You will often hear us say, you are always training or untraining the horse. The horse is learning no matter what you are doing or not doing as the case may be. Training takes place all the time. This confuses some folks. Just a few blog posts back, we suggested keeping training lessons short. So what are you supposed to do, train all the time or not!
We’ll try to clear up any confusion. It is just like raising kids. You are constantly training all the time. Don’t believe us, just forget to watch the clock at bedtime. Before you know it, 9:00p.m. quickly turns to 9:15, then 9:30p.m. You have to maintain the procedure or it will change.
Horses should have manners and know how to act around people. You are constantly training by reinforcing good manners and safe practices or you are untraining what someone else taught them. Easy example, let the horse start to graze as you ride along as he wants. Pretty soon, you will have a horse that some other person can’t ride. It might even be you!
Teaching the horse something new and unfamiliar needs to be done slowly and over time. Reinforcing what he already knows is not learning, it justs training. A horse that knows how to lead doesn’t need to be taught how to do it. But, he may need an ocassional reminder or refresher. If you let the horse get away with things over and over, you are training him to do what he wants.
Oh, don’t forget to remind your kids to brush their teeth as they head off to bed. Good night!