As I was thinking of last Friday’s blog I started relating it to horse training. As I explained then, we start all the young horses in November so they have plenty of time to learn. Preparation is the key to success with horses. I always tell people that repetition, consistency, and sweaty saddle pads are what train horses. The sweaty saddle pads part relates to time and work.
When you think of time and training horses, think of a child starting Kindergarten. If the teacher decides to work on Algebra with the intent to get the child ready quicker, how well would that actually work? Think of the same child being given blocks and asked to count them in kindergarten, then asked to add them in 1st grade. And so on. The child works on the fundamentals of algebra from day one, but they do not work on algebra. It’s the same with a horse. Time training horses needs to be small, consistent baby steps over an extended period of time. It’s crucial to start the process six to ten months before you want your horse ready for a show. In our part of the world, that makes November a perfect time to get started.
Now let’s look at work. Working a young horse needs to be built up gradually. But once that horse is in shape, usually after a couple months, you need to work them hard enough that it isn’t just fun to come out and play every day. When my children are hyper and I need them to calm down, I tell them to race to the outdoor arena. It’s about 500 yards from the indoor arena. When they get back from that they are usually ready to sit for a while. Think about parents who tell children to run around the house ten times. Same theory. Make it so it’s work as much (or more) than play. This way your horse will stay focused on the learning, and less on the playing.
I am working on an E-Book that explains the first four to six months of training the way I do it. I hope to have it done in the next month. I believe that the first four to six months of training a horse determines the rest of his performance career, as well as his relationship with people.
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