All of us at CT talk about relaxation a LOT, but what does that actually look like when you’re training a horse? This video shows exactly what we mean by relaxation, why it boosts the connection between you and why you’re always reinforcing emotions as well as behaviours.
This emphasis on relaxation is one of the cornerstones of Connection Training, right from the very first session. In fact, even before that – the way we manage horses and set up the training sessions are all designed to help horses feel relaxed, confident and at ease. Our Foundation Course is centred on teaching your horse to be a great problem-solver and enjoy the process, while feeling relaxed, confident and connected to you. We build everything onto this base of relaxation.
Of course, horses don’t start out that way – it’s a process and you can see some of the baby steps in the video. Once your horse is relaxed and connected with the easy stuff, then you can progress to more difficult behaviours and more challenging situations. A relaxed horse can still work with energy and you can take this relaxation into jumping and ridden work, too. A horse who is relaxed will move in a way which is much healthier for his muscles as well as his mind as he won’t be carrying tension. Of course, focusing on relaxation also means you won’t see other extreme signs of tension such as bucking or bolting.
Although it won’t always be perfect, if you prioritise relaxation and connection with your horse throughout your training, management and time together, you’ll see more softness and confidence in your horse and you’ll progress at the pace that is best for your horse. This approach is safer and more fun for both of you!
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