How to Train What You Do Not Want?

A horse can be made to be compliant and accept whatever you dish out. That is the nature of the beast. He will also figure out (most times) what you want even if you give incorrect aids. But unless you give your aids correctly, the horse will have to compensate and therefore cannot be correct in the movement.

I had a boarder at my stable that used very harsh training methods. He had his horses on pasture board at my place and would take his horses to another stable that had a round pen to break them.

IMG_0678One day he took a young mare that was a favorite of ours because she would follow my husband and I around like a puppy dog. He came over a few days later and boasted about how he had broken the horse. He put a saddle and bridle on her then put her into the round pen. He told me the mare would not let him get near her so he sent her around the pen. Then he would let her stop and he would try to approach her. When she continued to not let him get near her, he would send her on around the pen. It was only after seven hours of this that she turned toward him and he was able to get on her and took her for a two hour ride. He was very proud of all the hard work he had put in to make this horse accept him and also be able to ride her after only one day of training. He said that now she would follow him around like a puppy dog. So he had taken seven hours to get to the point that she was already at!

What can I say to that but BE A STUDENT OF YOUR HORSE. Sorry to yell, but some people would do well to really look at the methods they use to train horses. And it’s not just the big things like this example but littler things like how to get a correct rein-back or flying change. If you work with your horse, it is so much easier on you and the horse.

PS. A horse has a tendency to look to the outside when traveling around a round pen. The gentleman I wrote about always used the horse turning toward him as a benchmark as to when they were ready to be submissive to him. Besides working against the horse’s nature, the round pen was also teaching the horse, during those seven hours, to bend to the outside of the circle, using and developing her outside legs on a circle. I would bet that when he wanted her to take a correct canter lead on a circle, he had created a horse that would find it difficult to do as he asked.


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