If you have anything more to do with horses than looking at them from a distance, you are a trainer.
Training is a process, not a one time event.
Training does not happen only in the arena, or only on lesson days, or only when the handler/rider feels like “working on training”. Training is happening all day, everyday… for better or worse.
Training is not only about the horse learning.
I thought I was super lucky to have very smart, trainable horses. Then I realized that the more I have learned, the smarter my horses have become. I think there is a connection.
The more experienced I have become, the more I am able to learn from any horse.
Learning from horses takes time. Lots of time. There are no short cuts to gaining experience.
Training takes “feel”. Learning “feel” comes with spending hours and hours and hours in the saddle. Luckily, those hours are enjoyable, the journey of learning a pleasure. Why would anyone want to rush it?
Your horse becomes your creation, and your reflection. If you don’t like what you see, realize you are looking in the mirror to figure out where the changes need to start.
You will not learn to train a horse until you have been humbled by many horses. Until you accept this, you will continue to make the same mistakes and continue to only work with “stubborn”, “stupid”, or “problem” horses.
The most difficult horses have the most to teach you… but you have to let them.
There will be bumps along the way. If you never challenge the limits of your capabilities, you never expand your capabilities, and you never know just how much you don’t know. You’re not a real cowgirl till you’ve been bucked off a horse… a few times. Fallen in the mud… Dragged through a field or down the aisle. And run away with, only to pull your mount up and think, “Actually, that was pretty cool!”
Training is about making the horse’s body more beautiful by creating strong, supple muscles, and training is also about shaping the horse’s mind, not just so that he understands and responds to commands, but also so that he wants to, the horse should become a willing partner in the process. Lastly, training needs to address the horse’s spirit. Through good training, the horse becomes confident with who he is and at peace with his place in the world. It is essential to listen to the horse in order to address the needs of his body, mind, and spirit in training.