I get a lot of comments from folks that go to my dancing horse show that are horseman’s themselves and most comments are that I have the horses dancing without any movement from me. They want to know how I accomplish this. I get asked that question almost on a daily basis.
Before I answer I would like to say that anyone could do what I do if they want to put in the time that it takes. Sometimes it takes me years to train a horse to do these precision movements. I have developed a technique on how to extend my cues. It may give the appearance that the horse is actually dancing on his own, but as most horsemen know the horse will not do it on his own.
It is like going to a magic show, it is an illusion. David Copperfield may have an elephant or a building disappear in front of your eyes but you know that cannot be true. It is just an illusion and it makes for great entertainment.
My technique is sometimes misinterpreted as a short cut to training, but it is not. It is just extending the cues and refining it to a point that there is very little movement in my legs and since I have trained horses in nine different disciplines and many in between.
In my 47 years of training horses I understand him more now and find it easier to communicate with him. Some of the cues I was taught long ago, this was a starting point for me. Through the years I developed my own technique. A trainer many years ago when I first started told me to always have an open mind. Learn from others and use the part that benefits you through their experience (he put it in a different way; he said, “use lots of wet saddle blankets”).
Some folks feel that I do these articles and the Q&A column to sell my products, well that is not true. When I first started my series on RFD TV I had not made any equipment to sell. Instead I thought everyone was like me and wanted to make their own. Well, I got snowballed with requests for me to make and sell my equipment and my technique. I was not prepared to do that but many expressed that if I manufactured a lot of products I could offer it to them cheaper than they could buy it and save them the trouble of doing it themselves. So I scrambled as fast as I could to get some manufactured. My two months contract with the network was almost up before they were ready.
When I send my reader to my web site it is because there is a lot of information and a free training video aired every week. Just like these articles and my Q & A column I do not get paid to do this. All of my advice is from my own experiences. I never do research or give advice other than what I have experienced myself. I don’t know if this is different from other trainers or not since I don’t see or read their methods.
If I am able to share my experiences with others so that it want take them as long as it took me to understand and communicate with this magnificent animal called the horse, then is it all worth it to me. If someone misunderstands my motives I am sorry. I am a simple man writing in a language that most people understand.
I remember a good friend of mine showing me a video on dressage from a master from another country. Since she knows my technique and I have worked with her for years she asked why his method was so complicated and different from mine. I told her that his training is almost exactly what I am doing it is just that he uses a language and terms that is hard to understand. I have added to the basic technique and added to it in a more simple form. He is exactly right in what he is saying but it is hard to understand from a layman’s point of view. It took me a lot of years to understand it myself.
I do not do dressage anymore but I still teach the movements in a simple way and most of the time in a less time it would take the other way. It is not a short cut it is just using my experiences that I have in the different disciplines. It is the horse training technique that I am showing you not the discipline itself.
I hope I have answered some questions that you may have and thanks for the many calls, letters, and e-mails. You are quite welcome for your thank yous.
See ya next month. As always your friend,