To me...a willing horse is safe, confident, obedient and fun to ride. It’s the horse that does everything on a loose rein or without a bridle. The one that anyone can ride. Whether you are a high-level competitor or a part time recreational rider, we all love a willing horse.
This type of horse is the most sought after in the industry today. What makes a willing horse? Is it trust, leadership, communication, their ability to learn from their mistakes or just something they are born with? I think it’s all of the above. I’ve learned it’s possible to train a horse to be willing even if they have a unwilling attitude.
If I could give you one tip for creating and maintaining a willing horse... it would be to allow them to make a mistake.
Every horse will say "no" sometime in their training process, some more than others. How you handle that "no" is key. When allowing a horse to make a mistake, it's important that you keep the command on with very little...
I believe true softness is a frame of mind that comes from leadership. Leadership starts with respect from me being able to move my horse away from me as it does in the herd environment. In other words, ‘the pecking order.’ The more specific I get with the control in that direction, with a slow build of pressure with a timed release, the stronger the leadership becomes.
I’ve been learning to communicate with horses as long as I can remember. And in the last 20 years, I have developed a simplified step-by-step program that I can teach others.
Two major cornerstones of my program are horses and people. People have taught me as much as the horses. Understanding your personality type plays a big role in your ability to train a horse.
There are generally four personality types; however, I will focus on the two opposite extremes — aggressive and passive.
1. If you are an...