Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Training

Finally. I can get some consistent days in for what I call Spring Training. We're looking at 3 days of warm, sunny Spring days in these parts!

My two boys are usually always off from December until April. They get to be lazy horses in the back field during the winter months. They get bored. When I start spending more time with them, they look forward to it every day. As a matter of fact, Bo gets grumpy when I haven't been with them for a while. His face shows it. He tends to boss Spirit around more.

I have researched many of the training techniques from various clinicians and trainers. I tried Clinton Anderson for a while, but in my mind, I now feel his techniques are too aggressive for my horses. My guys don't need that kind of training. I realize Anderson's training techniques, and those of other trainers like him, have their place. They just weren't comfortable for me with these two particular horses.

I have decided to follow a lesser known trainer's techniques. I don't like round penning although I have a round pen. I feel round penning is just another scare tactic, I understand "round pen reasoning", but I also believe, it depends on the horse. Ryan Gingerich does not believe in round penning. He has an excellent article on the subject on his website.

I had seen Gingerich at Equine Affaire, Ohio, last year and was impressed with his training techniques. Basic and patient. His training program consists of five elements: Basic control, lightness, rhythm, line and connection.

My boys do better with a one-on-one type training. They are responding positively to the techniques I've been learning, via DVD, from Ryan Gingerich. They are much more relaxed with these training techniques when I'm working with them. I am much more relaxed too so the time spent in the exercise is good for all of us.

If I were to give advice to new horse owners I would say, above all, find what works for YOU and your horses. Enjoying the journey is all a part of the experience.

Ryan Gingerich's website:

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