When I'm riding or with other horse people, I pay attention to what riders are doing and saying to reflect on how I've handled rider or training issues in the past. This gives me good material to share in my articles.
|3yr. old after 1st trail ride away from home|
Love Me Do
This brought up the idea that students in the past (when I was teaching students years ago), would desperately ask me when they could 'love on' their horse.
Over Praising Horses
Most beginner students would over praise their horse. They would spend quite a bit of time hugging and saying 'good boy' to their horse for the very basic of tasks like standing still, stopping, walking and well known tasks. In other words, the rider would praise their horse for the least little thing that the horse is very familiar with doing.
I believe the horse is ok with the praise - who wouldn't - but I've experienced riders not understanding work ethic. Let me explain.
When a horse is praised for the jobs or skills that they already know, then there isn't an incentive to do better - why would they? Likewise, the rider is verbally reminded by their praise of the horse that there horse is doing fine so why push it? Why do better?
I believe a rider needs to praise a horse for the progress - however slight- the horse is doing, not for what the horse already does day to day. So I only praise a horse when they have a least a slight bit of progress.
I know the 3yr old Gerry, loves it. And I really mean it! It's easy to do! I'm thrilled that he's trying and making progress.
Giving Horse Some Lovin'
So when Gerry, the 3yr. old has really made an effort, I really praise him! I show him lots of lovin'. I'm thrilled. And he gets lots of hugs and verbal praises.
And believe me, it doesn't take long for the horse to start to crave the praising and wants to keep working harder.
If you want to see what I'm talking about, I encourage you to visit my youtube channel: Reinersuehorsemanship and see what I mean. If you have any questions, please email me or leave them in the comment box of the video and I will get back to you.
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Putting my spin on lovin' a horse.