TRAINING A HORSE’S MIND by Shane D. Olver – Master Horseman prt2

A lot of what we learn becomes obsolete but at the time, the information or knowledge was relevant and necessary for our growth. It is best to remain open and receptive to new knowledge for there is great joy to be had in improving ourselves, especially as we horse people, we want to have an experience of entering into an agreement with our horse that is equally acceptable to our horse and ourselves.

Training our Horse’s Mind, Not their Mouth

Riders must allow and teach their horse how to think:

  • To deal with and control their emotions
  • To find alternatives. Alternatives that benefit both the horse and rider both physically and mentally.
  • That cooperation and compromise are far more powerful tools and far more beneficial than fighting and arguing.
  • That the horse volunteers and applies themselves to the task being asked of them.
  • That the horse feels empowered by experiencing success, and healthier as they are better prepared physically and mentally for strenuous activities.
  • A confident healthy, happy, well educated horse is also calmer, thoughtful, respectful and therefore a pleasure to be around. Less accident prone, less vet and feed bills, obviously safer and much more loved.

The human must be a coach and teacher – the horse a student.

  • The human must have a step by step training program in place.
  • Must always be patient and understanding of how difficult it can be for a student to learn something.
  • A teacher must help and find a way for their student to learn and move forward.
  • A teacher must create change and move forward by building successes.
  • A teacher must set his students up for success NOT failure.
  • A teacher must prove and convince his students that his way (the teacher’s) is a better way, far more beneficial to the student.
  • A teacher must not block his students progress mentally or physically.
  • A teacher must strive to improve himself to gain new knowledge, to be aware of his own limitations, to know when to seek help or assistance.
  • Students need to believe they are being prepared for a bright future.

A rider, coach or teacher must realise that it is our horse’s mind that controls stop and go, side-passes, back up, walks, trot and canter. Our horse’s mind controls its own energy, including, the speed and direction of the energy flow.

Having our horse willing to apply themselves to the task, we ask of them is the ultimate for us as horse people.

Soft hands and seat cues are equally important. But it is our horses willingness to work with us that allows lightness and effortless free flowing movement. Most importantly, our odds of remaining safe are greatly improved.

Our horse must accept the training method program and believe they are getting a fair deal. A 50-50 deal where their rider must also change and be prepared to re-educated.

Let me know if you have any issues you wish to discuss, happy and safe riding, Shane

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