Horse Training, and Cooking Potatoes – The Art of Comprehension

Today I started ponying Maggie from Mac, to see if she is ready to tie yet. I thought I would be trotting around within a few minutes, because I can “drag” her into a trot from the ground. I was wrong.

Maggie did well at first, then every once in awhile, she would plant her feet and say “No!”, I would have to round her up with Mac making her cross her feet to get her moving again.

What did this mean? She didn’t quite have the concept of giving to pressure yet, not all the time anyway.

It can be argued that she was fighting the pressure even know she understood it, but I include not fighting, with comprehension. If they understand what it means, they shouldn’t feel the need to fight. Fighting pressure is usually a lack of comprehension, they don’t understand so they through a fit, or get scared. (Depending on the type of horse)

If a horse knows something, and I mean really knows it, that knowledge should spill over into other aspects of their day to day life, and their training. If you don’t see it spill over, it’s not quite there yet.

A good example would be cooking. If you know how to cook pasta, then you should logically be able to figure out how to boil potatoes. But if you don’t know how to turn on the stove, well lets hope there’s some cereal in the cupboard for you.

Same goes for the horses, they need to know all the steps, which order they go in, and they need lots of practice so that their skills will become transferable. That’s when you know you have a very well trained horse, when you can take things they already know to help you teach them new things.

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