Communicating Wants to Your Horse

The art of getting what you want from horses can be challenging. And the more I watch people train and ride or listen to them try to tell me what their goals are the more I am convinced that most people don’t really know what they want from their horse.

Having a plan is a must if you want to make a change in your horse. And having a plan means you have to know what you want your horse to do. Vague statements or goals like “I want collection” will not get you collection. Just like anything in life there are steps to training and those steps aren’t just recommendations they are must’s. They are a system of cues and steps that have a sequential order.

You not only have to know what you want you also have to understand what you’re doing. Most people just ride around blindly not really understanding what they are doing, but mimicking what they have seen others do or what they think they have been told to do. Its kind of like watching buffalo following each other blindly over a cliff. And in these situations most people don’t bother to ask why it’s not working they just get stronger with their aides and more vocal about how the horse won’t.

The essential questions to ask so that you don’t follow someone off a cliff is “How does this work?… Why am I doing this?… How will it help?”. Those of you that assume that riding horses is easy and that it takes no skill to get to the top in the horse industry are wrong. True horseman have spent may hours, days and years asking questions, practicing, studying, experimenting, making a sequential plan, not skipping steps, doing it the same every time they ride, and knowing what they want. But mostly they understand what they are doing. Do you understand what you are doing?

Kevin Spacey says “to want to be successful is not enough” and I totally believe this. There is not a person out there that doesn’t want to be successful, we all want to be successful. So what separates us out into successful and unsuccessful? With horses I can tell you it comes down to those people who know what they want, understand what they are doing  and apply those skills. Those people are the ones that will rise to the top as successful. And those people who follow along blindly without a sequential plan will fall over the cliff with the majority of followers.

Knowledge is your friend, seek it out, find it, study it, fall in love the process of being a learner and then you will become successful. Because it’s really not about getting your horse to obey you, it’s about what you learn about yourself and who you are. Making another breathing entity a slave to your wants isn’t the goal. The goal is to be your best, to add value to yourself. Adding value to yourself adds value to the world, to those around you and to your horse.

And lastly stop worrying about the end goal it will happen when it happens. What we do daily is really whats important. The Dalai Lama said “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”

Words to live by my friend. What are you doing with your day?