In a few of my previous tips I have mentioned being patient and consistent. This tip will be about how and why that is so important.
Being patient: horses won’t be trying to be annoying on purpose, they may not understand exactly what you want and are doing their best to do what they think you want. By being patient you have to remain calm, think things through and try and understand why your horse may be being difficult. Have you asked clearly for what you want? Or were you a little muddled in your aids? Try again and as soon as you get what you want praise and give your horse a break to reinforce that that is exactly what you wanted. This will take time and will require a lot of patience. Getting angry and frustrated won’t help and may set your training back.
Being consistent: this is especially important once you have being patient sorted. You need to make sure that the way you ask for things is the same. If they aren’t the same then you are not asking clearly and your horse will get confused. By asking for the same thing in the same way and praising every time you get it you are reinforcing exactly what it is you want and you are reinforcing that it is a good wanted behaviour. Same thing goes when trying to retrain a negative behaviour like biting – always ignore the same thing and always praises what you want. Make sure you always praise quickly and honestly and don’t be afraid to stop your training session after 5 minutes if you have gained what you want in those 5 minutes. Short and sweet and right is better than stretching it out and starting to get it wrong.
Feel free to like, share, and comment, so I know what little problems you all have so that I can feature them in a future Tuesday’s Tip!