There are a few posts on here about training and learning. I thought I'd share my experiences in the learning curves between different horses.
I've had Cookie here at home for 6 months now. Her stall has 2 extra cut out windows for her to look through and for fresh air. When I was first showing her around her new home, I showed her the windows. Yesterday, she finally stuck her head out of the window and watched me walk out to feed her. Before she wouldn't have anything to do with them. I would stand outside her stall and talk to her through the window to show her she could see things without coming outside.
Most horses love to play in water. About a week ago, when I was filling up Cookie's trough, she began playing in the water. Splashing it everywhere. I told her we were going to have to get her a blow up swimming pool. lol
I have been working extensively with her on "moving her butt", back up and whoa. Simple things really. She however wasn't getting it. For the longest time she would move forward instead of swinging her butt around. I had taken some time off from working with her due to the weather and some yard work that I had been avoiding. A few weeks after that, I asked her to move her butt and she swung around like she had been doing it her whole life. She will now back up from me, while I stand still. When we play, without a halter on, and I ask for a whoa. She stops and faces me. Before she would just keep going or turn her butt to me.
I have learned that Cookie's learning ability is much like my own. We are slow learners. We might pick up some things pretty quickly, but otherwise it takes us much longer than the average horse/person.
Training sessions are kept short for 2 reasons. If you go over something a million times, your horse is going to get bored and your session will actually go in reverse rather than forward and the second is because a horse's attention span is actually rather short. 20 minutes tops for each lesson you're trying to teach them, and always do something your horse likes to do before, during or afterwards. It will make your sessions go much smoother and your horse will eventually be a willing participant.
Those horses who pick things up quickly can get bored if there is an end to the learning. Keeping them moving, keeping their minds working is best for them. They like learning and doing. Horses who don't learn as quickly will become frustrated and aggravated with you and may even become aggressive towards other horses.
Being patient with both types as well as yourself will go a long way in training. If you have the slower learner, take breaks often. Drop the lead rope and walk away for a few moments. Come back and hug your horse, pet him and let him know he's a good boy or girl and begin again.
Rome wasn't built in a day, be aware of yours and your horses learning curves and make each lesson or time with your horse enjoyable for both of you and you'll be amazed with the outcome.
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