Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Variety is the Spice in Training - Full Article

By Bob Jeffreys & Suzanne Sheppard
Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Motivating ourselves and our equine partners is a key aspect of achieving consistency in our training. Because repetition and practice are crucial, but can be boring, an important element in making training fun for both is variety. Several aspects of training can be varied, including length of training session, location, goals and exercises.

One of the most asked questions we receive is "How long should a training session be?" There really isn't a single correct answer to this question. A major consideration is your training goal on each particular day. Are you teaching the horse to "give" to the bit at the walk or are you working on perfecting your circles at the canter? Obviously you can work a lot longer at the walk than at the canter or the lope. You would also need to factor in the condition of your horse and the weather.

When we do have acceptable weather conditions and a physically sound horse, we like to vary our training times from day to day. We really try to avoid having the horse anticipate that he only has to work for, let's say, one hour each session. If you fall into this routine it won't take long for your horse to just quit as soon as his internal clock says this hour is over...

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