Horse Training 101: What You Need To Begin
Are you interested in the best methods for horse training? This article can help! Read on to find out more.
Initially, you need to consider your own background when it comes to horses. How long have you been riding? How much experience do you have working with horses in general?
If you really don’t know much about horses, and your riding experience is limited, you should not begin training a horse just yet.
If you want a horse to follow your commands, you need to know a lot about how the animals operate. You also have to be sure of yourself, something that only comes with time and experience. If you do not know a lot about horses, your training methods are not likely to work. You may even get injured if you are not careful.
However, even if you do not have a lot of experience, you still can get the process started. Initially, you should get your groundwork underway.
If you have been riding for several years and felt that you understand horses and the way they operate, training might be the next logical step for you. Do not start with anything too complicated, however. Pick your horse wisely; do not select one that is too challenging. Choose a horse that you feel you can work with well.
Do not, under any circumstances, try and work with a wild horse. Also, take the work “training” loosely. Much like when working with children, you need to stay away from negative talk and instruction with horses.
Next, you need to think about the horse. How much has he or she been trained already? What do you want to teach him and where do you want the training to go?
I have a story that will help to drive this point home.
I was only in the sixth grade when I got my first horse and decided that I would train her. However, the horse I purchased had never been ridden before. Looking at this situation as an outsider, you may think that this was not a good situation for me to be in. However, there are a few things to consider when it came to my background and the horse’s background.
I had been riding for more than four years. I was experienced with a number of different horses. I’d wanted to train for several years. I also had support; there were a number of other trainers that were willing to help, and I also had friends and family that wanted to assist me in reaching my dreams.
I purchased my new horse from a trainer that had rescued her; she was malnourished before coming into the trainer’s care. That first trainer had already gotten the training process started with my horse and also had the steps in place to get the horse ready for riding.
The horse was familiar to me because it was staying at the barn that I went to. The trainer that initially owned the horse could not ride her. The horse was small because she had been malnourished, and the trainer was simply too big for her. She believed that the horse would be great for me because of my background and my size, and I thought the trainer was right.
I wanted the horse to learn simple things, like how to walk, how to trot and how to canter.
What does this story have to do with you?
Well, there are a few things to take away from it. First, have a firm grasp on what you can and can’t do. Confidence is a tricky thing; it is difficult to come by and it can disappear fast. Particularly when you are training a horse for the first time, you don’t want to accept a project that is too challenging. It needs to be the right situation for you as well as the horse.
Also, a support system is important; they can come to your aid if you need it. Choose a horse that is right for where you are at the moment. If you don’t have a lot of experience, you should not choose a challenging horse.
Also, you should think about how the horse acts on a daily basis and what he thinks about human beings. In the beginning, you want to select horses that are good-natured. You want a horse that likes humans. You want a horse that is interested in the world around him. Training goes much more smoothly if the horse interacts well with people. It is very difficult to change a horse’s opinion if he is fearful of or aggressive with humans.
Next, make sure you understand which training method you want to employ. There are so many ways to train a horse that you really can’t name them all! Therefore, read a lot. Find out what other trainers are doing. Use some of your own knowledge. Pick up DVD’s and think about which training method really speaks to you. After you find something that you like, don’t be quick to give up on it unless you think it does not work well.
You do not want to jump from training method to training method, particularly when you are just getting started. It isn’t good for you, and it isn’t good for your horse. Instead, stick with one method. As you figure out what training is all about, you can dabble in a few other methods. When you really know what you are doing, you can combine various methods into an approach that really works for you.
It is important to write down your training plan and to use that plan. Come up with goals. Break down long-term goals into short-term goals. Make sure you have a “completion date” so that you know what you are striving to attain. Goals are important because they help you see the progress you are making, as well as what you need to work on going forward.
It is not easy to train a horse. You must be persistent. You must have perseverance. In the beginning, you may want to give up. Push through and establish meaningful bonds with the horses that you work with.
Keep an open mind. Although you are the trainer, your horse can show you a lot about the process and life in general. Make sure you take the time to listen.