Creating the Adaptable HORSE
Many people ride with a goal-oriented perspective. They fixate on the show, trail ride, working cattle, competitive trail, etc.
Horses can learn to tolerate familiar scenarios within a jumping arena, Dressage arena, working cattle, or while on a trail. It isn't until something new or different is asked of the horse, until most people realize there is a lack of adaptability within their horse.
I like to help horses become adaptable. A roping horse should be able to clamber over or even jump a small obstacle or fence when presented to him. A jumping horse should not have a meltdown and become impossible to "deal with" if he is passing an arena full of cows. He may want to stop, look, smell, and consider the cows for a moment or two, but should be able to continue the ride without tension or stress from his encounter with the cows.
IT'S THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS
My priority is to create horses whose minds are available to hear my input in any situation. Learning to assess the horse's current temperament and how to influence his mind builds quality equine partnerships.
HELPING YOUR HORSE
Often when we ride there are literal obstacles along the way whether it be a mailbox, a slamming trailer door, a flag or umbrella near an arena, or another potential "crisis" opportunity as seen by the horse.
Frequently riders do whatever is necessary to get past and "survive" the crisis. They continue with no thought as to whether after passing the "stressful spot" the horse has been helped, influenced, or affected to be more confident when addressing a similar situation in the future.
Mindless, repetitive experience, and exposure have been the common method of "training" a horse. Instead, I want to create the "tools" in how I communicate with the horse so that my guidance offers him support to think his way through scenarios. This builds trust and leads to the solid foundation every equine partnership should be built upon.
"Having tried several trainers, I was on the verge of replacing my gelding. He would become defensive and refuse to go forward, start spinning, backing, or bucking at the lope. Other trainers had tried to "ride the buck" out of him. This only made him more resentful and insecure. I tried everything, from chiropractic treatment, replacing his saddle pad, changing his feed, and starting over on the ground. However, riding him into a lope was beyond my comfort level and he would buck going into the lope even on the ground. Sam not only had the patience to help me rebuild his confidence but gave me tools to help him as well. Now I have a horse that is learning to trust again and thanks to Sam, when he gets stuck, I can help him through it. Sam's approach is very effective and I have learned so much from her. I look forward to continuing to work with her and my horse". Amanda, UK