Training Principles

My Thanks To Leslie Desmond For These Gems

--Respect works both ways. To teach respect you have to give it.

--Everything about movement comes from the feet. Ride the feet, not the mouth.

--A start is good enough. Build from it. Settle for a try. "I'll call that good enough."

--When learning a new behavior, whatever he has to offer is enough. Develop layer by layer.

--It takes two to fight. Taking the fight out of the handler/rider stops a fight from happening.

--Getting after a mistake blocks "try."

--Don't wait for disrespect to happen. Get the horse's attention and show him your plan *with life*.

--*Life* is about moving with purpose, not speed.

--Don't get on or off when the feet are moving.

--Make the best use of a horse's 1)natural curiosity; 2)willingness to belong; 3) willingness to leave.


--A loose rein does not equal a runaway horse; a loose rein means a horse can relax.

--*Ride* the horse with your body and mind, and *shape* the horse with the rein.

--The harder you hold a horse in front, the less comfortable he'll be with his hindquarters.

--To more a horse forward, think of letting a butterfly go, rather than squeezing the blood out of a tick.

--Keep your head up. (when riding)

--Educate him that you are not going to go against him when he's not clear.

--Use a scary object as an opportunity to get good at getting with your horse.

--Stay in a searching and looking-to-learn mode.

--A horse's soft feel starts with softness in the mind, willingness, and the capacity to yield from nose to tail.

--When your timing and feel are consistent, canter departs weigh nothing.

--Crowding the horse teaches the horse to crowd you.

--The more life you have available, the more accurate you can be.

--Release *at* the idea.

--Set up intent with a plan to succeed. Adjust as needed.

--Reward is always educating the horse to move toward a release.

--The most important part of collection is having *life* in your horse.

--Get your horse to know that between directional changes is where straight is. Set straightness in on the ground first.

--Quit before it falls apart.

--There's a constant need for adjustability.

--You can't have too many fresh starts.

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