“A goal without a plan is just a wish” ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Whatever horse training method or technique you intend to use, having a clear vision of what you are trying to achieve, or what obstacles you may need to overcome, can set you up for success!
Getting clarity and focus on your outcomes during the initial assessment and planning stage of your training program will pay dividends. Jumping headlong into any horse training program without proper planning will only lead to resentment & frustration for you and your horse.
Following these 4 steps will help you identify if you have a good chance of success;
Make sure you have CLEAR and SPECIFIC goals for what you want to achieve with your horse…
- “I want to hack out safely on my own or in company”
- “I would like to compete at a local show and jump a 2’9″ course/complete a novice dressage test/ride a 2’6″ cross-country course/…”
- “I want my horse to behave when being groomed/led/mounted/shod/…”
Step 2 Assess your horse – be realistic in what you expect you horse to achieve from a programme of training…
- Temperament: Is your horse’s temperament calm or excitable, stubborn or stroppy, or just unpredictable!
- Education: Has your horse the level of education to achieve what you require?
- Fitness: Is your horse up to the level of fitness to be able to do what you require?
Step 3 Assess yourself – recognise your strengths and weaknesses and manage your own expectations…
- Temperament: Are you calm or excitable, nervous or confident, laid-back or impatient?
- Education: Do you have the knowledge and experience to teach and train your horse to the level you wish to reach?
- Fitness: Are you physically fit enough to be able to train your horse or ride/compete to the level you want to achieve?
Step 4 Plan your training – planning your training program in advance will ensure a greater chance of success…
- Plan your training in stages that are achievable, measurable – and most of all, enjoyable!
- The progression of your training programme will be governed by the extent of your knowledge, the capacity of your horse to learn and the amount of time available to you
Do not expect your horse or yourself to graduate from Nursery on a Monday to University on a Friday!
“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up” ~ A.A. Milne