Episode 31: Listener Question: Untraining a Horse or Adding Layers?
“It's super fun to be able to dial your horse up and down.” Stacy Westfall Click To Tweet
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This week I’m answering a listener question. First, I’m going to answer with the theory, and then I’m going to teach you all how to become a detective. The listener wants to know if she can ‘untrain’ the horse’s desire to run full speed during mounted shooting competitions. She wants the horse to slow down or give her more control.
Some of the questions I ask incluse: Is the trigger only at shows or can you trigger a low level version of this at home? When he gets amped up…what aids does he get resistant to? Do you take him to practices? Does a practice amp him up half way between a shoot and at home? Can you set balloons off of him? This episode is a great look into the horses perspective and adding layers to his training.“I go back and retrain my horses all the time. I go all the way back to the basics, because things can become untrained without use.” Stacy Westfall Click To Tweet
[02:21] Thank you for the question and congratulations on reaching level three.
[03:07] The first thing I would like to start the conversation with is adding layers. Instead of training the horse, start adding layers to his training.
[03:48] This also brings up habits versus control. Habits are usually some version of anticipation.
[04:29] His habit of being asked to give his all is affecting your control over him. This is very common with speed events.
[06:43] People sometimes overlook that horses can have an adrenaline rush and enjoy the racing.
[08:09] At the end of the day, when we add all of these layers, and say habit versus control, I want to feel like I can turn my horse up and down like using a dial.
[09:02] I have to do a lot of work to make a +7 horse a -7 horse.
[10:50] Here are the questions that I would ask for the detective work.
[11:28] Is the trigger only at shows or can you trigger a low level version of this at home? When he gets amped up…what aids does he get resistant to? For example, very sensitive to your legs, pulling/rooting on the bit, rocking horse lope, sideways movement…how does he express himself.
[13:26] If a horse doesn’t relax into the hug, then he is resisting.
[13:58] Do you take him to practices? Does a practice amp him up half way between a shoot and at home? Can you set balloons off of him? Does he recover outside the ring or in the ring? Or once he gets ‘up’ does he have trouble coming back down?
[15:40] I go back and retrain my horses all the time. I go all the way back to the basics, because things can become untrained without use.
[18:26] When you become a detective and are able to do all this kind of stuff you will realize which aids he is leaning on and what he might be resistant to.“When you turn up your awareness to how your horse is specifically evading aids when he gets amped up, you can actually find those problems in other spots at home.” Stacy Westfall Click To Tweet
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