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Train Your Own Horse with Stacy Westfall

Dec 26, 2018

It’s important to understand that riders and horses don’t follow the same path of learning. I talk about the straight line progression of a horse’s learning process. I also talk about the best stage of the horse’s progression for a new rider to begin learning on.

I talk about how everything can’t be learned at once, but how an experienced mentor can help speed up the process. I also talk about how it’s important to understand and accept what stage of learning that you are at instead of getting frustrated.

Show Notes

[01:02] Paths that a horse follows while training is pretty straightforward. It's like the path from kindergarten to college.

[01:23] When I start training a horse they are starting kindergarten and the progression of their learning goes up in a straight line.

[01:40] Riders do not follow the same path of learning that the horse does.

[02:05] As I said in my book Smart Start, the safety line where it's safe to get on a horse and ride is somewhere around third grade for horses.

[02:20] All of the basic groundwork is before that.

[03:04] A rider should start learning on a horse that has moved up to the high school level. The odds of something going bad with a horse that is really green are higher.

[03:15] If a horse has made it to the high school level, it means that they steer pretty good and they are generally easy to move around.

[03:56] The side effect of a person learning to ride on a horse that is at the high school level is that they feel like they are lacking on both ends. They have a horse that they can start, stop, and steer, but they don't truly understand the base work that went into that.

[04:42] It's the same theory as learning to drive a car. You don't begin in a Ferrari. You begin driving in a nice functional safe car.

[06:12] Frustrations can be not knowing what to do next, not knowing when enough is enough, when to back off or when to push through and ask for more, and  not knowing when to push an exercise to the next level.

[07:05] When you are in the middle, it makes sense not to know what to do next.

[07:59] There's a difference between feeling frustrated and understanding that you're in a certain stage.

[09:11] Knowing when to push through or knowing when enough is enough comes from experience. You need to ask for help when you're not sure.

[09:18] Finding someone who's already been through it is a wonderful way to to learn and gain experience.

[09:39] Recognize when you're in a certain stage and don't judge yourself.

[11:25] Have fun and there is no shame when you are learning.

[11:44] Hopefully understanding the difference between the rider's path and the horse's path is helpful.

[12:36] Start with a horse that is in high school don't do the green green thing.

[14:05] A lot of professionals actually specialize in different disciplines. Then they focus on different stages within that discipline.

[14:58] Understanding the whole spectrum is a big big job.


Links and Resources:

Smart Start: Building a Strong Foundation for Your Horse