One of the best ways to prevent problems from starting is to be proactive - to 'nip it in the bud' so to speak. As Dr. Don Hogland would say: "Horses can't unlearn." So... one of the ways to prevent your horse from getting to the point of not responding well and needing a tune up is to be proactive about it. No one wants a horse that is disrespectful either.
This article continues with the series of articles on tuning up your horse - fixing their problems - but from a different perspective - a coach.
Tune Up Scale
So far we have discussed options involving fixing the problems yourself to the complete opposite end of the scale of sending it to a trainer. See drawing above where I show the two opposites.
Here is a review list of options so far:
1. You can learn how to train your own horse and therefore fix their problems with the help of a trainer (Option #3), if you're into that sort of thing like I am.
2. Similarly, you can learn to train your own horse/fix problems all by yourself - the DIY option (Option #2). This is the extreme end of the Tune Up Scale or spectrum.
3. Or you can send it to a trainer (if you're not into training) whether it's for a tune up or more serious problem solving. (Option #1, Does My Horse Need A Tune Up?).
Let's look at some options in the middle of the scale.
Tune Up Spectrum
What I'm really talking about is a spectrum of options or choices. As you can see from my drawing below, I have and will talk about 5 options ranging from Send-To-A-Trainer to DIY.
Horse Lessons will be covered in the next article. So this article talks about the Lesson/Coaching option.
Tune Up While You Are In A Lesson
A lot of my students, especially the intermediate to advanced ones, are interested in learning to improve their horsemanship skills in the area of training.
Once a student learns how to ride, their goals reach further towards keeping their own horse tuned up - just a little. They often want to try fixing their horse - just a little - to see if they like it. They don't want to make a mess of it - yet, it would be a good skill to have for a rider.
So while I am teaching students how to ride or how to rein or how to handle their horse better - any type of coaching - I will provide the student with the 'how to' on keeping their horse tuned up.
I teach the students how to become aware or notice when a horse is not responding well. It's not a one time thing. It's when the horse is repeatedly not responding well despite all the rider's efforts to get the horse to do as they ask. You would almost think the horse is developing a bad habit. - It could lead to that. A lack of respect perhaps?
This is the time where the horse needs to be tuned up. RIGHT WHEN IT HAPPENS.
So most of my students are quiet happy to learn to correct the problem before it gets worse.
It just becomes part of their learning how to ride.
And their horse stays tuned up in the process. Great eh!
Next article I will complete the series of tune up articles with the horse lessons.
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