Getting to the Real Root of “My Horse Won’t Do What I Want”

Words of wisdom from Denny Emerson, below. While I don’t fully discount there being times when a horse just doesn’t want to cooperate, or actively tries to be difficult (I’ve spent my life with Appaloosas, after all!), that determination should only be made after all other possibilities have been eliminated.

Trafalgar Square Books Blog

It is a common misconception among many new to horses, and sadly some with a lifetime’s experience, that horses “plan,” “scheme,” and “plot” to frustrate and embarrass us, and always at the worst of times. Of course, this belief is based on the presumption that they think like humans, and so suffer the same faults of personality. But as influential trainer and coach Denny Emerson points out in his fabulous book HOW GOOD RIDERS GET GOOD, more often than not, the roots of our problems in the saddle lead back to us, not to our horses:

 

“My horse won’t do what I want!”

How often have you heard this statement? But now the train of logical thinking starts to go off the track. It is true that the rider’s horse isn’t doing what she wants him to do. That much is a fact. But unless the rider is…

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