Rider and horse training is what takes up most equestrians time and requires sound knowledge and plenty of patience.
You don’t have to have the next Olympic hopeful in your stable to want to improve your knowledge or aspire to be someone who can deal with a wide variety of horses and a wide range of schooling problems.
Today, almost anyone can own a horse, and most people can learn to ride given a bit of time, yet too few people seem to have any interest in training their horse.
If you own or look after a horse you should also be an effective trainer of horse’s not just a rider.
We all owe it to our horses to educate ourselves enough to be able to produce a well-mannered, safe horse that is a pleasure for anyone to ride or own.
It’s our responsibility to help the horse understand what is expected of them and good horse training helps avoid any confusion or distress on the horses part, which could adversely affect their working life and possibly lead to abuse.
A Safe Hack … Harder horse training than you think
For most riders, simply enjoying a safe hack is their main goal, but this goal can take a surprising amount of hard work and quality horse training to achieve.
Many horse owners don’t realise that having a nice hack comes from putting in lots of work in other areas.
Inexperience causes riders to miss many of the warning signs that more experienced riders spot along the way.
They can then end up with a problem that damages their confidence and will eventually require professional equestrian intervention.
When your horses behaviour doesn’t quite accord with your plan, it is your responsibility to adjust your horse training methods, because your horse can’t.
A common problem in horse training arises as a rider gains confidence and wants to do more with their horse, but they don’t have the skills to bring their horse on.
It’s at this point, when it takes more than just hacking out and going round in circles in the school, that proper horse training skills are required.
You can have that well-mannered horse, that does a bit of every discipline reasonably well, but only if you are prepared to become your horse’s trainer and not just a rider.
Ask yourself – "Do I Have The Horse Training Tools?" …
Building a good set of skills and an adequate supply of tools to get your horse to the level you want is entirely your responsibility.
Remember this; Your horse is learning every time you are and being a good horse trainer is about the quality of the training, not the quantity.
Once you build a realistic view of what you want to achieve, it’s down to you, (with the help of good riding instructors who truly understand your goals), to assess yourself honestly.
Ask yourself; How much of the required skills do you have and how much will you need to learn?
Most importantly, are you prepared to develop the self-discipline required to apply your chosen methods with confidence, competence, consistency, common sense and a thorough understanding of what you are trying to achieve?
Most problem horses are not born, they are created by riders who fail to understand and set the ground rules and who do not have the necessary skills to achieve their goals.