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Another thing I like to do is assess my horse's disposition before I start working with him. I like to know what my student is like before I start his education.
For instance, is he a nervous horse? If so, I'll be very quick to reward him and carefully use aids. I'll keep his confidence high by caressing him often.
Or, is he a willful horse? If so, I'll have to be more persistent and patient to get him doing something I ask.
It's important to know what a horse is like before training like a teacher should know her students before teaching.
If you were a teacher and school principal accurately described what each kid was like then you could be a more effective teacher.
For instance, what if you had a kid that was deaf in one ear and a little hard of hearing in other but was a fast learner? As a teacher, if you didn't know this you may be inclined to think this child is lazy or perhaps dumb. And if child sat in back of room whole time this problem would only get worse - and you wouldn't know he is a fast learner.
But if you knew he was deaf in one ear and hard of hearing in other then you'd want to put him in front row and talk louder. Perhaps you may suggest his parents get him a hearing aid. You'll do all you can to help your student learn.
This is much like a horse. The teacher must do all he can to help his horse learn. The teacher must understand his horse first to see how he can best help his student learn.
Andy Curry is a nationally known horse trainer and author of several best selling horse training and horse care books. For information visit his website at www.horsetrainingandtips.com. He is also the leading expert on Jesse Beery's horse training methods which can be seen at www.horsetrainingandtips.com/Jesse_Beerya.htm