By Any Means Necessary? Clinton Anderson’s Training Tip of the Week

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When working with your horse, you need to have the mentality: Do what you have to do to get the job done. Do it as easy as possible, but as firm as necessary. Whether it takes just a look to make the horse move, or whacking him ten times as hard as you can, do whatever it takes to get the job done. Notice I didn’t say “Do what you have to do unless you feel uncomfortable and then just quit doing it.” That’s what a lot of people do though. They understand that they need to be firmer with their horse when he is disrespectful, but they don’t like the idea of reprimanding him and increasing the pressure. But here’s the bad news: Every time a horse calls your bluff and you back off, you lose a lot of respect. Every time you threaten that he is going to get it and you don’t follow through, it gets worse for the next time. It’s just like with kids, if you make hollow threats, they know that they don’t have to take you seriously, and as a result they get more disrespectful. When you’re working with your horse, always do what you have to do and follow through. Do it as easy as possible, but as firm as necessary.

Um, all the emphasis is mine. I don’t think I need to say anything else.

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