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One of most important things one should do while training a horse is repetition. Whatever lesson you're teaching your horse it should be taught so thoroughly that it is a fixed habit on his brain. It becomes a fixed habit by repetition.
In this horse's case, she hadn't been taught that "whoa" means to stop. In fact, I'd bet she thinks "whoa" means to slow down. Lots of people tell their horse "whoa" when their horse is moving too fast and they want it to slow down. Before you know it, horse thinks "whoa" means to slow down a little.
Pretty soon, horse has been thoroughly taught that "whoa" means to slow down...not stop. Thus, repetition worked in this case but backfired. "Whoa" was repeated so many times to mean to slow down horse now believes "whoa" means slow down.
Thus, horse will have to be retrained to understand what whoa really means. It will take a lot of patience and thoroughness in training but it'll be well worth time.
The value of this significant piece of knowledge cannot be overstated. When you're out training your horse a lesson be sure to give it enough repetition that lesson becomes a habit for horse.
Jesse Beery, a famous horse trainer from late 1800's, overemphasized this crucial training tip. He preached teaching only one thing at a time and having that thing so thoroughly taught that habit is fixed upon horse's brain.
That's some of best training advice you will ever get.
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