Respect is a common concept in horse training circles. You hear it all the time. But it’s mostly about the horse respecting the human- their space, their instructions, their agenda. At Connection Training we’re big on respect too. But it’s all about mutual respect, starting with our respect for the horse. Horses are not our servants. They are wonderful creatures we have the great fortune to live and work with. They deserve all the respect we can give them.
How does this translate into training? Well, by setting things up so that you ask the horse to do something rather than telling the horse he must do it. In this video, I am teaching this to Triana, one of our riding horses at the Connection Training Centre in Spain. The task happens to be hoof-lifting but the technique is the same for any behaviour. You train the horse to give you a cue that they are ready for you to ask for the behaviour. Only when they give this cue, do you ask for it. If they don’t give the cue, you back off.
We love working with our horses when they have choices. We love the trust you get once your horses are clear that you are co-operating with them rather then controlling them. This is particularly important where there has been a history of coercion, as is often the case with hoof-lifting and other husbandry behaviours. It’s also great for asking the horse if you may mount. It’s a game changer for loading when you get to the stage of saying “May I close the ramp now?” Giving your horse control over these scary moments turns you into a helpful, respectful and caring partner. It turns them into the most trusting horses you could imagine.
You can learn how to apply this magic for your own horse by joining us in our Home-Study Courses and becoming a member of Connection Training. We also have a series of Live Events happening this Autumn. You can join Rachel at the Connection Training Centre in September for our Hoof-Trimming for Horse Owners Course and again in November for her Connection Training Course. Check them out and get great “Introducing the Centre” discounts.
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