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Negative reinforcement in horse training: pros and cons The phrase “negative reinforcement” often causes misunderstanding. Yes, many people know this term, but hesitate to give it a clear definition. So,…

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In this article, I want to share tips that will allow you to enjoy a safe swim with your horse. 1. Learn about the features of the reservoir in which…

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Character types: horses sensitive and too accommodating

Equal horses do not exist, and it is not only a matter of “external” characteristics (exterior, breed, gender). Of great importance is the fact that “inside”. In this article, I would like to talk about two types of equine characters and how to combine knowledge of them with a choice of training methods. My review is by no means comprehensive, but quite clearly reflects the main points.

Too obedient horse

Horses of this type are characterized by a great desire to work and a high degree of ambition, which is sometimes falsely interpreted as nervousness. They want and love to learn and cater to the rider, often anticipate his actions (they respond before the rider completes the signal or message, making mistakes as a result). Horses of this type can be very difficult to make relax, often due to the inappropriate reaction of the riders to their expectations.

The owner of a horse of such a warehouse should consider himself lucky – he only needs to learn how to manage the ambitions of his horse so that the horse does not do everything “in his own way”. If you achieve this, working with a horse of this type will be a complete pleasure.

General mistakes in training: it is fundamentally wrong to punish such horses for mistakes that arise from their desire to learn and show themselves. In addition, frequent repetitions of the same exercises should be avoided.

Learning Tips. Do you have a horse that seeks to please? Congratulations! As mentioned earlier, problems arise not because of this feature of her character, but because of how the rider reacts to the zeal of the horse.

If you are able to train while maintaining your horse’s positive attitude, you can teach it anything. In a dressage environment, they say “electric” about such a horse – it immediately responds to the subtle effects of controls, is sensitive to the shenkel, has a healthy desire to go forward and wants to learn. Horses of this type, if they have good jumping abilities, cope with technically difficult routes better than others.

When rhythm, suppleness, relaxation and contact (or, more simply, “gas, brake and steering”) are found, it is recommended to train horses of this type in simple dressage movements in order to use their mental abilities and not let them get bored.

Please note that it is very important not to repeat the same exercise an infinite number of times. The best example at the initial levels of preparation is a simple change of foot. While the rider of a phlegmatic, deadpan horse can repeat this exercise 10 times in a row, a horse that seeks to please will be enough two or three times. As soon as she begins to realize what should happen next, she will no longer wait for the rider’s signals and begin to predict. This will only lead to the fact that the quality of a simple change of foot will deteriorate – the horse will most likely stray, baptize, enslave itself, and not smoothly move into a step and climb into a gallop from the other leg. The more the rider will try to repeat the already-not-so-good change to improve it, the stronger the horse will begin to enslave, since now she will begin to feel that the rider is holding her (the horse understands that she needs to gallop with another legs, but can’t understand in any way that she needs to take a couple of steps between the gallop reprise) The rider continues to practice movement and, perhaps, even begins to punish the horse for “bad behavior”, and the horse becomes even more tense and irritated. This vicious circle takes away the joy of work from a horse who wants to work.

Instead of repeating, the rider needs to diversify the tasks. Make two simple changes, and then ask the horse to do something completely different, and then again ask for one or two simple changes. If the horse is still not waiting for a signal from the rider and does not perform the correct simple change of foot with clear steps between in between, the rider should increase the number of steps. Instead of demanding from a horse three to four steps, you can ask for 10 or more. You can ask for a step or shoulder inward (for more experienced horses) on the move – this will help prevent “prediction” from the side of the horse.

The horse must learn to wait for the rider’s signals. While waiting, she will relax, and relaxation is a prerequisite for the successful execution of any element or movement.

Sensitive horse

A horse of this type can be a real gift for an experienced rider.

Sensitive horses usually have a healthy degree of readiness, respond well to the light and subtle effects of controls, and obey the agreed signals, doing everything right. But this is only one side of the coin. On the other lies the fact that such horses quickly unbalance everything that they do not understand. This may be an incorrect message or a signal that the rider did not give very clearly, a request to perform a movement in an “inappropriate” place for this (for example, a foot change in the air too deep in the corner).

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