How to Create More Training Ideas

Are you running out of ideas what to do with your horse? Especially in winter? I am never out of ideas when I am with Kyra. I always have many suggestions what to work on.

How do I do that? Well, I make goals. Long-term goals and I divide those into short-time goals. Then I divide those into even smaller building blocks, which are my every day ideas to choose from. I write them down in my training journal and then I print out a list to hang in my tack locker.

When Kyra was a still a feral filly I had many little goals to work on every day. Coming towards me instead of jumping into a corner of her stall when I opened a door, touching my hand/target stick/halter, standing still while being touched and so on. These where obvious goals.

What about my daily goals after 5 years of training? Kyra is 6 years old now and  she is almost fully bomb-proof, very athletic and sensible and knows a lot of tricks. Are there any goals left for us to work on? Yes, plenty. If I get stuck I take a look at my long-term goals (10 year plan, 5 year plan, 1 year plan, 12 monthly goals) and I know what to do.

Every ‘dream goal’ has many ‘pillars’, take for instance a dressage level 4 test as one of my ‘ultimate’ goals. One pillar is a collection of all the exercises in that test (half pass, half pirouettes, collected walk, trot, canter, etc).

Another pillar contains all the building blocks to prepare a horse mentally for a competition. At a competition terrain there are many unfamiliar things happening, like music, flags, strange horses, white fences, flower pots and so on.

A third pillar could consist of all the building blocks required to make your horse a happy traveller. A fourth pillar could contain all husbandry skills, like standing still while saddling, braiding, or saddling in a strange environment.

There are hundreds of building blocks one can distill from just one long term goal, like riding a level 4 dressage test. If you make a sketch, it would look like this:

Example of How to Create Many Training Ideas by HippoLogic

If you do the same thing with one behaviour and divide it into very small baby steps, you’ve created a shaping plan.

A shaping plan for ‘targeting‘ can look like this:

Training steps in training plan by Hippologic

Sandra Poppema

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1 Ridiculously Easy (and Rewarding) Thing to Do For the New Year

This is one of the best ideas I learned from Pinterest in 2014. I found it on a website meant for Moms. Since I live in Canada, I am now officially a “Horse Mom” **), so I tried it out. This year I started in September, but next year I will start on January 1st. That is tomorrow.

It is called The Good Things Jar and it said: (I quote from http://momscholar.net/2012/08/16/good-things-jar/ sorry the link doesn’t work anymore.)

“Start the year with an empty jar and fill it with notes about good things that happen. On New Years Eve, empty it and see what awesome stuff happened that year.”

[End of quote]

Since I am really an advocate of emphasizing positive things in horse training and riding, I bought a little notebook with cheerful coloured pages and a pencil. I choose a pencil because they never fail to write on damp paper, and my tack locker can be damp in winter.

Then, whenever I achieved one of my training goals and every time I had an awesome training session I took a minute to write it down on a paper and put it in my jar. My jar is now only filled 1/4, but next year…. it will be very full!

_jar_of_success_hippologic

Hershey clearly fascinated by this idea

Tomorrow, on January 1st, I will read them and I will look back on 2014. Then I will take the time to make a new training plan for 2015.

Happy New Year everybody!

Update: I wrote another post with tips to start a training journal: 4 Easy Ways to Start a Training Journal

*) In The Netherlands people with horses are referred to as “owners” or “boss” or in a cute way “little boss”, never “Mom”. As visual thinker I can’t help thinking about how painful it would be to give birth to a horse. 🙂 Only my wallet thinks it is painful.

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_Kyra_en_ik_hippologic
Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
I help horse owners get the results in training they really, really want with joy and easy for both horse and human. I always aim for win-win!
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Samenvatting maand 2

Kyra en ik hebben samen ontzettend veel bereikt deze tweede maand.

Het is zo leuk om een trainingsdagboek bij te houden. Daardoor kun je elke ontwikkeling nalezen en heb je (ik wel!) eigenlijk altijd een tevreden gevoel over de voortgang. Ik had vooraf helemaal niet gedacht dat ik de vorderingen die ik in de eerste maand heb bereikt, in één maand zou kunnen bereiken. Nu ik lees wat ze in de tweede maand ook allemaal weer heeft bijgeleerd, verbaas ik mezelf opnieuw.

Dit is wat Kyra in de tweede trainingsmaand er bij heeft geleerd:

– Ze komt nu ook naar mij toe in het land

– Ik kan haar in het land ook halsteren

– Ik kan haar meenemen uit een groot land, weg van andere paarden

– Ze durft rustig door een stroomdraadhek te gaan (zonder er doorheen te stormen)

– Ik kan alle hoeven uitkrabben

– Voorhand/achterhand beiden zijden op stappen en achterwaarts

– Met mijn leadrope andere paarden wegjagen in het land als ik Kyra mee neem, zonder dat Kyra daar van schrikt

–  Ze kan twee cirkels in stap, beide kanten op lopen

– Smell tail (inbuig oefening, waar ze met haar neus het puntje van haar staartharen moet aanraken. Dit is een voorbereidende oefening op de one-rein-stop

-Enkele stappen zijwaarts naar rechts en links

– Nauwe doorgangen: ze kan door een weidehek gaan zonder dat het helemaal open is en de andere paarden kunnen ontsnappen. En zonder te rennen. Na het door het hek gaan, draait ze ook nog keurig om zodat ik het hek kan sluiten

– Met een spuitbus antibijt in manen en staart spuiten (zo’n plantenspuit model).

– Opmeten met de stokmaatstok. Ze is niet bang voor de stok

– Vanaf een krukje borstelen. Als voorbereiding op opstijgen vanaf een opstapje, later

– Laten behandelen door osteopaat. Ze laat zich aanraken en behandelen door een volslagen vreemde

Meer weten? Kijk op mijn website www.HippoLogic.nl