Advice & tips
She looked confused.
"I'm not a miracle worker," I said. "I'm giving you the information each week but I can't make your horse go train himself in the pasture. If you're unhappy about your lack of progress, you're going to have to make the effort to find the time to work with your horse between lessons."
I could tell she didn't really believe me, so I proposed an experiment.
"Why don't you practice what I show you in this lesson every week, and when we have our next lesson, let's see if we can tell any difference." Reluctantly, she agreed.
The next week when she came for her lesson, she was beaming. "I did it!" She exclaimed. "I practiced what you showed me last week every single day- and guess what? You were right!"
I just smiled, and for the next hour enjoyed watching the amazing transformation she had brought about in her horse-and in her own riding-with just one week of consistent practice.
I know it's a challenge to find that consistency. With jobs, families, and busy lives, it's hard for people even to imagine they could find the time to train their horse every day. But here's the secret: It's not the amount of time you spend that counts most, but rather the CONSISTENCY of spending time doing something with him every day.
Think of it this way: It takes children roughly 13 years (including kindergarten) to graduate from high school, going to school 5 days a week. But what if they were able to go to school just 2 days a week? Would they still be able to graduate? Yes, but it would take a lot longer-not just because the days were spread out, but also becasue their ability to retain information from school day to school day would be greatly lessened.
It's the same with learning any new skill, such as tying a knot. When someone teaches me a new knot, I tie it in front of him 2-3 times, then I repeat the process as many times as I can with him watching me, until I can remember the sequence on my own. Then I practice it every dayto cement it in my mind and muscle memory.
If he just shows me how to tie it and I tie it a couple of times before we part, ant that's it, I'll have forgotton it completly when I go to tie it again a few days later.
So even if you have just 15 minutes to spend with your horse, spend that time on as many days of the week as you can, doing just GROUNDWORK if that is all you have time for. Go for consistency.
DEALING WITH 'MONDAYITIS'
Now, what if you simply can't get out to the barn on most days of the week-what if you have just 3 days to spend time with your horse? The answer, ideally, is to make those days consecutive, in order to minimize "Mondayitis."
What's that? A "throwaway" day. For example, if I'm on tour over the weekend, then come back on Monday to ride my horses, I know they're not going to be paying attention and that they're going to be full of themselves. So most of Monday's lesson is just a refresher course and I won't be able to teach much that's new.
But if I get a horse really listening to me on Monday, then Tuesday's lesson will start exactly where Monday's left off, and I'll be able to make good progress.
If, however, after Monday I don't ride that horse again until Thursday, then he's going to have "Thursdayitis" from the days off in between, and I"ll be back to refreshing his memory.
So, the more days you can make consecutive in working with your horse, the faster and easier you'll progress. Understanding this is the key to avoiding frustration.
Get creative about how you can be more consecutive with your training days, and you'll be surprised at how much more sucess you'll have.
Looking for a Bomb-proof horse?
Well, Good Luck to you!
Your batting a better average with cold blooded breeds, such as; Drafts & draft crosses but sometimes Horses will be horses!
Are there any people in this world without some kind of issue or imperfection, NO!
So don't expect it from an ANIMAL.
I have owned & sold many AMAZING horses, but they always come with some kind of an issue or imperfection.
You must always take the good with the bad.
Even the best horses won't always be perfect, remember they are not machines.
Are you consistently the same every day?
I didn't think so, please don't expect your horse to be also.
I am sure your horse would appreciate it if you ride him the same way every time, but regardless of your skills you will confuse him once in a while & he will forgive you so please forgive him on a bad day.
On bad days remember your ground work.
You should learn to read your horse, work with him on the ground, & feel him out before jumping on his back.
Along with ground work & feeding your horse correctly you will prevent a lot of broken bones, stress, heart ache, etc...
Unless getting a colder blooded horse, we do highly recommend an older horse (late teens to 20 years & up) for a first horse or for a timid/nervous rider.
It may sound silly but horses will feed off your nervousness or feel your lack of confidence.
Young horses, rich diets, horses that stand in pens, are all very bad!
A younger horse will also pick up bad habits easily that you may not even be aware you are teaching.