Interesting read. Ive kept this set of notes in my collection to re-read.
12 Training Rules from the Horse’s Viewpoint:
If your horse could talk and you asked him how he’d like to be treated, he might answer something like this.
1 No breaking. Bend me, but don’t break me. Present me with simple lessons that I can master, and build on those. Don’t force me to change; invite me to change. Be calm and patient, and you will be amazed at what I will do for you.
2 Be clear. If you can tell me what you want me to do and I can do it, I will do it. If I don’t understand you, don’t punish me; ask me another way. I want to cooperate.
3 Treat me like a horse. I’m a horse and proud of it. Although we can be good friends, I’m not a person and I’m not your puppy, either.
4 Be flexible. I know you want me to master a certain action today, but cut me some slack if you see that I am distracted or tired or confused. Sometimes I need the reassurance of reviewing something simple that I already know.
5 Focus, please. You always ask me for my attention when we work together, so I’d like you to pay attention to what we are doing, too. Turn off the cell phone; forget about the sales contract on your desk or the fender bender your kid had or your recent medical results. Be here with me now, okay?
6 Set the scene for success. Since you know I am afraid of loose dogs or lawn mowers next to the arena, help me get over those fears first before you ask me to do something while those things are going on. Eventually, I’d like to be able to do anything, anytime, anywhere for you, but I have a lot of insecurities to overcome. With your help, we can do it.
7 Be consistent. When you are first asking me to do something, such as to put my head down so you can examine my ears, if you ask me the same way a few times in a row, I’ll get the idea and, hey, no problem. But if you work with me a few times and then let your friend Joe handle my ears, and he does it really differently, I may get startled and he may get angry. It is going to be harder for me to figure out what I should do. If you are consistent until you see that I’ve got it, then you can start varying and adding. If you take your time, you will be surprised at all the variations I can learn. If I have trouble catching on, you can always review the first way I learned, which is locked in. Just give me a starting point and be consistent—I like that.
8 Bond with me my way. I like to be rubbed on my forehead and my neck; that makes me relaxed and content. Don’t tickle the end of my nose or my flank or my belly, and please don’t slap me hard, thinking I like it. Just use firm, circular, rubbing motions and we’ll be buddies forever.
9 Take your time. When you are in a rush and move around me in a hurry, you smell anxious and I can sense your accelerated heart rate. Sometimes I get nervous and hyper, too. When you skip a step and ask me to do something new, sometimes I get lost and then can’t remember the simplest task. I like it best when you move smoothly around me, letting me know what you are doing and taking as much time as it takes for us to figure it out together.
10 Be optimistic. When you walk toward me, I can tell if you are expecting things to go well or badly. If you are projecting a smile, I feel positive about working with you. On those days when you are in a rush or anticipate problems, I pick up on that and tend to shift into defense mode, because given the choice, I’d rather flee than fight. If you’re happy, I’m happy.
11 Be fair and realistic. I really appreciate that you understand me, because then you won’t ask me to do something that I am not physically capable of doing. You’d never ask me to carry or pull too much weight. And you’d never ask me to cross an impassable bog or go down a dangerously steep cliff. As long as you treat me fairly and only ask me to do reasonable things, I will never refuse you.
12 Be objective. When you and I are working together, report what you see, not what you interpret. When the back cinch strap hits my hind legs and I raise my leg, realize it surprised me. Since I can’t see down there, my reflex is to kick at something that might be attacking my legs. Of course, when I have a minute to think about it, I realize that nothing is going to harm me, so I no longer lift my leg, but at first I just react. If you think, “Boy, you son of a gun, you are not going to kick at me!” and get mad at me, then we have a problem. Once you get to know me, you’ll understand why I do certain things and give me the benefit the doubt. In this way, you can help me overcome my fears.
Any you agree with the most and ones you dont?
Last edited by Hoofpic; 11-23-2015 at 09:57 PM.