What this episode is all about & how it can help you:-
- Realise that contact is a result of other things
- Understand what ‘forwardness’ is and why it is so important
- See the role you play in the forward and the contact
- See how it should be present in every element of the ride, even halt
Becoming a trainer. It can feel uncomfortable to think of yourself as this for your horse. Yet, if you are expecting your horse to do what you are asking him to do, well this is essentially what you are.
The discomfort often stems from the realisation that being a ‘trainer’ comes with a lot of responsibility. You are now responsible for how well you communicate your wishes to your horse.
Responsible for creating a working plan. Ultimately, you are responsible for moving the conversation forward for both of you in and out of the saddle.
In this episode of the Daily Strides Podcast we pinpoint the most basic traits to cultivate in yourself in order to show up as a trainer for your horse. Remember, if you are asking your horse to do things the way you want them done, you are training your horse!
I really and truly believe that riders who succeed in the saddle, often do so because they have learned to act well. They can put on a show when necessary for their horse and themselves. When I say ‘acting’ I don’t mean entertaining. Rather, that when things go a little off plan, as they will regularly do when working with horses, you can act like it is all under control.
Acting is the ability to convince your horse that you are both safe and in full control of the situation, even when you are terrified and haven’t a cooking clue what is going on!
The reason this is so effective is due to your emotions often following your actions. When you act confident and self-assured, you will begin to feel those things as well. The more you feel them, the more real they become and soon the situation will seem completely different.
When you act like you know what is going on, your horse will take his lead from you; allowing you to regain influence over both him and the situation.
Show Up Consistently
There are two things that are necessary to reinforce any relationship. Time and consistency. Consistency is how you do things. It is the energy and feel behind what is happening. Your commitment to the relationship as a whole.
Consistency in and of itself is not enough. It must be coupled with correct, positive action in order for it to be beneficial for your horse.
Think about how much time you are consistently investing in your riding. Is your schedule consistent? If so, is it enough time to really allow your horse to benefit from the training? Or is your riding a miss match of snatched minutes. Rushed and hurried. Here and there… Work on developing consistency in your schedule first.
Consistency touches every element in your relationship with your horse. From your aids to your grooming. From healthcare to planning. Consistently doing things correctly leads to confidence and results.
Model the Behaviour You Desire
Be honest; have you ever become frustrated at your horse because he is not ‘relaxed’? If your answer is yes, with hindsight being 20:20, can you see the irony in this? Asking and expecting one thing but then doing the opposite yourself. Do as I say, not as I do…!
If you want your horse to display a particular trait or energy, demonstrate this to him in everything that you do. Your horse will pick up on your energy and respond accordingly.
Try to lead by example with your horse. Not only will it help your horse by setting the tone for your interaction. It will also help you to become more intentional and focused with each of your interactions. Having a plan for each session, whether on the ground or in the saddle, helps with this as well.
Be Compassionate and Fair
Something which I feel is essential if you want to really show up as a trainer for your horse, is a simple one. Simple but often overlooked when in the thick of trying to ‘do’ something. Being a responsible trainer means that you must be compassionate and fair.
Instead of berating your horse for being ‘naughty’ or ‘not trying’, ask yourself how you can explain yourself better. Maybe your horse just does not understand…
This also applies to actually creating the plan for you and your horses training. All work and no play is not fun for anyone. Hammering on and on about a certain movement or principle in your riding will result in a sour horse. And a frustrated you!
Let your training style be enjoyable for both of you. Incorporate fun into it at all times. And when the going gets tough – remember to look at the bigger picture.
Sometimes it is better to step back and rather return to something a different day. Maybe even from a different perspective or approach. The goal is that you both enjoy what you are doing. Keep that as the centre of all of your planning and interactions.
Ask for Help – for Both of You
The final point I want to bring up is that, as trainer, it is your responsibility to ask for help. If you are genuinely stuck, or your horse is stuck, get help. Einstein hit the nail on the head when he noted how doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different results is a form of insanity.
If you are at a loss as to how something works, or why something is happening – ask someone else! Often it is because we are so involved in or with something, we cannot see what is right in front of us.
This is where having an instructor or trainer is invaluable. A set of eyes looking at the same thing, but from a different perspective. However, help is available in other ways as well. Video yourself and be the ‘other perspective’. Or join a group of other riders and ask for help. I have a free group HERE which you can join today for this purpose.
Approaching Your Horse as a Trainer
However you decide to get help, what is important is that you are open to asking. Being the trainer for both yourself and your horse means that you are responsible for leading your team.
Leaders do so by example. They inspire what they are looking for in those they are working with.
If you are expecting your horse to do what you want, and how you want it, you are a trainer. Rather than stepping away from that responsibility, show up. Fully step into your role as trainer for your horse and see where it takes you both
Other posts, episodes and resources that relate to this topic:-
- Smoothing out the Ups and Downs in Your Riding
- How are You Showing Up for Your Horse
- Join the free Facebook group HERE
- The Daily Strides Podcast on iTunes
- Daily Strides Podcast on Google Play
- The Daily Strides Podcast on Stitcher Radio
- Join Daily Strides Premium
Each and every month inside of Daily Strides Premium I host a live ‘Review and Planning’ call. In there, you will go step by step through the month that was. You then take that information and begin planning out the coming month. When you will ride. What you will work on. And of course all aligned with your goals for you and your horse.
Do you need to be competing? No! Do you need to have competitive goals or ambitions? No again!
In fact, I love working with riders who just ‘enjoy’ their horse; helping them to build and strengthen their relationship. No competitions necessary ;)
Couple this with the live Q&As and the members only private group ~ we are here to help you remain accountable as team leader for you and your horse.
All of the trainings are easily accessed using your phone, meaning that you can take them with you where ever you are going. These trainings and so much more are available for you immediately when you join Daily Strides Premium. Find out more HERE