Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
You sound new to horse training. First think of the size difference. You to the horse ~= a house cat to YOU.
I have been watching CA for about 4 years. It took awhile to understand that his "method" and my method were similar. At first, watching him work with mostly little "monster" spoiled horses gave me the impression that he was suggesting walk softly and carry a big stick.
Instead, I understand that he would like us ALL to spend enough time with our horses to develop a relationship and enough understanding to know that your horse should NEVER be #1 in a #1 & #2 partnership. (Julie Goodnight has labeled YOU, the rider/trainer as the Captain, and your HORSE as your "First Mate.")
I see a pattern in his exercises. He suggests that the First time you ask your horse to do something you use as much force as you would with a push-button, well seasoned sensitive show horse. The fourth time you HAVE to ask is more assertive. It is the same idea as I was trained to use spurs and a crop--you will listen the first time OR I will spur or use a crop (behind me leg.) My first horses, which were ALSO my lesson horses, would see a student flip a crop out to use it, and immediately respond just by seeing it with their peripheral vision.
In a day and age where Public School education has thrown out memorization and drill for EIP's for "special snowflakes", it's a foreign notion to repeat lessons. BUT, repetition is what teaches your horse what YOU want him to do. Repetition ALSO makes your horse relax bc he learns that you will keep asking, but you won't hurt him. Your horse lives and dies by his ability to run, so he understands that the leader that controls his feet, controls HIM.
Since you bought the package I recommend the following:
(1) Follow it to the letter
(2) BE PATIENT--if your horse doesn't seem to get the concept, keep working on it and DON'T move on
(3) End each lesson on a positive note. I suggest that you take your horse on a walk with his halter and lead and let him graze. He'll like this even IF he's on pasture grass bc horses REALLY DO THINK that the grass is greener and better over the fence!