Here’s my “10 year old boy” version of the “10 year old girl training” that was mentioned in last week’s horse-human relationship video. If this gets you thinking about your own horse training, please sign up to be notified of updates.
Summary of the My Version of 10 Year Old Girl Training Video
– Howdy, friends, my name is Paul Sherland with SaddleUpAgain.com. Last week, I talked a little bit about a change in the horse-human relationship with my horse and with all my horses. I mentioned a video titled “10-Year-Old Girl Training” by Warwick Schiller. I wanted to talk a little bit more about that video, “10-Year-Old Girl Training,” and how it kind of helped me change course with my horse and where I went from there and also what is my version of 10-year-old girl training.
What Does Warwick’s Video Cover?
The video, as I say, is by Warwick Schiller. He’s an international equine clinician. He was, I guess, at an event called Equidays in New Zealand. He was part of the program. He was supposed to do a program on problem solving under saddle. They brought a horse in. There was no saddle on the horse. He asked about the horse. He was told that it was owned by a 10-year-old girl. She rode the horse bareback. He figured, “No problem.”
So, he climbed on the horse bareback, and the horse almost threw him. If you watch the video, you’ll see some pretty impressive pictures of the horse doing acrobatics with Warwick on his back. Warwick worked with the horse for awhile and was able to kind of get some turns in but came away from it with the idea that the horse was maybe half-trained, didn’t have much training at all.
Later on that day, he was part of a judging panel for a kid’s class. The kids performed with their horses. He saw this horse come in to compete with the 10-year-old girl. The horse was amazing. The team was amazing. One of the things that Warwick said the girl and her horse were able to do is first, they rode across about a 10-foot long balance beam, a real narrow board, and through some other obstacles, I guess. Then she performed with her horse at liberty, and the horse walked down the balance beam at liberty. This is putting one foot in front of the other to stay on the beam. So, it was an amazing demonstration of training by this young lady.
Warwick, I got to give him a lot of credit because he was humble enough to talk about this and to say, “My evaluation was that this horse “was half-trained, but with this young lady, “this horse really seemed to be well-trained “and worked really well with this young lady.” Watch the video.
How Does My Experience as a 10 Year Old Boy Relate?
It got me thinking about my 10-year-old boy experience. I got a horse when I was 10. I was a horse-crazy kid. My version of 10-year-old boy training was to work with this horse. The horse was a bucker. He bucked me off a bunch of times. He bucked my father off. My father rode him once, and the ride lasted about 100 yards. My father got bucked off; never rode him again.
This was not a beginner-gentle horse, but we turned into a great team. I barrel raced him; I did all kinds of gymkhana events with him. I rode him in the trails. We had a state park near our house. He was a great horse. I didn’t have a lot of instruction at the time. My main instruction was this book called “Horse Fever.” I also got books from “Western Horseman” magazine. This was about it. I also took six lessons from a local riding stable.
Other than that, it was pretty much me and the horse working to form a partnership. I took care of him, I fed him, I groomed him, I picked his feet, I checked on him. I spent a lot of time with the horse. That time, I think, was the crucial ingredient.
What is 10-year-old girl training or 10-year-old boy training? From my perspective, from my experience, and after thinking about it over a series of months, I came away with the idea and with the memories of spending a lot of time with my horse. It was focused time. My attention was on the horse.
The Benefit of Undemanding Time with Your Attention on Your Horse
We didn’t have cell phones back then. We didn’t even have portable… Maybe there were portable radios. I didn’t have one. There were very few distractions. No distractions, really. So, I spent a lot of time just working with this horse. It paid off. That’s what I think the 10-year-old girl or 10-year-old boy training actually is. That’s my idea of 10-year-old girl training, 10-year-old boy training.
You spend a lot of time with a horse, but it’s attention time. Your attention is on the horse. It’s not, well, you’re there but you’re thinking about something else, or you’re on a tight schedule and you’re thinking about something else. You’re not really watching the horse. This is attention on the horse.
It’s also not demanding time. So, it’s not doing exercises. It’s not in the arena. It’s not doing ground work. It’s not doing riding exercises. It might be scratching the horse. It might be grooming the horse. Maybe it’s picking the horse’s feet, feeding the horse, maybe pasture grazing but with your attention on the horse. It may be taking the horse for a walk, but it’s not demanding. It’s not structured, but there is attention. You’re paying attention to the horse.
Undemanding Time with Attention Helps You Build Trust and Confidence with Your Horse
I started doing that with that gray horse that was in the video last week. It just paid huge dividends. It’s a different horse. I’ll do another video talking about some of the things that happened with us before the change because he’s a dramatically different horse, and I’m a dramatically, I think, different rider with him. It’s changed my relationship with the other horses, too.
I urge you to take a look at the “10-Year-Old Girl Training” video. You can google it. I’ve got it on another page in my website, too. Take a look at it. Think about it. What does it mean to have undemanding time with your horse? But undemanding time, formless time, perhaps, but with your attention on the horse, not thinking about other things. You’re leaving your stuff at the door when you enter the stall. Your attention is on the horse. You’re not thinking about work, Facebook, or whatever.
Hope this is useful to you. This is Paul Sherland from SaddleUpAgain.com. Thanks for watching the video, folks, and please sign up for our weekly updates. Thank you very much.