Horse Problems Australia
Post Office Box 1361,
Victor Harbor, SA. 5211






John O'Leary



Have you ever wondered why it is that horses learn the good things slowly and the bad things quickly? I have, along with why it is that it is quicker to teach a horse than a human. Wonder what that says about us?

I think the answer is that a horse has a different translation to the words, "Good' and 'Bad' I think that the horse has them in reverse. They think that it is good to exploit a rider and to run back to the stable for a feed or buck someone off and get the load lightened. On the other hand, bad to a horse could be putting up with an hour of boring flat work where no end to the circle work seems apparent or no Trail Ride is ever possible.

Having learnt to look at things laterally or from another angle, has made me a better Horse Trainer. What a shame that anything one gets half good at in life doesn't normally happen until later in life. Anyhow, thinking in a manner as described above has allowed me to be much more understanding of the behavior that horses exhibit. It has made me more experimental in my riding and training and I know it has produced far better results in the finished work.

Remember also, that our moods affect our horses just like other people around us. A bad mood day should not be a training day but a pleasure riding day. Do both of you a  favor. Bad mood days actually undo training and make your progress slower in the long run. Our stress becomes their stress.

When we get cranky, we lose the subtleties, timing, softness and sophisticated training opportunities that we could have grasped. Learn to think about it whilst riding. Stay cool and get your revenge by simply outsmarting the resistant horse in cool ways. They all give up. It just depends upon your patience.

The trick is to not allow your horse to learn that boring old flatwork is a pain. Get the horse to identify that giving some really good work brings the ultimate benefit, that of leaving the arena to some place better or a loose rein walk for a while. What about just standing and dwelling? Do you stroke your Horse and let it know it has done good?Then you too will also become less frustrated. Won't that make a better team?

One of the most important steps of the 'German Training Scale" is "relaxation'. Without it you cannot train.

Don't be like me at the computer.