Anderson on Clyde [Photo: submitted]
‘Going slow to go fast’ is a phrase that is all too underrated when training a horse in every step of the process.
A small day of riding with Jacob Anderson solidified, ‘going slow to go fast’ once again while trying to accomplish training young horses in the performance horse industry.
“Sometimes in the learning process for both horse and rider, you have to fail to be able to learn,” said Anderson. “I never learned anything training a horse when the ride went just perfect, I learned when things were bad. If you can’t get suppleness, relaxation, confidence and balance at a walk, you’re not going to get it at a lope or a run.”
To the arena dirt we went — everything that I was trying to do that day was in a manner of telling my horse, rather than teaching it.
Anderson worked on slowing my hands down and making minor body adjustments to allow my horse to have a clear communication line of what I was trying to ask. This can be implemented in any drill, stop, or balance adjustment that needed made.
“Horses learn by the repetition and release. The clearer, softer and quicker the release can happen for a horse when it does the required maneuver, the faster they learn,” said the coach.
Also, those rewards can be just letting your horse stand for three to four minutes on a relaxed rein, absorbing what has happened. Horses learn by being allowed time to process, much like children. Sometimes these little reminders are needed from an outsider’s perspective.
Anderson said that we all need to ride with other people occasionally, even if we have a program that is working for us. “I get tuned on and drilled on, not aware I was even doing something wrong for a while. Even when we think we are doing something right and aware of it, a second set of eyes tells us more.”
Anderson explained that a lot of riders want the instant fix and the instant win. He said that going slower in the beginning and through the training process actually helps gets the long-term results most competitors are after.
By the end of the rides, the horses were quiet, licking their lips, calm and more confident. These are traits any horseman looks for to make their program stronger and faster…. eventually!
For more on Anderson and his pen of horses, visit Lucky Diamond A Performance Horses on Facebook.
Tisa Peek is a long time horse trainer, competitor in barrel racing and team roping, and writer about the equine. Rodeo and horses run deep in her roots. JT Family Equine is where she calls home, south of Bismarck, ND. Tisa, along with her husband, Jon, and boys, Blu and River, train horses, host horse camps for youth, and provide riding lessons.