The Top Ten Most Critical Mistakes When Training Your Horse!
Every time you interact with your horse, you’re training him… whether you mean to or not.
You’re either training him to do good things… or you’re training him to do bad things.
With that being understood, do you make these critical mistakes?
Dear Friend and Horseman,
Larry Trocha here.
I want to talk to you today about horse training.
And specifically, I want to talk about the way YOU train your horse.
However, I know for a fact, not everybody who watches my videos gets good results.
How do I know this?
Because I get tons of feedback from people who purchase my videos.
About 80% are from folks who’ve gotten outstanding results.
Some are rank beginners, wanting to be better with horses. Some are long-time horsemen. And some are full-time professional trainers/instructors.
Many of them do well at their local shows. Some of them becoming year-end champions and a few of them actually do well at the big National Futurities.
As a matter of fact, you can read many of their stories in the “Comments” on the Home page of my website.
The other 20% are people who ARE NOT getting the results they want. They aren’t having the success they hoped for.
This really bothers me.
Ideally, I want ALL my members, customers and subscribers to get fantastic results when they do business with me.
I’ve always wondered… How can four people watch the same video and three get great results while the fourth one gets poor results?
After DECADES of training horses, giving private lessons and multi-day clinics, below is what I discovered.
What I wrote below is not meant to belittle or embarrass anyone. It’s simply “facts” which experience has revealed.
Here’s what people do who have GREAT SUCCESS from watching my training videos:
#1. They sit down and watch the videos without any distractions.
#2. They take notes… listing the key principles. And they carry those notes with them when they ride.
#3. They follow the instructions EXACTLY the way they are laid out in the video.
#4. This one is critically important; They DON’T inject their own “PRECONCEIVED” notions into the training techniques. They accept the instruction in the video as true and accurate. (I’ll expand more on this below).
#5. They pay attention to the way they use their hands, legs and body position. They make sure they are duplicating what they see me do in the videos.
#6. They are consistent with their training and concentrate on what they’re doing.
#7. They recognize the difference between a “usable” horse and a hopeless “misfit” who isn’t suitable for the job.
#8. They use good judgement. Meaning, they pay attention to their horse’s attitude and body language. They go EASY on the horse when they see he’s really TRYING to learn. And they get more DEMANDING when they see the horse is DELIBERATELY being difficult.
#9. They understand the importance of earning their horse’s respect. They know if their horse doesn’t truly respect them, the training won’t be successful.
Here’s what people do who get POOR RESULTS from my videos:
#1. They start the video and then go to the kitchen to begin cooking dinner or washing the dishes or doing the laundry. The training video is merely “background” noise.
#2. They have no idea of the overall training regimen because they never sit down and watch the entire video.
#3. This one is a BIG one; They INJECT their own “PRECONCEIVED” ideas of horse training into the mix… RUINING the effectiveness of the training techniques laid out in the video.
Here’s a typical example:
In my video about teaching a horse to spin, I emphasize over and over again about how important it is to use FORWARD IMPULSION to teach a horse to plant his inside pivot foot.
Forward impulsion so important, that in the video, I NEVER say the word “BACK” or “BACK UP”. (Yes, I did that on purpose).
Yet, what do MOST people do?
They pull their horse back while trying to get him to spin!
And of course, that never works… it causes the horse to bang his front legs together, hop or plant is front end and swing his butt out of gear.
So, why do people do that?
They do it because somebody at sometime, has told them… you must pull your horse back on his hocks to get him to spin. And the vast majority of horse owners truly believe it.
It’s a “preconceived” belief based on hear-say instead of facts. “Hear-say” usually coming from the mouth of unsuccessful riders like themselves. Yet, it seems completely logical to the uninitiated.
Plus… the idea of “forward impulsion”, seems so counter intuitive for teaching the spin, the rider doesn’t believe it will work.
And the vast majority of people who fail to get good results are guilty of it.
#4. This is the MOST COMMON MISTAKE of all… The rider pays absolutely NO attention to how they’re using their HANDS, LEGS and BODY.
Perhaps they assume because they’ve been riding for 10 or 20 years, they automatically must be doing it right. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth. You MUST pay attention to how you use and position your hands, legs and body or you will NOT get good results.
I hope you read the above paragraph again… and take it as the gospel. Literally 100% of the riders who don’t get good results are totally guilty of this.
Remember the definition of “insanity” is repeating the SAME MISTAKES over and over yet expecting different results.
#5. They ride their horse “MINDLESSLY”. No plan. No concentration. Simply a passenger wondering around on the back of a horse.
#6. Getting good results really isn’t that important to them so they quickly give up trying.
In some cases, the reason they give up so easily is because they don’t believe in themselves to begin with. They have never experienced success so they believe they aren’t capable of achieving it.
I feel so bad for these folks. If they only knew or believed what they’re actually capable of, it would totally change their riding.
Hell, it would probably change their LIFE!
#7.I see this one a bunch. The rider is trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Meaning, they have a horse who is totally unsuitable for the job they want him to do.
Here’s a typical example:
“Larry, I just rescued a draft horse and I want to train and show him for western pleasure classes. I want to train him good enough to win. What should I do?”
When I get an email like this, there really isn’t much I can say to help. Draft horses don’t fit the part of a western pleasure horse.
The chances of this horse ever becoming a competitive western pleasure show horse is pretty darn slim. I’m not saying it’s impossible but it’s pretty unlikely.
Better to start with a horse that’s more the western pleasure “type”.
Nor would I choose a 13 hand pony if I wanted an International Open Jumper. Again, I’d have a much better chance of success if I chose a horse that was the right kind.
These are just examples but you get the idea of what I’m talking about.
#8. They don’t pay attention to the horse’s body language or attitude. They are either mistakenly TOO EASY or TOO DEMANDING on the horse. Again, mindlessly going through the motions, instead of paying attention to important details of their horse’s RESPONSE.
#9. They don’t understand how to get a “minor” good response from the horse and then little by little build on that minor response until it gets better and better.
A good example: A rider will watch my video about “BIG STOPS” and then go out and try to get their horse to lay down a 20 foot slide the very first ride. In most cases, it won’t happen. You gotta start out small and build on it over a period of weeks or months.
#10. They don’t know how to get their horse to respect them or try for them. As a consequence, their horse’s training doesn’t progress as it should.
I hate to say it but these folks have no “affinity” with a horse’s nature and will probably never have success… unless they happen to change their ways.
Again, my findings aren’t meant to embarrass or belittle anyone. It’s just what I’ve found to be true in most cases.
In closing, I’d like to wish you the best of luck with your horse.
I hope you get fantastic results.