Here are some intriging plans to use to accelerate your horsemanship. Plans for training, problem solving, trouble shooting, creative concepts and more.
As we work at developing our horsemanship, we need to keep in mind that it's a Partnership between us and our horses. While we often think of working on our horses, sometimes we need to work on ourselves.
This chart describes four characteristic personalities and how they tend to manage horses. The words in BLUE are the qualities that need to be developed to balance out the other personality traits. NONE of the four styles of horsemanship is right or wrong, good or bad. In fact, most people find themselves in different quadrants depending on circumstances. The difference between being at a show and riding in the back pasture will probably highlight a few different personality traits, right?
So next time you head out to see your horse, think about YOUR job, your responsibilities, your issues and how you can be a better partner for your horse.
Here's another great printable chart on
"What to do when......??"
What do I do when my horse is... Confident and Fast? Check the quadrant with the flashy purple horse. This horse needs you to PLAY with him, engage his mind and body, think fast and be creative. Lots of variety. His mind is fast and his body is fast, so going slow and easy is not the answer for this one. For "Flash" any time you can move his forehand and send him backward, you'll gain leadership points. But, do it playfully and with energy! That will really help you key into this horse's mind.
Check out all 4 quadrants. Ask yourself "Is my horse acting fast or slow in mind and body? AND is my horse acting confident or cautious in thoughts and responses.
What To Do?
Dos and Don'ts List
Here's a simple chart of Dos and Don'ts.
I like to refer to the "Horse in The Moment" as a combination of -
Confident vs. Cautious
Fast vs. Slow
Lots of easy suggestions to help your horse and some to remind you of what NOT to do.
The Don'ts are colored in black
The Dos are colored in different colors
These two charts will help you problem solve and trouble shoot issues that come up with your horse. Click on each chart to download a pdf that you can print and take to the barn for instant responses and ideas when you need some help.
The SADDLE concept is a great way to take a game or pattern you are currently playing with and bring it up to the next level. After you are successful on one level, add speed to your game, or precision and accuracy. Then increase the distance from your horse you are playing with or the distance you can go. Find ways to increase the lightness and a great one is to play the game with the best expression on your horse.
You are only going to focus on improving ONE piece of the S.A.D.D.L.E.
acronym at a time, which will give you and your horse tons of clarity on how to improve various
Let’s put this into focus with an example.
If you were going to aim to improve your Sideways Game, you would begin by picking one of the S.A.D.D.L.E. letters; let’s say you focus purely on lightness. Instead of having the big idea in your head of getting your entire Sideways Game “better,” you would be clear that the ONLY part of your Sideways Game you’re aiming to improve is your lightness. This means disregarding how far you are from your horse, how far he goes, his speed, his expression, and his accuracy, and ONLY asking your horse to be light. Once you get a few moments that feel much lighter, then switch and pick a different S.A.D.D.L.E. letter to focus on.
For example, now focus only on distance (i.e., how FAR can you go sideways?). While doing this, you would disregard how high you need to go in your phases, your speed, and your accuracy. Once again, when you find something you like, move on and pick a different letter.
As you practice, you will become very clear with your horse about what it is that you want to improve. Then of course, your horse will begin to respond by putting in more effort. Over time you will notice that your horse actually begins to put the pieces
together himself, and even OFFERS to do two or more at the same time! You will notice that, as you are focusing on lightness, and then on accuracy, all of a sudden your horse is lighter even when you’re focusing on accuracy!