[quote=aynelson;491101]Spirithorse: Your ideas are great! However, I just have never found what you say as "getting the lazy horse to WANT to go forward" to be that simple. What they want usually is to go eat grass, go back to the barn, and to exert as little effort as possible (logic I personally employ in my life!)
lol yes, these horses are all about food! Here's the thing though, these horses aren't truly lazy...they just like us to think they are! This is the introvert coming out...instead of acting up and being naughty (like the extrovert) they use non-motion against us. But if you know what motivates these guys, getting them to WANT to go forward is easy. It's all about psychology.
But, I really agree with your ideas. Motivation is a huge thing, but sometimes it rains, we can't go outside on the trails, we must work in the boring arena, we must ride during feeding time, that is just how it goes. I don't know that I understand your point-to-point exercises. How does the horse know longer grazing=forward from your seat?
The arena is surely the more challenging place. It's consistant and boring! Lol. If the horse is lazy and doesn't give a lot of effort into going, then allowing him to graze for a short time wouldn't be as effective....he wants to graze, so getting to that spot and then being able to graze for awhile is VERY motivating. Each time we ask the horse forward we go through our "phases" and we keep track of when the horse gets more light and starts to pay more attention and put effort into things. The rider just has to be consistant and patient...that's actually the hardest part!
Usually, going forward from my leg is a combination of feel, connection, and training. Practicing transitions, timing of the aids, and tact of the aid is the essence. However, there are occasions when the horse may simply ignore the aids. I have experienced this, other riders experience this, this is real. You need some reinforcement to your aids when this is the case, otherwise they are training you. They may simply learn to ignore you if you have no way to reinforce your aid - this leads to rider abuse!
My question would be WHY is the horse ignoring the aids? If he is ignoring, more than likely he is bored/becoming dull. So switching things up and not always being consistant (in a good way) will fix that. The horse should always be willing to do what the rider asks of him, and if he isn't there is a reason behind it, not just the horse being a snot.
You are really right about spicing up training, preventing boredom, and sensitizing. I really agree with you! People often misuse artificial aids, over use the aids, and don't employ them well. But, banning artificial aids is no good either.
On the artificial aids, I'm not sure if you are including spurs and crops in that category, but for me an artificial aid is something like martingales, side and draw reins, chambons, and the like....I never use anything like that in my training, I don't agree with their uses, and I've never had any issues without their use.
I think find what your horse loves to do! There is nothing more thrilling than riding horses who love cantering, love half-pass, or love working cattle. My horse LOVES to canter! My Dad's old horse loved to chase cows! People often forget that riding should be FUN!
Absolutely!! Some horses are pushed into doing one thing or another because that is what they were bred for, or they have the right conformation, or whatever...but it might not be what they truly want to do. I know some warmbloods who would rather be trail horses than dressage horses! Lol.