DbarH Equine Training. Natural Horsemanship.
Medicine Lodge Valley, Dillon, Montana

Repetition and Habits

What is a repetition? It is the use of habits . Training is used to establish a habit. What you train your horse to do will make a permanent impression in to the horses mind until proved other wise. When making a good habit one must be sure that the bad habit is totally removed. If some of the bad habit is lurking it will spread. When it spreads it starts to choke out the good habit.

Example. You have some ground around your house that you want to grow a lush green lawn (co-operative and willing behavior) so you want to plant some seeds (good habits). But this ground has lots of weeds (bad habits). There are different options as to how the person can get a green lawn.

  • 1. The person can throw some seed on the ground as is.
  • 2. The person can mow the surface of the ground to cut the stems of the weeds off and plant the seed.
  • 3. The person can do a quick pulling of weeds in the whole lawn and plant the seed.
  • 4. The person digs into the ground and pulls each weed out from the root leaving no trace of the weed left. With each section that the person pulled that day the seed is planted. The next day the person pulls more weeds from the ground and plants more seeds.

The results

  • 1. The weeds are still there in full force and the seeds get choked from the weeds. The seeds do not have a chance to grow into a lush green lawn.
  • 2. The seeds can start to grow in to little green stems because the weeds are cut, but the established and deep rooted weeds will grow back, choking out what was grown. Thus killing the delicate green stems of grass that the new non established seed sprouted.
  • 3. If things are done quick there is always room for leaving something out. In this case not all the weeds were exterminated. Some weeds have their roots and some weeds were over looked. Thus when the weeds grow again they still have an established root system choking out the new grass.
  • 4. The seeds that were planted will sprout into a new stem and grow in to a more established blade of grass with deep roots. Of course there is always the possibility of weeds from outside of the lawn. Trying to establish themselves in the lush green lawn. But if the grass is deep rooted enough and the person cares for the lawn the weeds can not grow in the lawn. Even though the whole surrounding outside of the lawn has weeds.

Bad and good repetitions

Bad repetition

  • The bad habits that are formed may very well be from the human teaching the horse this habit. If a horse pulls on the lead line and gets away from the resistance then in this horses mind that is what the human wanted. And to please the human the horse will pull every time it feels like. When the horse does this it is telling the human that the horse does not have any of the basic 3.
  • More is not always better.

Good repetition

  • Good habits will make every horse a thinking partner and from knowing the basic 3. If the horse pulls on the lead line trying it's hardest to get away with great resistance, but can not get away or get anything accomplish by pulling back it will think that is what the human wanted. By not getting free or causing discomfort or extra energy the horse will please the human by not fighting to even the slightest tension on the lead line.
  • Quality not quantity.



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Donna Hildreth 1998 - 2009
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