Empowering Equestrians to Train their own horse with 100% Force Free & Horse Friendly methods

Is the translation of a Latin saying. A saying with a long history starting with the Romans. Festina lente, maybe you’ve heard of it.

To me this has proven a very valuable oxymoron  and it is one of my favourite personal mantras in horse training. If you take the time it takes, than it takes less time.

So many times I wanted a result right away, but couldn’t get it. These are perfect moments to remind myself: make haste slowly. To take the time to step back and rethink my strategy. Reminding myself to make haste slowly has helped me in so many ways.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Prevent frustration

If you consider your training goals first and make a plan before you start training your horse, it helps prevent pitfalls that lead to frustration. Don’t only focus on the goal, the result but also take into consideration the way that leads to your goal.

Don’t forget: you are part of a team

In horse training/riding it is not only about your results. You have to take your equine partner into consideration.

When I just started Kyra under the saddle I wanted to canter. My (classical) dressage trainer said: ‘Just wait, she will offer canter when she’s ready’. But… I wanted it ‘now’. ‘Kyra was already 6 weeks under saddle,’ was my argument. ‘If professional trainers could teach a horse to walk, trot and canter within 6 weeks after starting a horse under saddle, why couldn’t I do it?’

I took my trainers advise and didn’t push it. One day Kyra indeed offered canter under saddle. Since I use a bridge signal and rewards, I could clearly communicate to Kyra that this was what I wanted. I gave her a jackpot (a really, really reinforcing reward). From that day on ‘canter’ was part of our repertoire. I was glad I waited until Kyra was ready and I was glad I listened to the advise of my wise trainer. But it was hard…. I wanted quick results so badly.

Now I know from my own experience that Festina lente is one of the best mantras one can have when educating a horse. Learning can’t be rushed. I think Kyra’s canter wouldn’t have been so balanced if I had rushed her. I probably would have damaged our relationship by asking her something to do which she couldn’t do at the time. Something that’s very clear in hindsight.

I think ‘set yourself and your horse up for success’ goes hand in hand with Festina lente. What are your favourite mantras in horse training?

Sandra Poppema
For tailored positive reinforcement training advise, please visit my website and book a personal consult!

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Comments on: "My favourite motto is… Make haste slowly…" (6)

  1. terrybg said:

    I have a similar training mantra: the slower you go, the faster you’ll get there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are so right! I still have some trouble with it, to be honest. Every now and then I just want things too quickly. But luckily I have a rather strong minded horse that immediately tells me it isn’t going to happen right away. So I will have to wait, and be patient.

    Like

    • Thank you, Inge. You are right, it IS sometimes hard to stay in synch with your horses learning curve.

      Another reader commented on FB on this post and shared her motto: The slower you go, the faster you will arrive. I love that one too. Just as a reminder. The reminder we all need from time to time. 🙂

      Like

  3. O wow, I recognize myself in this post. Sometimes I want results very badly, but taking the right amount of time leads to so much better results. But that might be very difficult sometimes!
    Thanks for sharing this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] Feed him in the arena. If you have an outdoor arena where patches of grass grow, let him find them. So he can display his exploration behaviour. Don’t forget: it can take some time before a negative association changes into a positive one. Make haste slowly. […]

    Like

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