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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

March 28, 2008

A few thoughts on training for your horse's personality

Training strategies for a horse operating out of the reaction (right) side of the brain include: the trainer having the intensity to get the job done, approach and retreat, repetition, not pushing the horse beyond their comfort (reactionary) level, giving the horse a positive outlet to replace the negative (fear based) behaviors, and the key to getting the horse using the thinking (left) side of the brain by building a solid "trust" relationship between horse and handler.

*Approach each task in small elements

*Offer creative training methods that are fun for the horse

*Know when to back off and call it a day

*Emotional handlers are not a good match for emotional horses
My pondering on this has led me to believe that part of flaw in training Phebes, is that I am likely the same personality as she is. High strung, emotional, reactionary, and prone to melt downs. That all sounds rather bad, however I did not have the same problems with Puddin' even though she is very much the same horse in her personality as Phebes. The difference really lies in my lack of relationship with Phebes. She distrusts me, and I distrust her. So that gives me a place to begin with her. I've got to build her confidence in me as a leader, and in being with me as a safe place. Though I've done much better reacting to her over the past year, I can see where there are still some kinks in my approach. I push past her comfort level at times, and tend to focus on what is going wrong, rather than what is good. So what impression would that give her of me as a partner? Puddin' has always spoke to my heart, and I've rarely become upset with her, hence she trusts me, she tries, even when she is somewhat fearful of a given situation.
I must thank the Parelli's for their great article on the it was very insightful to the inner mind of the horse. Would love to view their DVD's on the subject.

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