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

Posts tagged ‘time’

How to use a training logbook for your horse

A training diary can be a valuable tool in achieving your training goals if you know how. A logbook is not ‘just a diary’ where you describe what you did that day. In order to get the most out of your training diary keep these tips in mind.

Purpose of journaling
The reason to keep a logbook is to keep track of your achievements and learn from it. Therefor you need to write down your goal(s) and your progress. If you don’t write these down, it is hard to remember them correctly. You can get the feeling of ‘never achieving’ because your mind will adjust your goals and your achievements like a horizon. You will never arrive… As soon as you write some of your goals down, your subconcious will start looking for ways to get there. Keeping a logbook can help you keep motivated.

Learn from experience
If you want to learn as much as possible from your experience you have to be honest and write down the things that you can learn from.

Keep it positive
Practice writing everything down in a positive way, so it is nice to read back. Instead of writing down ‘I was impatient and lost my temper’ phrase it like this ‘I became frustrated because my steps were too big. My horse didn’t understand what I wanted and I became impatient.’

In this way you will find a solution to handle the situation in the future: you ‘lumped’ your criteria. Next time you can decide to stop your training and take a moment to figure out how to ‘split’ the criteria in smaller steps or adjust the context of training so your horse will understand quicker what you want. In this way you set yourself and your horse up for success.

Read here to read 4 easy ways to start a  training journal (opens in a new window).

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Lessons learned
It is also a valuable to write down all the things that went right. This makes you aware of the lessons you’ve are already learned. It also makes you aware of your strengths as a trainer. After updating your logbook for a while you will see a pattern: the points of learning have turned into things that went right. This is very motivating.

Keep it balanced
Make sure the points for improvement are not outbalancing the things that went right. We all have the tendency to focus too much on things that went ‘wrong’, but that won’t help you form a realistic picture of you as a trainer. There are always a lot of thing you have already mastered. They are important, too.

If you write down three things to change in your next training, also write down three things you are content about. This may feel uneasy to you in the beginning, but positive reinforcement is all about focusing on the things that go (in the) right (direction), in order to get more of it.

You can also split it between the things your horse did well and the things you, as trainer, did well. Example: ‘my horse was interested in my training for half an hour’, ‘my horse made progress in exercise X’, ‘I have set my horse up to succeed by keeping my criteria clear’, ‘I kept my training sessions short and sweet by counting the treats in my pocket before I started’.

Goals achieved
Celebrate achieving your goals: make a picture or video to remember, share it with friends, your coach or your accountability partner. Enjoy your achievements big and small!

Timeline
A training diary also helps you to keep track of your timeline and practice hours. Did it take as long as you expected? You can write how long your training sessions are. Maybe you are used to thinking in ‘weeks or months’ to achieve something, I think it is more useful and realistic to think in the amount of training sessions or training days.

Example: Instead of ‘It took me 3 months to teach my horse to lift his legs for the farrier’ a logbook can help you see ‘it took 12 weeks: each week we practiced 4 days. Each day consisted out of 5 training sessions of 6 minutes max.’ Now you know you only practiced 28 days (not three months/ 90 days) and each day you practiced a maximum of 30 minutes a day. The training took 14 hours in total to achieve your goal. That sounds different than ‘three months’, right?

A training diary is all about making yourself conscious. Keep it motivating and phrase things in a positive way so it will be pleasant to read back.

 

Tell me about your training logbook!

Here is the clicker training logbook I use and give away for FREE:
Free Clicker Training Logbook – Word version: free_training-logbook-made-by-hippologic-2016-word
Free Clicker Training Logbook – Pdf file: free_training-logbook-made-by-hippologic-2016

Sandra Poppema
For tailored advise, please visit my website

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My 5 best investments for my horse

What is the best investment you did that improved your horse’s life? While I was pondering about this question multiple things came up. In a random order I’ll give you my 5 best investments below.

1) Knowledge
I’ve spent hours and hours reading about horse behaviour, their needs, health and training. boeken_hippologic_kennisWhen I was editor at a publishing house which specialized in animal books I traveled by train. For four years I read 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon, on my way back home. Every single day. And at work I read about pets and horses too! I also invested time in watching YouTube videos, attending demo’s and clinics and taking and giving lessons. The best way to learn something is to teach it, is what they say.

2) Time
It takes time to learn new skills. I took me hours and hours of practice to master riding, taking care of horses, training them and teaching them new behaviours and so on. Time is a really good investment. One of my favourite sayings about time is: Take the time it takes, then it takes less time. So, invest time in yourself and in your horse. It pays back really well.

3) Boarding

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Mees, Ziggy & Kyra (left)

An expensive monthly investment is boarding your horse. I have really high standard for boarding facilities. It must have everything to make my horse happy: they must be living in a herd, have 24/7 access to roughage & water, shelter and room to exercise daily. And besides that, I have a few requirements myself: access to trails, indoor/outdoor, a washroom and I also value nice human company. The only thing that grows by sharing is happiness, right?

Most important of all: the facility must provide excellent care for my horse. Because that saves me a lot of worrying. Sleepless nights and worrying all day about the safety or health of my horse kills my happiness instantly.

4) Cavesson
I just love my cavesson. When I bought it I thought it was way too expeKONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAnsive, but all my knowledgeable horse friends recommended a cavesson. I am very grateful I listened. And I am grateful for my friend Saskia who convinced me to buy one without a polstered chain in the nose band.

My Vienna cavesson, with a nice soft leather padded nose band, has proven to be a very versatile piece of equipment. I’ve used it almost every day for the past 5 years. It is still nice and beautiful after all those years and it is a very gentle piece of tack.

5) Clicker
The cheapest investment and one that is even more versatile than my Vienna cavesson, is my clicker. It is such a powerful tool to communicate to animals once you know how to use it. If you can think it, you can train it!

Let me know what your 5 best investments in your horse are.

Sandra Poppema
For tailored advise, please visit my website

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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