Improving your Equine Skill Set

Improving your Equine Skill Set

Everything that we do in life requires different skill sets. Unfortunately, when it comes to horses, many folks approach it as an "I bought it, I should be able to do it." But the reality can turn out quite different.

One of the challenges for both pleasure and competitive riders is prioritizing the time and having the mental clarity to build their skill set when it comes to their horsemanship.

As with anything learned, you can get the initial idea or concept, but it takes practice, time, commitment, and intention to refine and finesse the quality of the skill.

So much of the time when I say skill set, folks are thinking about "everything" or the "big" things we do with our horses. But instead, a much more realistic approach is to break down our initial desired skill set into four basic tools that will help us into better partners for our horses:

Awareness- how quickly do you notice your and your horse's behaviors and how does your brain translate the information?

Intention- how many times do you consider asking something of your horse, but then get distracted while thinking about five different things, without actually conveying to the horse what it is that you want?

Timing- the amount of time that passes from when you see something happening, think about addressing it, and then actually do something about it.

Assessment- how often after you have interacted with your horse do you pause, and think about what you saw, what you wanted, what you did to communicate your intention to your horse, and then what your horse's feedback was?

So when can you practice these four foundational skill sets necessary for the human to develop? Catching the horse, leading the horse, grooming the horse, tacking up the horse, mounting, etc. Every moment of interaction is an opportunity to learn, practice, and refine your abilities!

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