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by Downunder Horsemanship

Training Tip: Let Your Horse Digest Corrections

When you make a correction and your horse responds correctly, let him think about it. Literally stop and let the horse stand still and digest what just happened. You’ll find that if you give your horse a chance to process the situation, he’ll be less likely to make the mistake again.

Too many people get in a big rush during a lesson and end up being unfair to the horse. Think about when you were in school and were learning a difficult lesson. More than likely, when you finally had an “ah-ha” moment, where the lesson finally clicked, you were given a chance to stop and process what you were learning.

If you were on the edge of figuring a lesson out and your instructor abruptly ended the session and switched tracks, you’d likely be right back at square one when you came back to the lesson. That’s what you’re doing to your horse when you don’t give him a chance to think about what just happened.

There’s a saying when training horses: It takes the time that it takes. It’s absolutely true. If you want a well-trained horse that respects and trusts you, you have to be willing to slow things down in order for him to understand what you’re asking him to do.

And no two horses progress at the same rate. Just because the first horse you trained flew through the Fundamentals level in six weeks doesn’t mean the second horse you work with will. That’s why, when we take horses in for training at the ranch, we make sure the horses’ owners know that even though the program is intended to be six weeks, if we feel it’s in the best interest of their horse to take things slower and extend his time at the ranch, we will.

Have a horsemanship question or looking for more training tips? Check out the No Worries Club.