Being a horse trainer is a lot like being a telemarketing salesman. Very seldom does your client (the horse) come looking for you to sell them something. You are generally offering something to them that they do not want. Most of the time you are interrupting their life or the one thing that they are doing at that moment. It doesn’t take long for you to feel that you don’t have their undivided attention and they would rather be doing something else. Thus the life of a salesman (horse trainer) is a rough way to earn a living.
Here is a great tip from an ex-salesman. Try this the next time you are training your horse. Think of yourself as a salesman and your horse as the client. After all you truly are trying to sell the horse on your idea. The secret to this sell is being able to make them think that it is their idea. Lay out your proposal in a simple way that makes it very clear what it is that you are offering. Then shut up and wait. Just wait on the horse.
There is an old saying in sales that says he who speaks first loses. How does this relate directly to training your horse? Well, lets say you are working on lateral flexing at your horse’s neck. You have a halter on and have the lead rope pulling the horse’s head to one side. You hold pressure waiting for the slightest try. You wait, and you wait, and you wait. Nothing happens.
Your horse continues to brace against the slight pressure you have on the lead rope. Then you begin to wonder if you are doing something wrong. It feels as though an hour has gone by. Still no sign of your horse buying what you are selling. What should you do? Shut up and wait.
If you speak first by releasing the pressure then you have just lost the sale and the game. Hang in there and be confident that you can make this sale. Trust in your own abilities. Trust me your horse will give in and eventually yield to the pressure and when he does there is no greater feeling.
Surely we have all heard this saying many times before and in reference to many different things. We have even heard and used variations of this phrase. Things like perfect timing, good timing, or bad timing. With a little planning one can choose their own timing. You wouldn’t necessarily ask your boss for a raise when your business is doing very poorly. However, you might choose to start-up a new business when indicators show that there is a demand for the product you plan to provide. Both of these examples gives an individual the opportunity to devise a plan and then carry out that plan.
Much of the same is true when working with and training horses. You should always have a plan as to what you want to work with on a horse. Continue reading
What is the feel of the horse? How does one develop this feel? These are just a few questions that pop up within the circles of natural horsemanship training. I remember many years ago trying to develop my feel for the horse while training a 3-year-old Spotted Saddle Horse. The horse came to me as a 2 1/2 going on 3-year-old green broke horse. He was saddle broke and had a few trail rides under his girth. I remember the challenge of the first time trying to load him in a two-horse straight load trailer. The challenge wasn’t getting the horse to enter the trailer, but rather getting him to understand what it was that I was asking him to do. Continue reading
It was 0 degrees this morning here in VA when I let my horses out of their stalls. That was a mere two hours ago and since then the temperature has risen to only 9 degrees. I am not sure if it was the frigid air or from being in a stall all night, but all three horses were feeling very frisky. I had to laugh out loud at my big boy Diablo who was jumping straight up in the air with all four hooves. He reminded me of what one might see at a Rodeo in bareback bronco riding. Head down, back arched, and ejecting himself straight up into the air. He was such a funny sight. Continue reading
I sure do long for warmer weather to soon get here. My phone says it is 1 degree outside. I look at this picture that was taken back in September and wonder if I knew just how lucky I was at that time. This picture was taken on a lazy Sunday afternoon while the wife and I slipped away from all the many duties we had waiting at home for an enjoyable short ride. This was my first ride back in the saddle since breaking three ribs on the forth of July. That is another whole story. Let’s just say that I fell off of a ladder… that is my story and I am sticking to it.
The temperature is supposed to get down in the very low teens to single digits tonight. The wind chill is going to be below 0 degrees. The wind is blowing hard, but all the horses are in the barn. They have been watered, fed, and have hay in their nets. I hope that they appreciate all that I do for them. Mucking stalls and feeding horses in the freezing cold is not my most favorite thing to do; however, I don’t mind because I feel that it is my duty. Just like the good book says: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Goodnight Diablo! Goodnight Jack! Goodnight all….