An animated Ray Berta spoke to a packed room at FRC’s April Seminar, the 3rd in the year long series, at The Landrum Depot on Wednesday April 20th. Why was this so unusual??? Because if you attended Ray’s hands-on clinic, he is VERY low-key and quiet with the horses!
So what was the key take-away from the seminar? Get on the same page as your horse! According to one attendee...." This was a very inspiring evening, took horsemanship to a whole new level"
Speaking of keys, Ray discussed his Seven Keys
- Work on yourself first…. It all begins with you, horses feel resistance, leave your anger, frustrations & time restraints at the barn door.
- Work from where the horse is……listen to what your horse is telling you. He may not be in the same place as yesterday but treat it like a building block
- Prepare the horse for each transition……everything we do with our horse is a transition. Being forced into something can make them run away from it…be in position & balance
- Direct and support the horse as softly as possible……help your horse learn to get soft, learn to yield and become a partner
- Encourage the horse to respond and relax……horses need encouragement. We have taken horses into our world – why would they want to do the things we ask of them? What’s in it for the horse? Don’t make them go – make it difficult to not go!
- Allow the horse freedom to think and move……Try to think like a horse – there is great comfort in the herd! Be their herd!
- Appreciate and reward the horse’s efforts……Release any pressure, mental as well as physical. Be your horse’s partner, be the lead partner, not the boss. Softly scratch, rub, stroke (not pat, would you like someone pounding on you?) be soothing & reassuring, use that as a motivator.
Horses are amazingly intelligent – set them up to make the right choice, set them up for success – don’t confine them, allow them to choose correctly by shutting off other options. Learn what they live & live what they learn.