Waving flags, spectators with umbrellas, loud music and hustle and bustle at competitions - naturally, horses respond in such situations by attempting to flee which is firmly anchored in the instincts of herd animals and has ensured survival in the wild. In this video series, Warwick MacLean will introduce you to his training method to help horses become comfortable in unusual situations.
Riding horses today are expected to face all of these challenges with composure and self-confidence. But to do so, they need to develop an understanding of the situations and learn not to react by running away. So that the rider can train his horse accordingly, he must first know how horses learn. There are three types of learning in horses: first, habituation, second, operant conditioning, and third, association.
There are two possibilities to consolidate the success of this work, either by positive reinforcement, that is by rewarding for the desired behavior or by using negative reinforcement, taking something away, e.g. removal of pressure. In either case, consistency is key. The training method is based on working with basic exercises, such as backwards and sideways as well as standing still, this way the foundation for controlled and calm reactions from the horse is established.
Further videos in this series:
Training horses to remain calm in uncomfortable situations Part 2: habituation to objects & noise on the ground
Training horses to remain calm in uncomfortable situations part 3: Getting used to umbrellas
You will learn in this video:
The Australian combines his years of experience in horse behavior training and retraining horses, with his love of dressage, training and competing horses to Grand Prix. Together with his wife, he manages a training stable near Düsseldorf. He also assists with training the horses of Jessica von Bredow-Werndl.> more
The 5-year-old Saint Ledger has only just started his basic training. In this lesson, we concentrate on familiarising him to the rider’s aids and despite being in an unfamiliar environment, relaxing in his body and mind.
Duration: 09:08 Minutes
Those who wish to understand the philosophy of Philippe Karl and his School of Légèreté should firstly understand the theoretical aspects behind it. The foundation of his teachings is harmony and balance between horse and rider. The effectiveness of the rider plays a deciding role on the journey their training takes.
Duration: 10:59 Minutes
The desire of the horse to go forward, combined with bending the hindquarters is the basis of a good piaffe. Philippe Karl uses various exercises to teach his horses the piaffe and bring them into perfect balance. Every horse can learn to passage correctly when one sensitively combines the Spanish walk with the trot, something the world-renowned trainer has seen continually happen over the years.
Duration: 21:17 Minutes
Once the horse has been familiarised to the effects of the double bridle on the ground, Philippe Karl then continues this from the saddle. He rides using the Fillis hold, enabling the use of the two bits separately.
Duration: 09:16 Minutes
The successful halt is the key to good riding and based on the aids coming together correctly. There is hardly any other exercise that is applied so often yet with so little sureness and knowledge.
Duration: 16:05 Minutes