How to Synchronize Your Horse During Training

This is something I love to do when they’re not paying attention to me, I like to bring them back. I especially like getting them to synchronize with me. When you get them synchronizing with you, it creates a ‘lock on’. Just like the military has missiles that lock on their target, I want my horses locking onto me. I want them to want to be with me instead of their herd buddies. I want me and my horse to be in a bubble and the rest of the world is out there somewhere. Not only is it good training, but it’s also peaceful. It somehow makes the world right and of course, the advantage of your horse locking onto you is you can teach him incredible things.

When your horse doesn’t lock on, don’t get all fired up about it. He’s probably not being a jerk, he’s just a horse and they do that. Accept it. Then work to get their attention more consistently. Think of it as a blob of clay. The artist is presented with a blob of clay. He warms it up, pictures in his mind what he wants it to look like and starts molding it. There’s a huge lesson right there. What do you want your horse to look like, what goal are you shooting for? Do you go out and mess with your horse with no particular outcome in mind? Or are you shooting for something? How can you hit a target when you don’t know what your target is?

So, here’s a target for you to hit. Get your horse to synchronize with you. Take him for a walk (in hand). As you walk, enjoy yourself. Look at the scenery. When you’re ready, start changing your walking speed. Just slow it down for a little bit. Is your horse mimicking you? Then slow it down even more – in fact, take one step about every second. Is your horse synchronizing with you? When you step…does he step? After you’ve walked r-e-a-l slow and you feel silly because the neighbors are wondering what you’re doing, start speeding up again. No need to suddenly take off and try to catch him off guard…that’s not fair. But you can start walking faster and even get up to a jog if you’re so inclined. Then stop and when you rest and he rests. Make sure he’s not crowding you. Now ask him to move his hindquarters. When he does, leave him alone for a moment. Then walk again. Repeat with different gaits and movements. You will be shocked at what this simple exercise will do for you and your horse. Not only is it fun, but it’s also a great way to keep your weight in check – which people like me need.

Here are two more things to know. When you lead your horse and you’re on his left side (which is the way it typically is), start off walking with your right foot. Why? Because your horse can see that. If you start off with your left foot, he can’t tell you are moving, and he’ll lag behind. Then you’ll be pulling him. You don’t want to pull him. Remember, synchronicity.

Provided by reader Andy Curry

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