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4 Things to avoid if you want your horse to improve.

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I believe that most of the riders want their horse to keep improving.

Do you?

Maybe you want to always get the correct canter lead, or you want your horse to react on lower pressure. Or maybe you just want your horse to stop reliably when hacking out.

It is always good to improve and it doesn’t matter if it`s improving your respect, learning a new exercise or improve one that you already know.

You always either get worse or you get better, learning something new or improving what you already know helps your horse to understand you better, and if you listen, it also helps you to understand your horse better.

While learning something new there are things you need to know and there are things you need to avoid. Bellow I am going to show you the things you need to avoid.

1. Don’t try to push too hard


Almost everyone does one of these two mistakes. You are either too “nice” and you are not improving as fast as you should. Or you are pushing too hard and you want your horse to improve quicker than he is able to. Of course, the second mistake is much worse than the first one.

It is hard to find the right balance, however, what helps is to really observe your horse during the training process.

Sometimes you might be making great improvements for two weeks straight and then it all of a sudden stops, or your horse even starts getting worse.

In that case, I always just go back to practicing the simple things. I let my horse to just practice what he already knows for a few weeks. I continue only after he gets confident with everything he already knows.

2. You try to learn too many things at the same time

Let me give you an example. You are starting to teach your horse the turn on the haunches. There are a lot of things involved in it. You want your horse to be moving his front to the side, you want him to cross his front legs correctly and you want him to stay still with his rear leg.

Horses perceive things differently, they do not know how a correctly executed turn on the haunches should look. They do not know what you want.

If you keep correcting him to not go forward, then to go cross his front legs correctly and then you correct him again so he doesn’t move anywhere with his rear he might get confused about everything. He might get tense, the turn might be slow and not very relaxed.

When you are teaching your horse something new, he is able to focus on just one thing at a time. So, for example, start by just focusing on the front legs. Try to get your horse to get your horse to cross them correctly and move smoothly.

After you learn that, start focusing on the inner rear leg. Try to get your horse to stand still with it and correct him if he moves his rear.

If you take it step by step you are going to get the end result much quicker than if you were trying to correct everything at once. This, of course doesn’t apply to just turn on the haunches.

3. Don`t compare horses between each other

Every horse is different in the same way as every person is different. Don’t expect that if something worked with one horse it has to work with the other as well. It might help but it might not.

4. Don’t be disappointed

If something doesn’t go by your expectations don’t be disappointed. You are not the only one, it happens to me and it occasionally happens to absolutely everyone else as well. Rather than beeing disappointed it is better to just think about why it didn’t go as you thought it would and about how to try it the next day so it goes better.

Don’t forget to have fun! I guess that is why you have your horse in the first place 🙂