Whether you view yourself as a “trainer” or not, the fact is that anytime you handle your horse, your horse is learning from you!
Be fair! Be consistent!
I always mention to students there are five important things that are required in order to successfully train a horse.....
These things are difficult to be learned from watching videos. The trainer will usually either naturally possess these qualities or have learned them through experience.
In this article, I would like to touch on Consistency!
I’m sure all of us have experienced an authority figure such as a supervisor or parent give us instructions to do something, then the next day, we’re instructed to do the same chore differently and sometimes even get reprimanded for doing it the way we were originally instructed! When this becomes frequent, frustration starts to set in. Well…your horse is no different.
Once you have established yourself as your horses’ leader, you need to be a fair leader! It is unfair to ask your horse to respond to direction a certain way, then the next day you ask in a different way. Then to make things worse, you reprimand the horse for not responding the way you feel he should! Hack horses are notorious for misbehaving because they get so many instructions from so many different riders in so many different ways they become unresponsive (dull) or become so frustrated they start kicking, bucking etc.
Whether you view yourself as a “trainer” or not, the fact is that anytime you handle your horse, your horse is learning from you! He is watching your subtle body language (sometimes not so subtle) and he is trying to understand what you want from him. Always be aware of how you communicate with your horse and make every effort to be consistent. If you are clear and consistent when you ask your horse for something, you should have much more success! I’ve found that once a horse is willing to follow you as a leader, they are always looking to do the right thing for you.
It is your job to be fair and do the right thing for your horse!