See what is coming! Want to get an idea of the new techniques you will learn to maximize relaxation, connection, posture and performance.
I have noticed a great many horses dragging their owners into the arena when they come for help.
I noticed that I started and reinforced my training every time I picked up the rope to lead my horses. I started to wonder if my simple leading strategies were a big part of setting the stage for the horse to learn.
Learn Leading Strategies for all types of horses including:
Passive Leadership Strategies - Freeze/Flight
Positive Leadership Strategies - Fight
Positive Fair Leadership Strategies - Maximize
Hierarchy of Needs must be solved for horses and humans to go forward on the ground or riding. Playground of Safety gives the horse a chance to relax on their timeline. No learning can happen in Sympathetic Nervous System. Most simple and powerful technique to solve safety and comfort needs.
Must start in Relaxation or Play.
If in Safety or Comfort = overstimulated, flooding, dorsal vagal response
1. condition response - start with belly button
2. be progressive - once horse understands response, add stress
3. honor thresholds and needs - stop before horse blows up and relationship is wrecked
4. stick - lift, stroke, then tap
5. work all over body - goal max head down and max lateral flexion, lip wiggle
Not every horse will lay down bc
- some don't trust
- some don't need, get enough rest, don't have extreme baggage
- allow horse to choose, don't force
- pawing = mental lay down
Once horse understands the puzzle (Stress -> Relaxation and/or Connection) use other stressors, sight, sound, touch, to cont pattern.
Fear -> Curiosity -> Dominance -> Confidence Neutralization Patterns
1. Track It
2. Touch It
3. Step On It
4. Bite It
5. Paw It
6. Wear It
7. Jump It
8. Go Under/Through/Beside
Tap on specific muscles to relax, then engage to create the most powerful, engaged, positive posture.
Brain Gym Basics
Movement is the key to learning.
Cross Hind Legs -> Right Brain
Cross Front Legs -> Left Brain
Sideways -> Brain Integration
Loosen body to establish leadership and get your horse thinking and learning.
Use poles to :
1. open new neural pathways
2. change posture = let go of neck, lift back, rotate pelvis, lift wither, engage abs
3. correct short/shallow hind end
4. correct rhythm
5. reset proprioception
Straight Rhythm Poles
Mirroring On Ground
- walk squares -> trot
- walk bowtie - gain confidence by changing eyes
- walk/trot squares
- walk/trot/stop/back - shoulders & belly button
Mirror Mounting Block
1. relax in position
2. offer mount
3. stand relaxed - POS
- walk/stop - life up/life down, use TA to stop
- walk/stop/back using TA
- introduce belly button/seat bones steering/speed control
- think draw vs drive/push/pull
Mirror in Motion Riding - good/bad riding
- hands - won't step through
- feet - won't step through
- eyes - up, down, side
Positive Reinforcement = Food/Treats
Pos Reinforce doubles learning speed
1. food targets right answer
2. food gives endorphins
3. eating brings horse past safety and comfort issues (Hierarchy of Needs)
More Positive Reinforcements
- positive energy/smiling
- get off
- put away (stall or with friends)
Detailed Strategies for each Type of Horse:
Unbelievable Combination of Strategies:
Equine Brain Gym
Poles for Proprioception
The horse is horse hardwired to mirror its herd for safety. When you are riding, holding the rope or connected at liberty, you and your horse are a herd of two. Do in your body what you want the horse to do in his body. If you are braced, your horse will be braced. If you are relaxed, your horse will be relaxed. By using the PSNS/dancer muscles in our body, we trigger PSNS in ourselves and the horse.