Exhausting A Horse Before Mounting
I love your website! I have a 3.5 year old who is just now undergoing training. The trainer I am stuck with at our ranch thinks a horse must be severely tired before you can get on them. She exhausts him and then gets on him. She has been on him four times. He is nervous with her work, but they own the ranch and I cannot bring my own training. Can you think of any literature that might relate to this that I could show her. (That exhausting a horse before mounting isn't the only option)??!! I took him off the ranch for 5 weeks to another trainer, but it was far away from home and the conditions were bad (muddy and bad feed). He is back with me now close to home but now again I am stuck with this trainer. Do you agree with me that a horse doesn't have to be exhausted to mount him?
Any suggestions or comments would be appreciated.
Thank you for asking such a great question! There is a bigger picture here to consider than just the methods being applied and many horse guardians have found themselves in this similar situation too.
I wish it was that easy when it comes to wanting another to change their beliefs! Allow me to explain….
The first misconception for any of us is to believe that we can tell or show someone some literature and think (or rather we hope) they will change their ways. Problem is, unless they have asked
for themselves, any information supplied will fall upon deaf ears. :0( Or worse we unintentionally evoke their ego which is determined to protect itself and hates to change and instead they defend their beliefs and come out fighting to remain "right".
I can however offer you some insights that you can then decide if you are willing enough for your horses sake to deliver and insist the message be followed (after all, it is you who is paying for a trainers services, not the other way around). So don't be bullied by any trainer. In fact take note that you already realize and know something this person does not. Here’s your chance to share some new found knowledge.
The technique to exhaust a horse's physical state in order to create a wanted behavior (like being able to get on their back) lacks a great deal of consideration toward the horse and the horse’s future outcome. Not to mention the method here is what, lunging him in endless circles? Or chasing him around while he has no way of escaping the attack? That's a whole other article! I know you already know and feel this is not effective; you just needed a little support from another. So here it is! Yes, I absolutely agree with you that a horse does not have to (nor should be) put into a state of exhaustion to mount him. This seems like common sense for you and me but when others cannot see it, then what can we do?
It all starts with a little knowledge (knowledge is power) and a whole lot of courage to address a sensitive issue that you know another does not agree with.
First familiarize yourself with the current horse training methods
and pay particular attention to positive punishment aspects. There are always negative repercussions to this method that create a horse who only ends up doing tasks because he must, not because he is willing to (big difference there). We end up demonstrating to a horse and giving them reasons to fear and distrust us. This goes further into what is known as "learned helplessness". When we put an animal into a completely helpless place, do they really learn under these conditions? Or do they do it with resentment (and fearful reactions) that show up later. Like your quote: "He is nervous with her work", or they may become hard to catch, or they start rearing, bucking etc.
Then see this study by equine behaviorist Carol Sankey, on positive reinforcement
and you will quickly see how the old schools of traditional methods are not as effective as once believed.The responsibility still remains on each and every one of us to never stop learning in order to offer help to another (horse or human!).
P.S. Please don't ever feel you are stuck with a certain trainer because of distance. (The universe has no boundaries!) This better trainer does exist, you are just not aware that they are within your reach because you just haven't found each other yet! So let's change that story to….."Gosh, it’s going to be exciting when I find a trainer who lives close to me that resonates with my values about horse training!" Post an ad in the universes help wanted section!! Wanted: A kind and gentle horse trainer who is open minded to help my horse and I create a fantastic relationship! Then sit back and allow (and believe) the manifestation will find you! :0)
P.P.S.S. If we were to ask your horse who he would believe to be the best trainer or teacher for him, I bet he would reply, "YOU"! Because you have already demonstrated your level of concern is higher than the guys you pay to have him run around to exhaustion.
Wishing you all the best,
Horses by Nature