Let them kick the bed Learn­ing from mis­takes

NZ Horse & Pony - - Masterclass -

THE NEXT ex­er­cise is a nor­mal six-stride line and Sean re­minds Devon not to get too picky, but to just let her horse can­ter and jump.

“This is one of those horses who, the more you try and do, the more it’s go­ing to fight you. You have to let these ones learn from their mis­takes,” he ex­plains. “If they run you in deep and hit the fence, it’s go­ing to hurt, so they’re not go­ing to do it too many times. It’s the same as us: if we walk around the edge of the bed and kick it, the next time we’re go­ing to walk right around the side of the bed. If they make a mis­take and have a fence down, hope­fully they’re clever enough to try and help them­selves and jump it dif­fer­ently.

“Ev­ery­one tries to man­u­fac­ture the horses too much and make them go a cer­tain way, but then they never ac­tu­ally learn to go for them­selves. I’ve had quite a few horses to fix that have been man­u­fac­tured their whole life and then all of a sud­den some­thing has gone wrong but they’ve never learned to look af­ter them­selves and it makes their life so much harder. You have to train them that if they are a bit off or a bit deep, they have to jump. If they put them­selves in that po­si­tion, they have to fig­ure out how to get out of it.”

When Chez gets a bit deep and knocks down a fence, Sean says ‘he’s just kicked the edge of the bed – hope­fully he’ll learn from it.’ He tells Devon her ride was ab­so­lutely per­fect and not to change a thing. Sure enough, next time around, Chez jumps care­fully (right).

“He was look­ing for him­self and jumped that fan­tas­ti­cally,” says Sean.

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