My stupidest horse training mistake

What I learned from this one set me on a whole new path with horses…

A while back, I revealed my stupidest dog training mistake, ever, involving our Jack Russell Terrier Lucy. That’s here.

This one’s a doozy; my Arabian mare Allarista was on the receiving end of a desensitizing effort gone very, very wrong. I bought her as a green-broke 3-year-old. I had started and ridden youngsters before, so it was no big deal (so I thought). However, a few years off to have a baby can change a lot about a woman manages dicey situations involving horses. Allie was (is) a good girl. She was started right by her breeder and has excellent ground manners. But she wasn’t too sure about her new owner (me) who didn’t seem to have her act together.

I quickly realized that I was in over my head, and set about getting some professional help. Continue reading My stupidest horse training mistake

from Alexandra Kurland: Pulling Down The Brick Walls

Gina-Allie Desiderata quote600w
Quote is from Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata for Horse Lovers. More in HoofPrints latest newsletter here

I think this is one of the most profound horse training lessons I’ve ever read. So simple: “I wasn’t expecting this larger result. I simply wanted to find a non-confrontational way to help her understand that ____ were harmless. In the process I showed her how I could be trusted to behave. I could be counted on to be consistent and to be on her side. I wasn’t going to be petting her one moment and beating her the next.”

The Clicker Center Blog

Imagine you are riding your horse towards an enormous brick wall. There will be a few horses who are athletic enough and riders who are skilled enough to go directly over the wall. If they’re successful, that will tempt them to take the next horse straight over, and the next. And it will also tempt them to make the wall ever higher. Eventually they will either make the wall so high no horse can jump it, or they will try and force a horse over the wall who truly can’t make it. Either way, eventually they will crash.

If you lower that fence, more horses and more riders will be able to jump it successfully, but there will still be some who can’t. They either lack the physical ability, the skills or the confidence to jump it.

Lower it a bit more and some who couldn’t jump it before will…

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