Lowest common denominator

You and your horse are training and suddenly nothing works any more. Thre will be frustration for both you and your horse. What to do to make it right again? Well, you need to find the lowest common denominator!

Then what is the lowest common denominator? Well, it is the level where you and your horse can do an exercise correctly. An example: You and your horse try to do a shoulder in on the circle in ground work. The inner hind leg is not at all moving outward and the horse “refuses” to do it. Stupid horse that already done it a thousand times before. Or? When the frustration increase in the training we need to find strategies to decrease the stress level and find a way to say “yes, yes, YES” to the horse instead of “no, no, NO”. (Check out “Become a yes-sayer“)

We as trainers must always find a way to make it easy for the horse to do it right.

We as trainers must always find a way to make it easy for the horse to do it right. Just like we are not always on top, neither is the horse. Yes, maybe the horse “should” be able to do what we ask for, but this particular day it might be difficult? They we should not pick a fight but try to meet the horse where it is today. If it does not work to do a that ground work shoulder in today, then maybe we can make a halt and ask the horse to move the inner hind leg out? If that works fine, can we ask it, still from a halt, to move the  inside hind leg out and then immediately ask it to walk and maintain the inner hind outwards during two steps? Did that work? The immediately stop and praise the horse so it understands this is exactly what we wanted. Can you repeat the exercise and maybe ask for four steps of shoulder in? Lovely! Then you are on your way to turn the bad no-atmosphere to a positive yes-atmosphere. Both you and your horse are pleased and harmonic and can leave the training in a good mood. You feel good because you as a trainer managed to meed your student (the horse) where it was today and the horse feel well because it managed to solve the task presented to it. This is a win-win situation! There you will have a nice foundation for the next training session, and then you can maybe to the ground work shoulder in directly form the walk?