Monday, June 8, 2009
Getting What You Want
So I was riding one of my training horses and one of the problems his owner has with him is his lope departure. It's choppy and hurried and just unpleasant. So I was working him today and one of the excersices I use to keep a horse entertained is to do rollbacks, stopping and backing, figure eights, basically anything to keep their minds fresh and keep them on their toes. So I do this so the horse NEVER can anticipate what I'm going to ask and get anxious, which is what this gelding is doing with his rider.
So, I start by roundpenning them for just a couple minutes and I establish that when I cue on the ground, now means now. Every transition must be done with a second or two. I reverse them go the other way and I keep changing things up every minute or so they keep thinking. If I establish the now means now mentality on the ground then being in the saddle and asking for nice transitions should make your life easier.
So I ask him for a nice jog and he's round and supple then I halt him and do my roll backs, and then I halt him again and ask him to walk off, after a step or two I ask for the lope with a kiss and my outside leg. He scrambles at first like he always does, so I let him canter off and then halt him and do it again and again and again. Before you know it, I had him halted he took a half of a walk step, I cued and he NAILED IT! Consistency and his lungs were excellent tools for this lessons. He was tired and couldn't rest til he got it right, hence the lungs. By me being consistent and CLEAR in my cues he learned what I was asking for and did it like PRO!!!
That's the thing about training horses, it takes TIME and consistency. Sometimes you feel like you've done an exercise so many times you feel like you may want to hurl *snork*, BUT, those TWO ideals will get you what you what 99% of the time. TIME and CONSISTENCY! Don't feel like you have to rush, time MAKES horses!