Also remember every part of this groundwork will become, if you desire to ride your horse, the skills for ridden work, if you have no ground skills with your horse then you should never consider riding them as there is no trust or understanding.
In this module, we are taking further steps to gain that deeper level of communication, teaching our horse patience.
We are going to start with stepping in front of the feed and asking our horse to wait just a few seconds. The attitude to use is “imagining at the last second you saw something in their feed” and need to get that item removed.
- All we are asking initially is for them to wait just a few seconds.
- We’ll continue to do this for the next few days.
- Then we’ll increase the ‘wait time’ a few more seconds.
- Over the next few weeks, we’ll gradually increase that time
- Until our horse is ‘waiting’ at least ten seconds.
Then, when they approach, we’re NOT going to ask them to ‘wait.’
- We’re going to ask them to stop, and then back just a step.
- If the horse ‘backs easily,’ we may ask for two or three steps back.
- If not, then for a few days, we’ll continue to allow them to come up to us and the feed and back just one step.
- After a week or so, we’ll then ask for two steps back.
- Then slowly over a period of time increase their ‘back‘ to five or six steps.
Above all, try to remember to ASK instead of ordering and practice ‘Polite Patient Persistence.’
After each session, (before the horse eats their food) we ALWAYS
- End with asking for a kiss
- And showering them with plenty of praise: “GOOD BOY/GIRL.”
WHOA or HO You are not doing anything wrong, I simply need you to stop your movement (forward, back or side).
- verbal cue: Soft but sharp “WHOA!”
- hand cue: Hand raised, palm out, shoulder height or just above as in the Indian “How.”
With extremely abused or head shy horses this may be anticipated as ‘preparing to strike’ them on the head or face. The initial position of the hand (still palm out and up) must then be kept to a minimal height initially until trust factors are created that are strong enough for you to raise it to an appropriate shoulder-height level where it can be easily seen.
BACK Initiate and continue backing up until I tell you to stop no matter where I am standing.
- verbal cue: “Back”
- hand cue: Arm extended in a horizontal position while hand flaps up and down when facing the horse.
- body cue: Authoritative, advancing toward horse slowly (if needed.)
COME a. Come to me b. I need you to move closer to me. c. I need you to please turn your head toward me (when standing next to the horse.)
- verbal cue: “(Horse’s name) Come”
- hand cue: Patting upper chest area just beneath the throat, Right or Left hand (but be consistent).
- body cue: Inviting, expectant, occasionally relaxed/slumped possibly turned to a slight angle as with a shy horse.
we look forward to sharing this very important journey with both you and your horse.
There are more cues included in our other modules. But first we have to finish this phase.
ALWAYS ASK! There is NO such thing as a 'dumb question'
Now that you have successfully completed Module 1 which is the first and most important part of your journey, I am now going to share with you the second part of this wonderful journey for you and your horse, taking you both to the next level of friendship and above all trust.
In Module 2, the horse learns the beginnings of patience and that coming to their teacher whenever they choose to, (and touching them gently) is overwhelmingly welcomed and appreciated at all times.
The overall aim here is that your horse is listening to you and sharing time with you, the reason for that is in the longer term, when you actually NEED his/her attention, to ward off any problems you both may face, he/she is listening!
But first a little reminder of why you are following the FT Training Modules:
The Three Principles of Friendship Training
- Make my horse feel they are the most special horse in the world. This is the goal of the Friendship Training Exercises. Combined, they are the means that offers the opportunity to reach the essential levels of intimacy to make the horse feel they are not only ‘special,’ but overwhelmingly appreciated and loved.
- Give my horse every opportunity to live a stress-free, pain-free, joyful life. From birth to death, giving our horse a stress-free, pain-free, joyful life encompasses a wide range of subjects that affect our horse’s emotional and physical well-being. Stress hormones diminish learning. Positive reinforcement is more efficient and long-lasting. Bitless, hoof care, social environment, nutrition and physical conditioning are basic considerations.
- The relationship I share with my horse and their well-being, will take precedence over all else, regardless of where we are, or what we are doing. For what we share is priceless.
- Freedom of Choice (We ask, not order.)
- Freedom of Movement (No restriction of any kind may used for teaching/training.)
- Freedom of Expression (The horse is always encouraged to express their feelings, as long as it does not in any way injure their human teacher).
Remember, do not get caught up in other people's opinions no matter how hard it is to ignore those who have no real desire to have the best for their horse, focus and then focus some more you will see the benefits in volumes.