What Should the Daily Horse Training Routine Include?
Every rider’s goal in horse training is to be able to establish a pleasant relationship with the horse where there is clear communication, understanding and compliance. Doing this is not as easy as you think. It can be challenging and difficult to build this kind of partnership but you don’t have to give up too quickly. With patience, practice and perseverance you can achieve this kind of partnership with your horse. You have to understand that at the very beginning, the horse has limited understanding of what you are trying to tell him. You need to work with him through regular training so you both will have keen understanding of each other’s behavior, motivations and attitude which will pave the way for a great relationship.
You don’t have to lose heart in breaking in. At the right time, you will earn your horse’s trust and respect and everything will be so much easier. The right time will come when your horse is no longer resistant to your orders and you will see him follow your directions and requests easily. The key is to apply corresponding pressure while you give your request to your horse. What we are trying to tell you here is that you don’t have to be discouraged right away when you don’t get what you want from horse training. You shouldn’t expect too much from your horse and even from yourself at the first stages of your training. Give yourself and your horse enough time to learn how to communicate properly to each other. You will find that with time and practice, you will both have a better understanding of each other’s nature and behavior.
Understanding Pressures and Order
The key of training your horse to understand the different types of pressures and its corresponding order is to introduce it to him on your training little by little. Do it one thing at a time and don’t teach too many different things all at once. It’s the same rule when you teach a young child how to do things. You don’t teach him to walk or talk at the same time. His development stages will gradually improve as you teach him things one by one. His vocabulary and understanding develops and widens with time and practice just like the horse’s vocabulary and understanding.
If you want to establish this kind of communication and relationship with your horse, you need to have a daily training routine. In your daily training routine, we suggest that you divide it into three main parts. First is the warm up, followed by the training routine and lastly the cooling down routine.
- Warm up
- Cooling Down
The warm up stage is the time where you allow the horse to physically and mentally prepare himself for training. This is a fun stage where you can do things such as play with your horse or allow him to run around so that his muscles will get warmed up and ready for work. When athletes train, they have a warm up stage where they tune their bodies to be prepared for the work ahead. This is the same thing with horse training. You need to prepare your horse for the work ahead and make him comfortable in your presence.
Doing Routines and Activities
The training routine is where you practice and let him do routines or activities he has already learned in the past. It’s sort of a review of his past learned actions or routines. After letting him do things he is already familiar, you can then introduce something new to him. Make sure this is relevant to what he has learned in the past and is not too far out. Introduce things in increments and don’t stress him out by making things too complicated for him. You need to be able to maintain his interest, comfort and excitement during this stage.
If you want to teach him how to understand the pressure you apply and the orders you want him to follow, you need to introduce that pressure to him one by one. Typically, you shall notice resistance but you should not respond with anger. Instead you should be a friend to him and show him the right thing to do. You should not harass him or punish him for not following what you want him to do. You should let him know that you are someone he can completely trust and that the purpose of your training is not to hurt him but to teach him something. If he is able to learn what you are trying to teach him, then practice doing it again on the next day and on the next days until he is able to master it.
The last part of your horse training daily routine consists of the cooling down period. In this stage of breaking in, you allow the horse to rest or unwind before you put him off for the day. The perfect time to do this is after he has learned your lessons or anytime you notice his attention interest and attention wandering off while you go on with your training. You still need to keep him relaxed at this stage. When you notice that your horse is no longer attentive during your training routine, you might need to give him a rest and put off your training for the next day. Careful observance of the horse’s behavior is needed for you to know the perfect time to allow your horse to cool down.