Time is the Key to a Solid Training
Starting a Horse Under Saddle Doesn’t End in the Round Pen or Arena.
I know you’ve heard me say that I have a step by step program, similar to a teacher’s lesson program, designed to get a student from the beginning of their nine-week quarter learning a concept, to being able to pass a test with confidence at the end of the quarter.
When your horse enters the Safe Horse Training Program or Colt Starting Program, your horse’s lesson isn’t timed. We spend the time with the horse that the horse requires, whether it’s desensitizing or getting your horse soft and flexible, putting in the time is what gets the results.
The first time I work with your horse, it’s a concept lesson. Introducing an idea, a new exercise, respect for the human’s space. Perfection is not expected on the concept lesson, but a “try” is required. Some of my students are willing and eager to learn. Others have built up a resentment to human interaction and resist by either trying to run away, or move my feet.
Whatever personality I’m dealing with, I spend the time required to finish with that horse, having him having learned something, in addition to ending relaxed and thinking. When the time is put into the horse, the results are evident.
This spring, beginning April 1st, I am offering a discounted training rate. Working at High Point Farm, Watkinsville, Georgia, affords me an all-weather, indoor arena that allows me to work your horse, five days a week, regardless of the outside conditions. Thereby providing you with a horse that is solid and ready for 2017 safe riding.
Often, I hear or read, “my horse has had 30 days of professional training” Well, no that’s not really correct. I train, Monday through Friday, I can’t speak for all trainers, but that adds up to my hands on your horse 20 days a month. I need a personal break to spend with my family and your horse needs a break from me. It makes us both, human and horse, better and less stressed.
The first month I am working with your horse, whether it’s to correct bad behavior, or starting your colt, I am working on eliminating bad behavior, or creating a new work ethic. In my opinion, I am not yet to the “training” part of my program. The first four weeks is spent undoing bad behaviors and setting your horse up for success in understanding respect for the human.
The second month, now, I’m training. Now, I’ve got your horse’s mind open and willing to learn how to use his body, how to respect the human’s space. In that second month, I have a more willing and eager student. The exercises and drills are starting to come together for the horse. He’s more coordinated, more forward, or more controlled with his feet.
The third month of training I’m solidifying the training, consistency makes all the difference. I’m taking your horse out on field trips, exposing him to new environments, all the while, performing the exact same exercises and drills off site that we worked on at the barn. This is a great way for me to have the confidence in the horse’s understanding of the new habits we’ve created in training, out in the real world. Which truly is what the horse owner is looking for. It doesn’t matter if your horse is obedient at home, is his mind glued together when you go to a horse show, or out trail riding? That’s the real test.