In all of our training we want to become yes-sayers. It will be more fun and better both for you and your horse. You will create a nice learning atmosphere and both you and your horse will look forward to the training. Think about how it was when you went to school. Was there any subject you did not like at all? Did this depend on you having to try very, very hard and feelings of failure? How do you think the horse will feel if we constantly say “NO”?
We as trainers have to think about how to explain to make it easy for the horse to do it right. If the horse does not do what we ask of it is basically always because it wither does not understand or that it physically cannot do what we ask of it.It could for example have muscle tensions and stiffnesses in joints making it unable to properly flex its neck to the right. Then what do we do? Do we pull and jerk the head to the right to force it? No, of course not. We can just calmly and methodically work to improve the flexion little by little each day. We can just try to persuade the horse to relax and thereby improve the neck flexion, but as soon as we use force the horse have to tense to protect itself against the forces acting on it. Ask for the slightest, little improvement and the encourage the horse with praise and sweets. Become a “yes-sayer”. Every little step in the right direction must be appreciated and praised.
Sometimes you simply have to praise the attempts and the efforts more than the result.
How would you react if you would hear how good you are and that it is amazing that you work on something difficult? You would probably put in an extra little effort, wouldn’t you? This is exactly what e want to achieve in the training of the horse. We want the horse to make an effort and try, even if something is difficult. It will be a positive moment and the horse will love to please both you and itself and make both of you proud. Just say thank you and be happy. If you ask for as little as change as 1% each day, in three months you are 100 times better! That’s not wrong, is it?