When training two wild BLM mustang mares for the 2009 Midwest Extreme Mustang Makeover I learned a very important lesson about horse training-every moment is a training moment. This was especially true for these mustang mares, who were basically blank slates, and every interaction that I had with them was teaching them something, whether it was good or bad. This meant that I had to be more than a trainer or a rider. I had to be a Thinker! Every moment, every action, I had to think about what I was training, or un-training, them to do.
This principle applies to you and your horse too. From the minute that you take you horse out of his stall or pasture, to the minute that you put him away, you are training him.
Do you insist that your horse walks respectfully next to you, or do you let him dance around when you pull him out of his stall/pasture?
Are you aware of how your horse is responding to you all of the time, not just when you are riding?
As you can see by these examples, to truly create a performance horse, you need to be more than just a rider. You need to be a Thinker!
As you work with your horse, ask yourself-are you training or un-training your horse during that time? Think about what you are asking your horse to do, and think about your horses response.
If you remind yourself to be a thinker, and remember that every moment is a training moment, you have taken the first step to training your horse to be respectful, responsive and a joy to work with.
Don’t just be a Rider-Be a Thinker!!!