Have you heard my story about the Christmas Horse???
Well, this Christmas we got our kids a Christmas puppy.
His name is Buster and he arrived in a box at the back door. He was instantly part of the family.
The thing about Buster is he is an EXTREMELY sensitive puppy. If you say NO in a slightly raised voice he cowers for quite a while, head down tail between his legs, poor little guy. Needless to say, we are now far gentler with our voice.
He is about the nicest puppy we could ask for. So smart, at 10 weeks he was completely potty trained, sits, lays down, comes, etc…
But it makes me wonder…
What if someone got him that did not understand his sensitive nature?
He wants to do right, to be right, to please….
And… It reminds me of horses of that nature…
Horses that are sensitive, willing and kind.
Horses that become flighty, nervous sometimes even deemed dangerous.
A product of their environment.
Just like Buster, if you recognize their individual nature you are able to guide them down a path toward willing, happy partners.
If you don’t see their nature and their needs, then oftentimes you begin down the road of hard knocks.
My daughter would love to use Buster this year for the 4-H Dog project she is in, but because of his nature, we had to say no.
He would be the type to get nervous in an environment like that.
What will we do? I told my daughter we need to have a plan of successive steps to get him prepared and set him up for success.
Then next year they will be ready to go together.
Do you think this way with your horse?
Do you get them prepared, or do you wait for an incident to happen and then backtrack from there.
Always try to consider how you can help your horse get ready for whatever it is you are going to ask them to do.
When you get them ready in the preparation the horse experiences how easy it is to get the right answer.
When after you ask them to do 50 new things and they all seem easy to the horse, imagine when you have to ask them to do something hard. They are willing to give it a try!
Because each time you have asked them to do something they have found it to be a simple thing to do.
Today I carried Buster down the basement steps to go get something out of the freezer. He had not been in the basement before, and when I called him to come up the stairs he got nervous.
Our basement stairs are open so you can see in between each step.
He whined at the bottom of the stairs, nervous as could be. I called him, still whining he went up three stairs, but then turned around and went back down.
I went back down and gave him some encouraging rubs and pats, and then walked up the stairs and called him.
He whined at the bottom but then he very tentatively and cautiously came up the stairs all the way to the top where he celebrated his triumph! He did it! AND you could see his joy in his entire being.
This is the sort of confidence I want to instill in my horses, so that even when they are scared, they trust my encouragement to do something they are unsure of.
Next time you are with your horse think of the things you are building in.
Ray Hunt said you want your horse to think you could ride him up a telephone pole or down a gopher hole.
That is something that comes from trust.
Trust comes from you knowing your horse, reading them, and understanding them AND always setting them up for success.
Imagine going to the next ride with an easy step by step plan that will connect you and your horse in a way that sets the tone for a breakthrough ride!
Use our Art Of The Horseman Study Group, with its access to top trainers from around the world, and video, and audio lessons from us to help guide you into a path that leads to understanding and success.
This month in the membership we did an exercise in commitment from your horse. It is a great exercise getting you to really understand how to give your horse a job and then get out of their way so they can do it!
How great would it feel in your next ride when your horse committed to any task you asked him to.
In the membership, you get access to all of the archived lessons, a video training library and 3 new lessons per month.
PLUS you can put the lessons into action quickly, because you can listen to the audio lesson as you ride, a coach on your shoulder!
Give it a try, and cancel anytime.
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