Knowing what makes your horse tick is a fantastic key to success with your horse. Here are some updated Doís and Doníts for each Horsenality.
LEFT BRAINED EXTROVERT
This horse is a playful character that needs interesting things to do. He is obsessed with learning and needs variety and new things to keep it fun.
*Teach him something new at least once a week.
*Keep sessions active, interesting and playful. Use obstacles, become more imaginative and when heís really playful, increase the pace and get him to do more.
*Mischief is his middle name; so give him things to do with that busy mind and mouth. This horse loves to play tricks on you, so why not teach him some tricks on purpose?
*Use long lines- 22í and 45í. Give him room to move!
*Praise him a lot: rubs and scratches, smiles, laugherÖ..you having fun as well, is very rewarding for this kind of Horsenality.
*Encourage his ideas and heíll become interested in yours.
*Move his feet and heíll give you his mind.
*Use the Patterns! They give him a purpose.
*Bore him with endless, mindless repetition. This guy is smart! When you know heís got it, move on. You can always come back to it and polish little by little.
*Slow, calm riding is not really this horseís dream. He wants to be active, go somewhere.
*Short lines (12í) are too confining when playing on the ground.
*Punish him, ever. He doesnít know heís being naughty; heís just having fun! If heís high-spirited, and you punish him heíll become aggressive. If you end up scaring or suppressing him heíll shut down and crawl inside his shell to save his dignity.
*Argue with him as itís an opportunity for him to dominate. Encourage his idea instead and heíll come around sooner.
Parelli Patterns give him a purpose and engage his mind. Encourage his idea first.
RIGHT BRAINED EXTROVERT:
This horse constantly needs reassurance. He gets confused easily and then gets afraid, so he needs you to make things simple, which will help him relax; especially since that is not something that comes easily for him around humans.
*Frequent disengagement and transitions. Also use a lot of consistency; itís calming. For example, circles are great and the more worried your horse is, the smaller you need to make the circles. You could also weave around barrels or buckets placed six-feet apart. Frequent transitions also use the principle of consistencyÖ.keep doing one-rein transitions every few strides, from walk to trot, until your horse refocuses and calms down.
*Speed up, match the energy and add ďfour ounces.Ē You need to be asking your horse to go more quickly than he really wants to; this interrupts the fear pattern. If you donít feel safe and confident doing this when riding, get off and do it from the ground. For example, if your horse gets frantic and wants to head to the arena gate, paces at the gate, etc. take him there and get him to pace back and forth faster than he wants to do it! Do it until he relaxes and be ready to start again.
*Use longer lines when playing on the ground, it will give your horse more drift. (22í is ideal unless you are good with a 45í line).
*Respect thresholds; use approach and retreat to overcome them.
*Keep learning sessions short and simple.
*Relax when he relaxes, so pretty soon he leans how to keep you quiet! Until then keep your energy up and get your horse busy.
*Parelli Patterns! They give him focus.
*Straight lines help a horse gather speed. You donít want this! Use straight lines only when your horse is more self controlled.
*Donít hold him back; this increases fear. Give the energy a focus and remember to use ONE rein for control- it disengages and calms.
*On Line is better than Liberty if your horse is upset. That way you can ďhold his hand.Ē Heíll tend to get lost and disconnected at Liberty.
*Donít teach your horse more than one thing at a time.
*Donít try to teach him when heís upset or unconfident. Thatís the time to use calming strategies.
*Forcing him over thresholds usually results in an accident.
*Donít wait for things to get better, he needs your leadership to help him get calm again.
Frequent disengagement; A Million Transitions; small circles; tiny figure 8s; Falling Leaf (Ĺ circle changes of direction while you walk forwards); do what he wants, only faster and smaller- ďand then some!Ē
MAKE IT WORSE BY:
Holding him back; punishing him; using stronger bits, tie downs, martingales, etc.; being too soft and not matching his energy; not knowing what to do- strong and focused leadership is essential; blasting through thresholds; getting mad or frustrated or scared.
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This shy, timid shrinking violet avoids pressure by retreating into himself. Success involves going very slowly at first and waiting for him to come out of his shell, to trust more. Pretty soon heíll be offering you more.
*Wait- wait-wait-WAIT! Ask your horse for something and then wait until he does it or looks at you to ask for clarification or more direction. If you just go through your phases and get him to act when you want, heíll be tense, lose confidence and trust. He may even blow up.
*Use the tiniest and softest suggestions and wait. This horse sees every little thing you do, sometimes he doesnít respond because his brain is locked up in fear.
*Be consistent. The RB horse has trouble with change so do simple things with lots of repetition until heís confident.
*Move his heart and heíll give you his confidence.
*Confidence is everything. If you focus on this, your horse will give you everything else.
*Parelli Patterns! They give him confidence.
*Make your horse do things when heís not looking at you. This tells you heís afraid of the pressure you are putting on him. You might not think itís pressure, but you can overload this Horsenality even at Phase 1 simply by asking and asking and not waiting long enough for the response.
*Ask too much. Ask less in the beginning and youíll get more in the end. Donít ask more unless your horse is calm and trusting.
*Use big phases. You donít need them. He can see you, he just canít think when heís afraid or rushed/pushed.
*Punish your horse for not doing what you want. Remember, this is fear, and punishment does not make a horse braver.
Wait until he can think. Go slow, VERY slow, and heíll grow in confidence. Spend undemanding time. Use a lot of gentle repetition.
LEFT BRAINED INTROVERT:
Welcome to the land of ďWhy should I? Whatís in it for me?Ē This horse reads people like a book. He knows what you want and heís not going to give it to you, unless you treat him right. Even though he appears stubborn or lazy, heís not at all lazy in the mind! Reverse psychology is where itís at, ohÖ..and treats!
*Use incentive- treats, grazing, rest, scratches, etc. Incentive is not bribing because youíll ask your horse to do something before rewarding him. A bribe is when you use the treat to lure him into doing it. Thereís a big difference.
*Ask him to do less than heís offering. It will blow his mind! Heíll then start offering more.
*Give him time to think. Heís not a slow thinker; heís just got to stop thinking resistant thoughts before he can be more in tune with you.
*Variety is important, it makes life interesting.
*Use more drive than draw.
*Teach him some tricks. This is fun for both of you and is a good way to make him feel clever.
*Move his mind and heíll move his feet.
*Parelli Patterns! They encourage him to think and show how smart he is.
*Make him work. He uses energy only for the things he thinks are fun.
*Punish him. Youíll have a big fight on your hands. This horse is a master intimidator of people when he dislikes them!
*Donít push him. Heíll have you working harder than him. Heís also great at objecting when asked to go faster and usually responds by kicking up, swishing his tail or laying back his ears. Do the opposite of what he expects such as stopping, slowing, petting or giving him a treat.
*Donít micromanage- ask him to do something and then wait for him to do it. If he doesnít, resend.
*Donít get tougher, get more Ďinterestingí- do less to get more. Surprise him with a flick under the flank and a treat (cookie, rub or rest) when he tries.
*Use much repetition. He cannot see the point in doing the same thing over and over and will lose motivation and respect for you. Heís smart. Treat him like he is.
*Let your horse come to you with his ears back. Playfully send him or chase him away until he asks for permission to come to you.
*Get fooled into thinking that heís lazy. Heís just unmotivated by you, so figure out how to make things more interesting.
Likes- variety, rewards and food! Also responds well to going slow, relaxing, eating and doing things that are new and interesting.
Straight lines, point to point, trail rides, obstacles, daily variety, tricks and learning something new.
Micromanagement- you need to encourage him to use his brain.