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By Marty Morris
Do you have the idea that you want to change the way your horse or mule does certain things, improve some of its movements or change a bad habit? Here are some thoughts to consider about getting this done.
The first thing to remember is that changing the way your horse or mule does anything is your idea not his. In order to accomplish your goal, you will be working with your animal’s mind. You reach an animal’s mind through its body. You need to be able control the body. The horse or mule has the natural ability to do the things that you want it to do but you need to teach it how to respond to your ques so it does what you want when you would like it done. Your ques and the timing of your ques need to be correct. Remember during this process that we are dealing with our animals not only physically but mentally and emotionally.
We need to have experience and ability to train ourselves in order to improve our animals with any degree of success. No matter what our level of experience is, we all plateau when it comes to self-improvement on our own. That is when you can’t figure out what you are doing wrong (or right). Sometimes admitting that we don’t know something becomes a barrier to learning. Even with a lot of experience it is amazing how some bad habits can develop. If we have physical limitations that affect our training progress there are ways to work around those limitations, but we need to find ways to get that done.
An easy way for help with training ourselves, so we can improve at training our animal’s, is to attend a clinic. A clinic situation with good coaches, will give you a tune up at a reasonable cost in both time and money. Go into the clinic with a motivation to learn, listen and observe. Don’t let your ego prevent you from learning. The end benefit will be a better partnership with your horse or mule.