When we practice Straightness Training (ST) exercises - for example the exercise 'forward down' - we need to avoid:
❌ too much pressure
❌ too long pressure
❌ too often pressure
❌ sudden pressure
❌ steady pressure
Because these kinds of pressure might trigger the following:
⛔️ The horse goes in the opposite direction and in a state of 'flight'
⛔️ The horse goes against the pressure and gets in a state of 'fight'
⛔️ The horse ignores the pressure and gets in a state of 'freeze'
As a result you end up in a push/pull contest or a nipping/biting game!
Now don't think it's the horse's fault...
Don't settle with the thought 'it's just the way he is'...
Don't label him as 'dominant'...
... just change your approach ✅ !
Because if you use pressure in a disempowering way, the horse's mind gets occupied with two things:
➡️ How to avoid the pressure
➡️ Hhow to get rid of it.
That's just how his instinct works!
And once you trigger that instinct, youl trigger his 'survival' brain...
And then his reptilian brain takes over...
And once he is in a more or less instinctual frame of mind he will not think about your actual request!
So he will NOT think about
- the exercise
- the movement
- or the behavior he has to do.
✅ Make sure to make it a #1 priority to refine your pressure/release technique.
✅ Timing and dosing is key in avoiding an instintual 'opposed' state!.
✅ Releasing in time will keep your horse in a 'thinking frame of mind'.
✅ By releasing early, often, quickly, long and soon, you horse starts to figure out what you want and work together with you.
And remember this:
It's well timed and well dosed pressure that will 'teach' a horse something - from the outside in.
But it's our release that allows our horse to really understand and 'learn' the new exericse, behavior, movement - from the inside out.
Plus, when we combine our release, with a reward and a moment of relaxation, well that's the most powerful reinforcement triad - RRR - you can imagine.
Now you can hear more about this RRR and about ST exercises, bu checking out my Mini Mastery Video Series that runs at the moment.
You can also download the 29-page FREE ebook about ST exercises below the second episode of this video series!
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