Mara and Mackie
I say this a lot at clinics and when working with folks here at the ranch. I got to thinking, “I wonder if folks know what I’m talking about”? So, I’ll talk a little about that this morning.
Because we are humans, we think that we should have everything NOW! That holds true when it comes to horses. We want them to learn a skill or exercise, and we want them to learn it now. For example, I want my horses to lower their heads when I go to put the halter on or the bridle on. I teach this skill by putting pressure on their neck just behind the poll and between the ears. When the horse lowers his head I will take the pressure off and rub him and tell him what a good boy he is. I will do this a few times but not any more, till the next day or when it’s time to take off the tack. I chip away at this skill each day everyday that I handle the horse. Over the course of time, it becomes second nature for the horse to lower his head when I hold the halter open or when I ask him to take the bridle.
I have done this the other way where I EXPECT the horse to do it NOW! And I have learned that if I do that, it will just take longer to get the horse to where I want him to be. Don’t get me wrong. I want the horse to do the exercise or skill, but once he does it, I don’t ask again till the next time. This way the horse never resents being asked and once he figures out that once the halter is on it’s over, he will hurry to find the place to put his nose so he can get back to what he was doing, whatever that was.
So, with horses, take your time. Chip away at things you are having problems with, and you will find that in no time at all, the problem will just go away. Besides if you are in to big a hurry to enjoy the time you have with horses, you may be better off taking up model trains or something else.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.