An excellent video and post from Stacy Westfall. I am guilty of this myself, putting a time frame on a certain aspect training wise and forgetting that we need to take into consideration the horses emotional learning steps as well.
We are always training the horse both physically and emotionally. Physical training is easy to measure; the horse stops better, spins faster or steers easier. Emotional training isn’t always as easy to see. A horse that is very stressed may show signs of stress through physical movements; pawing, prancing or sweating or they may withdraw and get a glazed over look.
In my travels I have observed two common mistakes:
- that professional trainers will more often make the mistake of overlooking the horses emotions and focus purely on the physical responses, i.e. better stops or steering
- that the non professional may go to the other extreme and worry more about whether the horse likes them (emotional) and be more likely to overlook the horse being pushy etc.
I think that there needs to be a balance between both. The horse needs to physically respect our space and listen to us…
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