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L. Robinson--Equine Training/Instruction Training


A Basic Training Program

A successful training program for a horse or student rider is based upon knowledge of the dynamics of movement and development, the establishing of certain goals, and an individualized program designed specifically for the horse and/or rider. These should show a program of development that can be compared to gymnastics, or some say to dance, in that you have to learn the basic elements before you can learn the more complex and difficult "higher" movements. In this way too, it is similar to the education system that all of us go through--you have to learn the ABC's in order to read, you have to learn to add before you can learn higher math, and you have to know the basic processes of science to fully appreciate the more complex.

While a program for a horse or a student does share similarities, they diverge at certain points. 1--you cannot tell a horse that you are "having a bad day". An "I'm sorry for jerking your mouth because I was thinking how my boss annoyed me" just does not exist in equine lexicon--or it takes days, weeks, even months to re-establish trust if you do something like that. 2--a person can tell you if they hurt or if it seems like they are being pushed too much. A horse can show resistence, however they cannot express it is such a way as to be specific.

Thus CONSISTENCY and CONTINUED SENSITIVITY to the horse is necesary in a training program.

For the student-rider, the primary concern is that the objectives and goals of the teaching-training be set and agreed upon by the Trainer/instructor and the student. These should include certain benchmarks for progress that should be clearly outlined, especially if the rider is a beginner/novice and not knowledgeable about what results would mean progress.

Example of Form to establish Training Program

Below is a basic form for establishing the basis of a training progrm in terms of the owner of the horse's views.`

Horse name:_____________________________ Owner name:_____________________________ Age and breed of horse__________________ ----- What kind of lesson schedule is planned (number of lessons per week/month):

______ What is the level of current training of the horse?

Same as above for the rider:

------- What does the owner wish to achieve from any training?

If competing, list competitive objectives and goals:

------- What progress does the owner wish to see within the a--next month:

b--next 3 months:

c--next 6 months:

d--next year:

(list objectives for horse AND rider). -------- What kind of background does the owner have for stating the above? (previous horses trained by pros or self, in training, clinics, lessons from pros, basic number of years riding and level of expertise, studies, etc.)

---------- --Signed owner: --Received Trainer:

Examples of Systematic Training Programs

Below are listed some references that I would recommend to read and study in order to develop a basic training program. As you will see if you go into them in any depth, they have certain similarities in terms of principles of training a horse. Most of these are of the classical approach--there are many other good approaches, however classical dressage esp. has been the most dedicated in documenting and recording systematic training of the horse and rider up until this time; jumping and equitation have followed, and certainly the Western disciplines have a similar foundational approach.

1--British Horse Society--Pony Club--The Manual of Horsemanship

2--DeCarpentry, General: Academic Equitation

3--Littauer, V.--Horseman's Progress

4--Miller,R: Western Horse Behavior and Training

5--Morris, G: Hunter Seat Equitation

6--Podjasky,A.--Training of Horse and Rider

7--Richter, Judy: Horse and Rider--From Basics to Show Competition (Hunt Seat, Eq, some jumping)

8--Seunig, W.--Horsemanship

9--Young, J--Schooling for Young Riders