A Moment of Advice: Soaking Time - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 1 Old 04-16-2009, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Californian
Posts: 155
• Horses: 2
Smile A Moment of Advice: Soaking Time

Training horses for a living...well, I should say, formerly starting colts, now fixing problems and training horse owners for a living.......It seems that every horse thus far has really driven into my head a certain lesson.

For example, a lovely paint mare that I'm working with right now, used to be a real big BOOM horse with no Go. That is, you ask her to go forward and she said HELL NO! and on the ground she'd bunch up and buck and bounce around and rear up and all that stuff. It was a big show. And her owner had ridden her before I got involved (I've not ridden the mare yet, will start next week now that she's ready)..and she'd gotten bucked off and the mare's back legs weren't too in sync with her front legs...which gave her a really messed up lope. But now, she's really turned around.

My point with soaking time is this:

It's helped me get through to this horse 1000 times faster than if I'd of tried to make her listen and make her stop her Tigger act. We go through a lesson, let's say, go forward and stop via disengage the hips, then rollback on the haunches and go forward and so on...then stop and stand there. Just stand there. Wait. Chill out.

Her big bouncy bounce Tigger routine slowly diminished with each lesson (been 8 now, 2x's a week) with soaking time. She'd bounce around, I'd stop her, let her stand there and stare at me. Her head slowly started to lower to be even or lower than her withers and she'd get a soft eye.

At first she stayed wired. But now...no. She'd anticipate and start to go but I'd stop her and just stand there and she'd sigh and relax her body and her head started coming down and her eye got soft and she'd just soak.

I remember when I was first learning to train horses via this Natural Horsemanship stuff, I was always told, don't drill. Do a lesson, piece by piece and do a lot of...sitting in the saddle. Just sit there in between baby steps when the horse has given you a lot of "yes" answers and just let the horse soak it all in. Then add to it.

So, any lesson that you're working with your horse, just think about this when you've gotten a "yes" answer (good response) just stand there or sit in the saddle and do...nothing. Just wait. Let the horse soak it in. Relax. And then do it again. Do a handful of the steps and then do...nothing. Just sit in the saddle, relax. Or if you're doing ground work, just stand there and wait. Count to 30. Don't rush.

When working on a particularly hard lesson, let's say your having issues with trailer loading or the like....do a piece of the lesson then walk away and lead your horse around the area, asking for nothing. Then return to the training spot. Give the horse a chance to think about what just happened. To soak.

Today this lesson was really driven home by the former Tigger impersonating mare....She really enjoyed her time just standing there, waiting. Relaxing and then you know what? When she was really relaxed, that's when I'd pick up the lesson again and she was much more responsive, not big BOOM responsive, but a calm responsive. It was pretty cool.

Last edited by Calamity Jane; 04-16-2009 at 07:58 PM.
Calamity Jane is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Soaking feed minihorse927 Horse Health 16 12-05-2008 04:08 PM
first-time trying out advice? Calift Horse Talk 2 09-15-2008 02:09 PM
Me and baby soaking up the winter sun!! Miss Katie Horse Pictures 21 07-26-2008 10:24 PM
Advice for first time showing blossom856 Horse Shows 14 02-17-2008 09:32 AM
Advice on first time buying incognito Horses for Sale 3 06-27-2007 11:51 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome