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Are your hands slow enough?

Don Jessop

Slow your roll.

Your hands may need to slow down. Fast hands equals poor horsemanship. (Except in emergency mode)

There are two basic modes of horsemanship. Mode one is training. (The art of teaching new skills.)

Mode two is emergency training. (The art of shutting down undesirable behaviors such as bucking, biting, rearing, running off etc.)

The first mode, training mode, requires slow signals and support sequences repeated on a cycle with rewards. Jerky, fast hands interrupt the calm mindset needed to retain new information. Horses can actually learn to respond to fast signals like sudden kicks to go forward and rapid hands shaking the reins to get the head down or something like that but it's less than ideal. Its inelegant to say the least. Horses learn best with smooth, slow, steady application of pressure, laced with soft releases and nice rewards. Any suddenness involved will inevitably cause the horse to question the experience emotionally rather than rationally.

So here's what I'm really saying, just to be clear, when training, don't be jerky, sudden, quick, or rushed in transferring your ideas to your horse. Quick hands make the horse tense. Slow hands give the horse a chance to respond and process the cue. I'd rather see slow and steady than fast and wiggly, jiggly, any day of the week. It demonstrates a clear, kind, trainer mindset. Follow the master's and you'll see they all do the same things. Slow hands (Except in emergency mode) are the fundamentals of mastery.

​Thanks for reading. Good luck out there.

Don Jessop - Blog Welcome

Hi! I'm Don Jessop

With Mastery Horsemanship

I write to inspire, educate and encourage you on your horse and personal journey.

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