Today’s training tip comes from a true legend in the horse industry, the one and only Bob Avila.
Build a Horse That is Happy to Show
I gallop my horses harder in the warm up pen before and after I show. If every time I go in the pen I ride my horse the hardest, then why is he going to want to go back in?
If every time I went to work it was constant hard work and when I got home, I could put my feet up and have a martini – I’m not going to want to go back to work.
Now, I don’t know if I can make going in the show pen as relaxing for my horse as having a martini, but why not try?
We all have some nervous energy when we’re showing, and your horse is no different, he knows that he’s going to do a job. Sometimes I’ll go in the pen, sit there and straighten my hat before we start our pattern, and that’s not because my hat needs straightening – it’s just to give my horse time to relax.