Fill Your Tool Boxes
I mention building your tool box, often. What does this mean? It's not just physical equipment. I have options when I'm training horses, because I understand how the bridle and reins work, how to use my body (legs, hands, weight, positioning), timing of when and what to do, and feeling for that timing. This list can be broken down into hundreds of options, or tools, that I can access during training sessions. As a horse trainer, I am teaching and giving my horses tools to use themselves.
When I teach clinics or lessons, I am showing my students tools that they can access and use with their horses. It's not that I "make" the horse (or the students) do what I tell them, but I offer the the tools to be able to do it; then, create the situation where they can think their way through it.
In the beginning, it's the students thinking their way through the process. However, the goal is to get the students to utilize their "tool boxes" or options. Then, the students create the situations to help their horses think through the process. I have come across more riders who have evolved more quickly after learning the right tools to use with their horses. The students do the work. They become the trainers and their horses become their students.
"True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own." ~Nikos Kazantzakis
If you follow our social media, I often mention "building your tool box". It means that you learn options to use when working or riding your horse. Knowing your horse's personality, level of comprehension, and behaviors, helps you determine which "tools" and when to use them. Understanding how your equipment works and how to use it is also vital. Learning how to use your body (legs, hands body weight and positioning) both on the ground and from the saddle, gives more options to choose from and allows you to show your horse correctly.
Attending clinics, taking lessons, and watching training sessions, all provide more insight and instructions toward building tool boxes full of options to access when spending time with your horse.