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by Downunder Horsemanship

Training Tip: You Can’t (and You Shouldn’t Try to) Change Who Your Horse Is

The important thing to keep in mind when working with a horse is that you’re not going to change who your horse is. You’re not going to get a 19-year-old gelding that’s been stiff and dull his whole life to be an athletic, soft, supple, talented machine. Can he improve? Sure! Will he make a complete transformation, riding like a younger, more athletic horse? No. It’s not going to happen, and it’s not fair to expect that out of him.

I can’t turn a Volkswagen Beetle into a Ferrari. The fact of the matter is I have a Beetle – it isn’t a Ferrari. The Beetle works fine when all I need is a car to get me to the grocery store and back, but if I want to go a little faster and have better brakes and turning ability, I need to get a better car.

At that point, I might move up to a full-sized car, and then in a couple of years, a sports car, and then a Ferrari. But I didn’t go straight from the Beetle to the Ferrari. I gradually got there as my ability increased and my needs changed.

The same concept of gradually progressing to working with a horse with a little more athletic ability and talent than your previous horse applies in the horse world.

Learn more about selecting an equine partner and progressing your horsemanship in the No Worries Club video Selecting the Right Horse. View the video by logging on to the Downunder Horsemanship app or the No Worries Club website. Once you’ve logged on, go to the NWC Video category and select the Selecting the Right Horse video.