Stacy Westfall: Patience in Training Horses

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When working with horses, we all know it’s important to have patience, but sometimes it can feel like a struggle. In most cases, you will find one of two causes for running out of patience: a lack of knowledge or an unrealistic goal. These two issues tend to be tied together.

For example, if you’ve experienced a lack of patience while trying to load your horse in the trailer, you would probably have benefited from having more ideas to persuade him to go into the trailer; in other words, greater knowledge of how to fix the problem. You were also probably headed somewhere, like a horse show or a trail ride. In this case, trailer loading had the added pressure of needing to happen immediately, an unrealistic goal (given the short timeline).

When you feel your patience tested, first try to extend your time frame, and then make a mental note to acquire more knowledge and follow through on it.

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This article originally appeared in the March 2012 issue of Horse Illustrated. Click here to subscribe.

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