Keep it simple
Sometimes we face challenges when it comes to our horses, and often we over complicate these challenges by getting in our own road, instead of focusing on the simple stuff.
Some common ways we complicate things;
We think that what we know or what we are doing is 'too simple' and so we start looking for 'the next best thing' or some magic training techniques. The truth is - horses are pretty straightforward, with basic needs, and if we stick to those philosophies, we will be doing right by our horse.
Our timing sucks. We know what to do and how to do it, but it doesn't work because our timing in the release, or our body language reading skills aren't that great - if your timing is out, no technique is going to work as well as it could!
We fall into the 'my horse is different / special' trap. No, no its not, it has simple basic needs that you haven't been fulfilling - either by not understanding them, or by overwhelming your horse with too much, too early.
We don't do it long enough. We do what the coach said, but we do it for 10 repetitions and 2 days. It doesn't work, so we think its not working. Head to the gym and show me your results after 2 days. This stuff takes time! Physical, mental and emotional work takes consistency and time. Horses (nor humans) get 'fixed' overnight, so stop trying to make it happen!
The 'quickest' way to help your horse, is to observe his body language, understand what he is trying to tell you, and give him what he needs - not what you want.
The greatest example of this is the anxious or nervous horse.
Your anxious and nervous horse wants to move his feet, and feel unrestricted, and yet when we see a horse that is nervous or anxious we want to either stop him, or we want to collect the reins to prevent him from bolting. Both stopping and collecting him add to his nervous and anxious state, but make us feel better (like we have 'control'). The best course of action is to walk on a loose rein to allow him relaxation - we must still control the direction and speed, its not a case of letting him go where he likes, but a matter of understanding his mental and physical needs (movement and freedom) and facilitating that to help him relax. Either leading him, or riding him at the walk on a loose rein will fast track relaxation, and yet it sounds just too simple!
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