Do you have a Maintenance Plan?

2  comments

I wanted to update everyone on the Stallion Series training with Danny and Kit. Both stallions did great with their initial training and socialization and are now doing really well in their latest training to be backed and ridden.

It’s a wonderful sight to see how they love their training and look forward to each session. Plus they are so eager to learn they whinny every time I pull into the driveway. They just can’t get enough. Even Though Danny is going a bit slower than Kit, he is still coming along great.

Danny has so much energy and is so excited to be learning new things. I love to see his positive energy even though sometimes he is a little hard to handle. But, we are still having fun together.

Kit, on the other hand, is now ready for me to get on him after just a few sessions. It’s amazing how quickly he has come along and how much he loves to learn as well. He is such an attention hound and just loves to be close and do things with me.

They are both so different now as opposed to when I first met them. They are happy, loving, and amazingly willing horses that just want to spend time with me. I love it!

But what now?

Have you ever received exactly what you’ve always wanted, or finished a particular training, and then thought – what’s next?

Maybe you’ve had that feeling, like me right now, that everything is going so well, how do you keep it going? How do you maintain the great results? How do you maintain the success you’ve accomplished? What else can you do?

It is so easy to reach one goal and then look too quickly to move on to another goal. But moving too fast and doing too much, back to back, actually can hurt your training. And it can take your development in the wrong direction by allowing you and your horse to forget past lessons.

Maintenance is very important and I think it gets the least amount of thought when training horses. Lots of people are always on the go, go, go. But pausing and enjoying your results is just as important, if not more so.

I’ve seen people go from clinic to clinic, learning every new trick or new method out there as fast as possible. But once they get what they want, or even partial results, they just move on to the next thing without taking the time to “cement” the learning.

Maintenance not only helps you retain what you’ve learned, but it gives your horse time for the learning to sink in and stick. That pausing and ‘letting it sink in’ reinforces the results you’ve accomplished with your horse.

When you don’t stop to take the time you and your horse need to pause, practice, and enjoy the results, it lessens the importance of the lessons to both you and your horse.

For example…

If you have a speech to learn for a very important presentation, and you need to memorize it, most people will read it over and over and practice and practice until they have the words memorized, the inflections down perfectly, and the whole speech planned out. Even down to the body language.

At least, this is what I did when I was preparing for my brother’s wedding ceremony.

Normally when someone has to do a special presentation like that, they don’t start working on another speech BEFORE they actually do the first speech. That would be very confusing and it may even erase some of the memories from the first speech.

I know it would be very confusing and almost impossible for me to do.

So, don’t do this with you horse!

After you have trained or learned something new with your horse, practice it until you get the results you want.

And then, instead of immediately moving on to something else new…

  • Take some time to pause and enjoy the results and your success.
  • Take some time to have fun together and keep working on what you just learned.
  • Repeat things you have learned in the past together to refresh those lessons.
  • Add in the new things you’ve learned together to cement those lessons into memory.
  • Come up with a maintenance plan that incorporates everything that you’ve learned that you want to keep fresh.

Here are some tips on how to set up a maintenance plan for you and your horse:

  1. Pick out the lessons that you and your horse enjoyed the most
  2. Pick out the lessons that you felt you got the best results
  3. Pick out the lessons that you want to continue to practice in order to get better results
  4. Write all of these lessons down
  5. Then figure out a schedule that works for you and your horse (once a day, 3 times a week, etc.) where you can work on one lesson at a time
  6. Have fun

Once you have all that down, be flexible.

You can have a plan, but be able to adjust it for what your horse wants to do that day as well.

Work with your horse and enjoy learning and practicing together.

When you go out to your horse, check him out to see what kind of mood he or she is in, see what you both “feel” like working on, and then do it. If things don’t go so well, don’t be afraid to switch and do another lesson. It’s ok to adjust at any time.

Keep the learning process as positive as possible. Always end on a good note.

This will help strengthen your training, solidify your lessons, and create a deeper bond between you and your horse.

Don’t forget your maintenance plan.

Would you like to see how it all began with Danny Boy’s and Kit’s training? Well, now you can right here at no cost:

​​https://teddiezieglerhorsemanship.com/academy/programs/the-stallion-series-preview/

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  • Sonja Gustafsson says:

    Hi Teddie, your post fits so well today as I had to change my plan with Mille and felt a little disappointed. When I now read your recommendation, I feel much better. That’s exactly how I should have done it. Yes, what did I do then? Mille was stubborn and did not want to take more than one step at a time when we rode out. OK, I thought, I jumped off and led him on the walk, although I thought he should be able to cope as he was accompanied by another horse with rider. Now and then even the other horse was a little nervous, could be due to the wind blowing a lot? Anyway, I walked next to the horse the whole walk and Mille felt very calm and willing and that was the important thing for me. So the question comes, why be disappointed then? Thank you Teddie, you highlight what is important in horse training!

    • I’m glad the post was beneficial and helped remind you about what’s important to you. You did the right thing for you and your horse by getting off and reassuring Mille that you’re there for him and you’re listening. I’m sure that made him feel even more connected to you. I’m sure next time out on that same trail he will be more confident. Keep up the good work! 🙂

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