This episode has several major points. The first one I want to focus on is the idea of ‘training cycles.’ Each day with Jac consists of cycles that are physical and then mental/emotional. These are components of each workout routine.
The simplest day would only contain one cycle. A longer day will repeat these cycles over and over.
In this episode I cycle through:
- physical cycle– controlling horses direction and speed in round pen
- mental/emotional cycle– introducing the bridle/first bridling
- physical cycle– using tarp as a training tool
- mental/emotional cycle- review previous leading lesson
- physical cycle– lunging
- mental/emotional cycle- introducing rope for cinch/girth training
- physical cycle- lunging with rope around belly
- mental/emotional cycle– leading with the rope until quiet
Something to notice is that each ‘physical’ cycle isn’t necessarily the same intensity. Often by the third or fourth ‘physical’ cycle the horse doesn’t feel as much like playing, so the cycle is less intense.
Another way of saying this would be ‘four cycles doesn’t mean four times as much work for the horse.’
I may accomplish four times as much in that day, but only work the horse half again as hard as I did in the first cycle. Did you follow that?
So adding cycles, rather than extra days, can actually be physically easier and more productive in the long term.