How to Use a Daily Schooling Chart to Improve the Connection and Performance of Your Horse
By Sharing Territory with horses I become aware of the ever present unfolding magical world of nature. From my awareness of what is truly present in the moment and from the kinship I feel to horses they are drawn to me and follow my lead naturally from an unexplainable friendship. The ability to lead comes and goes from the changing conditions in the surroundings. The ability to lead is also there in the moments a horse is feeling the bond. These moments come often and if you understand how to influence the horse to feel the bond without disturbing the flow of the moment, a horse will naturally trust you, respect you, and follow your lead without having to control his behavior.
When one is able to relate to a horse in this manner you are connected through the language of the bond; a communication that occurs from a magical friendship in moments of harmony and unity. In these moments both horse and human will naturally make every effort to keep this quality alive.
What helped me to continue to develop my sensitivity and approach with horses was to keep a journal on the horse’s education. When I had my training center, I kept a journal and a chart of what took place in the schooling of the horses each day. With the chart I checked off each step in how the horse responded and the quality of his performance. It was a large board I kept in the tack room. The headings were Attitude Haltering and Leading, Attitude Grooming, Attitude Tacking Up, Tack Used, Warm-Up Program, Lesson, Response to Warm-Up, Response to lesson, and a place for Comments and accomplishments, or additional notes. Originally I made this chart so that my clients visiting their horses could read about how their horses were progressing.
I found that the greater purpose for the chart was in how it helped to guide my approach schooling the horse each day. When I wrote the details of each session, it gave me more focus in what was happening between the horse and myself in each interaction. This insight improved the quality of my performance in educating the horse. When I haltered the horse and lead him, I did not go on to the next step until the horse haltered easily and lead perfectly. I started paying more attention to the quality of all the aspects of how I was handling the horse and how the horse was responding from haltering, grooming, tacking up, warming-up and lessons.
Following the chart gave me insight into how the horse was feeling, so I could take his feelings into account to keep the friendship alive in the process of his schooling. If he was not leading well, and he had the day before, I then could analyze that maybe he was loosing his interest in my program. I then could take the time to bring back his enthusiasm by changing the program I had planned and focusing on a different program that would return his interest to continue on with his schooling.
Schooling was like a meditation and a dance in each step of our daily practice. I did not move from a step until each step was performed effortlessly, easily and naturally, and the bond I shared with the horse was growing from the lessons. I might not have done this if I had not made and followed the chart.
I also used the history of a horse’s chart as a guide. When I would lose a bit of quality in a horse’s performance, I could recapture the performance I had lost by reviewing the earlier charts to see which program I used when the horse was going well. In my training business the average time a horse was in training was two years or longer. I chose clients that wanted this kind of time frame so that I could really make a difference. This way I could create an educated horse that was seasoned.
I could school the horse in a rhythm that brought along the horse with grace and ease. If you are keeping a journal while Sharing Territory, what I would like to suggest is that you keep a journal of your schooling and your riding. This will help to guide you in how to better relate to your horse so that you can find a rhythm with your horse as I did. I would like to suggest that when you use my chart, focus on writing about how you felt, your attitude, and your thinking, and then write from your horse’s perspective what he felt, his attitude, and what he thought as well. In the comment section write about what you accomplished in the schooling sessions. The chart is too small to get all of this written down so put your answers to the chart headings in a journal.
Keeping a journey on each activity as it relates to the quality of your relationship and performance brings more enrichment to the experience you are having with your horse. This will help you in the schooling of your horse as it did for me.
If you would like to share your journey with me, I am sure we all would enjoy reading about your experience and what you gained from it.
Once you have learned how to develop the bond with the Waterhole Rituals and you know how to use them each day as a warm-up to prepare a horse for his lesson, keeping a journal will grow your skill in developing your horse’s performance in his further schooling. This approach I believe will help you to communicate in the most practical and loving way. What it is that you want to achieve is that the training of the horse occurs from interactions of the bond smoothly and effectively. What you also want to achieve is that the journey you experience with your horse in the training process is what grows the bond of friendship to a deeper level. The training experiences should flow with a rhythm that directs you so that the performance is like a dance and a meditation. Hope this blog will bring you and your horse to a better relationship and training experience. Enjoy!
Have a great weekend! Be on the lookout for new horse and human sightings and may the horse be with you.
2015 UPCOMING CLINICS:
Carolyn Resnick - Online Waterhole Rituals Class
Carolyn Resnick - Beyond the Waterhole Rituals Clinic:
Teddie Ziegler - Waterhole Rituals Clinics:
- June 19-21 - New Haven, Missouri
- July 10-12 - Santa Cruz, California
- July 31 - August 2 - Manitoba, Canada
- September 11-13, Bowie, Maryland
- October 9-11, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma