Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Foundation Training - why?

My Horse is Just Fine The Way It Is
"Is foundation training really necessary?" ... someone asked me the other day.

Good question I thought.
I had to really think about it 'cause for me, it's 'a given'.
(photo of a customer's long yearling during his 1st few rides)
This person had been riding their horse for years and didn't understand why, especially if it meant spending hard earned dollars these days, would really benefit the owner.

Foundation training is really about establishing communication between you and your horse.

Foundation training is the phase of training after the horse has been started under saddle and before the horse is finished in a speciality.

In the same conversation someone else mentioned that they knew of a barrel horse (and this can be from any sport) that had only a few rides on it before they started to teach the horse the pattern to go around a set of cans.

A lot of people arguably have started horses, bypassed the foundation training and started the horse on their chosen job. It's done all the time. To save time. Or so they think?

Humans are always in a hurry aren't they?

When Something Goes Wrong
There is nothing wrong with this way until..... the horse starts to run into trouble sometime along their training. Or sometime along their riding career.

A little problem starts.
The problem grows bigger.
The problem gets out of hand.
Now there's real trouble.
Now how do you fix it?

With foundation training, the horse would've been fixed when the problem started.
But without foundation training, there is no communication available between horse and rider to fix the problem.
You, as a rider, don't have the tools to fix the problem. So it gets worse.
Why not have a lot of tools in your rider tool kit to fix any problems that come along.
Besides... it's adds great value to your horse (especially if you need to sell it).
Without it..... you will probably have to sell your problem horse for much less then what you paid for it.
And of course, you can send it to a trainer to be fixed. The choice is yours.

As Don Blazer would say:"Go slow if you want a horse to reach it's future potential in a hurry." And "A horse that is started well... will finish well."
Just my thoughts.....

Questions & comments always welcome.
©Copyright KISS Reiners

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