If my horse won’t stand at the mounting block… it’s because he doesn’t understand the value of NOT standing at the mounting block. In other words, he thinks any position but that position relative to the mounting block is okay. I have to show him it’s not okay to not stand at the mounting block. Then I have to show him it’s amazing, fantastic, and wonderful to do what I ask by rewarding him when he’s getting it.

Position training means you predetermine where and at what speed you want your horse to be. Then you make all other positions less desirable.

Another example of this is cantering on the fence line of the arena. Let’s say you pick up a canter and your horse leaves the fence line, cantering off to the middle of the arena. Do you make a correction? You should! Because if you don’t you are basically telling your horse that moving at speed is more important than moving on track. Imagine if you were sitting next to me in the car and I made that same decision to go for speed instead of staying on the road. What kind of outcome would result in that kind of thinking?

The biggest reason mid-level students don’t progress to advanced or elite levels of horsemanship is exactly this concept. They don’t prioritize the position. Worse yet, they don’t even pre-determine the position. They often just head out with no regard for where they’re going. They travel through space and time like there’s no value in precision. Don’t be like that anymore if you’re passionate about progress. Instead, be like my wife Rachel who spends each ride ensuring the horse stays balanced and calm and precise. During down time you’ll see her let her horse graze or casually stroll around but not during training exercises because she knows the value of the position.

EVERYTHING is position related. Piaffe, passage, canter, flying lead changes, trot, walk, stop, backup straight, haunches in, half passes, spins, rollbacks, trailer loading, liberty stick to me, circle, sideways, two line driving, you name it…

The master trainers all focus on how to position the horse for the maneuver they want to train. If you truly begin to understand this concept, there is no limit to what you can achieve. If you can approach each position with a centered, natural approach you will never upset your horse too much. That means lots of rewards and clear focused actions. Ironically, horses love precision work if it’s done with elegance. They become smarter, calmer, more balanced, more thoughtful, more patient. Some might even say happier because an unfocused horse is often an anxious horse.

Remember these three “p’s.” Let them be your guide to progress.

Patience, Persistence, and Position

All else is just a subcategory of progress. This is the main course.

If you want to dive into the subcategories then jump on board with our Horse Mastery Group. We’ll connect every single week in a live video conference and you’ll get access to every course we have. Click here to check it out or call 406–360–1390 today and get a free strategy session to help you find your passion and purpose with horses!

Don Jessop created Mastery Horsemanship for you! www.masteryhorsemanship.com provides you with safe, fun, and useful next steps in your own journey with horses.