Methodical Training Process - Overview

Each of you has a DREAM of what you would like to do with your horse/s. Each of you has a different GOAL in mind. To get to that goal, you take your horse through a TRAINING PROCESS. The training process starts with a CUE, a signal, which at the beginning of the session does not mean anything to your horse YET, but it IS a signal that can be GIVEN/assigned a meaning. By methodically taking your horse through the teaching stages of connecting this cue to a meaning, so that this cue eventually becomes meaningful and well known to your horse, you establish communication with your horse, a language that the two of you understand. And it is that SIMPLE

  • 4 Categories of Cues
  • The Training Process
  • Methodical Training Stages 
1. CUES by TOOLS/TECHNIQUES (Physical- involves contact); f.e. stick, whip, string, rope, halter, spur, flag ...
2. VOCAL CUES (Sound); f.e. cluck, smooch, whoa, words (walk, trot, canter), easy/hummm, names (calling each horse at liberty)
3. VISUAL CUES (Body language/Intention); f.e. signals, movement (forward, away, direction - to the side), focus
4. TACTILE CUES (Feel/Touch by body part); f.e. weight shift, body energy/or tension, seat position, leg position, press of a hand, body position
Categories of Cues VIDEO 1 of 2
Categories of Cues VIDEO 1 of 2
  1.  CUES - 4 Categories; by Tools (physical), Vocal, Visual, Tactile
  2. INGREDIENTS - Body Control on the Ground and Under Saddle - Guide Whole Horse, Guide Body Parts
  3. MANEUVERS/OBSTACLES - Depending on your horse's discipline, f.e. spins, stops, roll backs, flying lead changes, piaffe, passage, levade, pirouette, leg yield, half pass, transitions, circles, straight lines/run downs, barrel racing turns, water crossing, crossing bridges, roping, dragging a log, jumping logs, jumps, obstacles, cutting a cow, following/tracking a cow, etc...
  4. PATTERNS - Reining, Freestyle (imagination), Ranch Riding, Trail, Western/English Dressage, Stadium/Cross Country Jumping, Barrel Racing, Roping, Poles, Cutting Trail Riding, Showmanship, Horsemanship (f.e. at AQHA/or open shows), Endurance Races, Racing, Polo, Obstacles Races, etc... =PERFORMANCE/ROUTINE
The Training Process- VIDEO
"from Cues to Performances"
Methodical Training/Teaching Stages 
  1. Teaching Stage;  Pick a maneuver (from your discipline) that you wish to train your horse, isolate ingredients needed to train the maneuver, create one CUE at a time for each ingredient. Teach your horse: "When I CUE like this, it means for you to do this".        SLOW PHASES: CUE->press bubble->enter bubble->motivate by increasing intensity->cause change of thought/then behavior->release->wait for horse to process it->repeat 3-7x (or 21+times if undoing an old habit)
  2. Reinforcing/Refining Stage; CUE becomes lighter, becomes WELL KNOWN to the horse, the response is quicker. "When I CUE like this, you KNOW it means this and eventually it becomes muscle memory to you." QUICKER RESPONSE: CUE->CUE (wait, keep asking)->CUE (wait, keep asking)->motivate by increasing intensity more than in teaching stage = teaches your horse to "pay attention to the refined lighter cue"->release+reward with positive reinforcement (ideally treats if possible)
  3. Layering/Combining Stage;  Replace the WELL KNOWN CUE with a cue from another category of cues, then combine the two cues (or more eventually). "When I use this CUE, it means the same as when I use the WELL KNOWN CUE". LAYERING:  Different/new CUE->wait->WELL KNOWN CUE
Methodical Training Stages  VIDEO
A Practical Example; One Cue from each Category for the Back Up In Hand 

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