- Horses, for the most part, just want to get along. That is part of their nature as a herd animal. Without the herd, the horse does not survive. As part of a herd, a horse needs a leader, or the horse will become the leader. To be effective in your partnership with your horse, (in your herd of two) you must be the leader. Your goal should be to control your horse, without hurting him. If you can do that, you can start to build trust for you in your horse.
- Horses did not ask to be brought into our world. They were content to run free. When we bring the horse into our world, it is up to us to teach our horses how to get along in our world and how to deal with all that is in it.
- It does not matter whether you ride English or Western. Each horse needs a solid foundation, before going on to specialize.
- In training, we want to find something that the horse can do right, and then build on that.
- All training with horses involves applying pressure and waiting for the response we are looking for. When we get the response we want, we tell the horse he did the right thing by releasing the pressure. It is the release that teaches the horse. The faster and more precise the release, the faster the horse learns. Often the first try that is offered by the horse does not look like the final product we are looking for. However, we still release the pressure to reward his try and then gradually shape his performance by being more specific in what we will release for.
- Be an active rider, not a reactive rider. Always try to stay ahead of your horse and direct his actions, rather than reacting to what he does.
- The horse you lead is the horse you ride. Groundwork with horses has a direct correlation to work in the saddle.
- Utilize the instincts and patterns of the horse in training and handling. The horse has certain behaviors that are instinctive and based on his survival. We can tap into these patterns to make our training more effective
- You train your horse every time you come in contact with him, whether you realize it or not. Patience and a calm, level head are key to successfully training horses. If you lose your cool, it is better to step away and regroup.