Thursday, February 9, 2012

Training Details

I’ve always loved Monty Roberts and his methods since I was a kid.  I really appreciate the way he goes about things and his efforts as a youngster to observe and better understand horse communication.  The things he discovered about body language are always in the back of my mind when I’m around horses.  I notice that that language is a foundation to every training program I tend to like.  Different people have their own take on it, different terminology, slightly different order of things, different ways of incrementing lessons, but when it comes down to it, its all the same.  We (humans) are using our bodies to speak their (horses) language in the beginning, and with time we teach them (and ourselves) a shared language of trust and understanding.

The book and methods that D and Jeanna use that I am now going to follow as well is The Modern Horseman’s Countdown to Broke by Sean Patrick.  I haven’t read too deeply into it yet, but I have had the opportunity to view the methods in person and spend time with horses that have gone through the program.  I’m impressed with what is accomplished and eager to try it.  And I do know that the author points out in the first few pages that learning all sorts of methods of training will benefit everyone in some way and give them a new way to look at their own discipline - whatever it may be.

I can’t say with certainty that this is the way I will train all future horses yet, but I’m eager to add another skill to my quiver.  My biggest concern with starting any horse is that it be done without violence.  A big push that has led me to the decision to pursue all training this way is the harsh, impatient actions of others I know toward their horses.  Seeing this happen has really made me want to be the direct opposite.  I want to form trust between Griffin (and all other horses) and I and let him (and them) know that I can be a good leader.  Violence won’t achieve this.

Starting a horse from the ground up is really new to me.  It’s a valuable thing to know, and I really believe it helps to create better trust and a better horse due to that.  Oh, and another perk?  Being able to show up in layered tights/sweatpants/what-have-you-comfort-clothes to train in. No concerns about having to wear proper “riding” clothes for the winter.  I just toss on some sturdy, waterproof boots with whatever warm outfit of comfort I conjure.  Pretty flippin’ sweet!

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