Answers to Favourite Questions
Who was the first natural horseman?
Simon of Athens, whose work is sadly lost was considered by Xenophon some twenty three centuries ago to have been such a person. Read my book (available shortly by download) to find out what I think about people who had read his works in antiquity, then adopted the secrets contained therein as demonstrated by their successful horsemanship and lives.
What is the most important emotion which humanity shares with equines, at the same level?
Fairness is I believe the only one. It is also my secret to the patterned control that is the physical element giving horses something to depend on about humanity. It’s only then through this emotionality that they can associate fairness into our relationship with them - to help them see their world through our eyes.
Why do horses learn from repetition?
Horses love patterns as much as we appear to do and I often think they show a natural autism in their natures as prey animals as a result, if things go wrong. The different gaits of horses are perhaps their best audible communication; when the rhythm breaks as one horse slips, every horse that hears it becomes unsettled.
What is your biggest secret of training horses?
Young horses get bored easily, so humans must be aware that through repetition, normally minded horses learn quicker than we could ever possibly imagine. Every moment I see any horse anticipate my repetition in training, I determine from this body language that a neural connection has been made and it makes me stop instantly, to nurture and hold its development. I instantly reward the horse by getting off and giving praise, to imaginatively stabilise the synapses. I will then leave any such training manoeuvre well alone. When the horse has responded in such a way for up to a week or even longer, I allow the horse to digest or pass the concept into its long-term memory.
The beauty of this training development is that the horse relates to such an activity so naturally and passively, allowing the manoeuvre to be passed with no further persecution into its long term memory. The next time I train the manoeuvre, I’ll perceive, a dramatic improvement.