you’re riding a horse for the first time or teaching him advanced movements, you must control where he moves, the speed he moves and how he moves, at all times.
Every problem with every horse also comes back to these three simple things.
After all, when your horse moves exactly where you ask, at the exact speed you ask, in the gait and the carriage that you ask, all your problems will be over.
It sounds simple and it is.
The hard part is for us humans to think in such a simple manner.
Concentrate on these three simple things every time you ride your horse.
I know for sure that your horse will be concentrating on them.