Now that I'm meeting new friends in the blogosphere, I'd like to pose a question that I've been mulling over alot recently: Does a horse enjoy being trained? I've read that horses want to feel useful, so I think that they should enjoy learning if it is presented to them in a kind and engaging manner.
Silk was incredibly well-trained by two famous Western trainers, Charlie Cole and Cynthia Cantleberry. Then, she was sold to several people, and along the way, someone abused her. When I bought her, I had to work hard to earn her trust and affection, but her training under saddle was impeccable --far beyond my wildest dreams. When I ride her, I just have to think what I want to do and she does it. She teaches me much more than any horse I've ever ridden. Now, I face the challenge of training her daughter, Siete, to be as sensitive and responsive as SIlk.
When she was born, my cowboy mentor, Joe, warned me, "This little horse is really smart. She'll learn the bad things just as fast as she learns the good things." I think that I've got a basically well-mannered five year old. But I want her training sessions to be something that she looks forward to doing. I understand about always ending on a good note. And about trying to do a little "ranch patrol" or trail riding after working in the ring. I guess I'm looking for suggestions of ways to make it all more meaningful for Siete.
Am I crazy? Do I ask for too much? What can I do so that she looks forward to being ridden?