When you think about it, the moment your training session starts is the second that your horse sees you. Not when you are in the arena – it’s long before then.
From the second that your horse sees you walking down the laneway with the halter his first impression starts to build. In his mind, he begins to anticipate the events that are about to unfold and how he feels about.
If we can make sure that everything we do with our horse actually shapes his mindset to think it’s a positive thing, then we’re going to be much more successful.
But it doesn’t start when you get on and pick up a contact or even when you’re walking down the laneway. It actually starts right back when we’re in the tack room.
This article will provide you with three strategies you can use to set yourself up for a successful horse training session.
In order to make sure that once my horse is with me I can put all my energy and concentration to him, I ‘front-load’ any activities that don’t require my horse to be there. Such as:
- Getting the tack ready and in the place where he’ll be tacked up
- Setting up any jumps, poles or equipment I plan to use during the training session
- Preparing any feeds or other tasks that need doing post-training
Lastly, for me personally, before I go and grab my horses I text my wife and say ‘I’m going to be training now so I’m turning my phone on silent.’
I see a lot of people distracted by their phones and looking at social media while training. For me it’s about respect. We expect the horse to respect us so it’s only fair that we give them the same respect in return. We need to give our full and undivided attention to the horse.