Training Approach

I have been very fortunate to have ridden continuously since I was a child enjoying a variety of disciplines including bareback gallops with my friends, hunter/ jumper, eventing, dressage, saddle seat and western.  I have gained insight from a number of talented instructors, working largely with young horses, ex-race horses, and those in need of reschooling.  Being an analytical person, I am constantly evaluating what works and why, and how to be more effective and efficient with my training and instruction.  I have developed my own style or approach that I have modified and fine tuned over the years, always seeking to keep learning.

A major tenet of my training system for the horse, which I feel it is critical when riding, is to set up the question for the horse and let him find the answer I am seeking.  This allows the horse to feel good about his discovery and want to repeat it, to “own it.”  It builds trust, confidence, and consistency in the horse.  This approach does take a bit more time than a more forceful approach, but I feel the horse’s understanding is much greater so he is willing to offer the same performance happily to a less skilled rider.  The horse owner may not have the skills to demand certain results so it is important that the horse wants to offer the performance when simple aids are applied.  When teaching something new, I prefer to repeat an exercise numerous times until the horse gives up his resistance and offers the answer in a relaxed and submissive fashion. Getting rough and demanding can create an angry resentful horse that doesn’t want to do the exercise and probably won’t do it for a lesser rider.  My goal is to make horses that are relaxed, happy, and fun for the amateur to ride. If a horse has a training issue that requires a firmer approach, the issue will be handled appropriately with clear and consistent aids, always leaving an opening for the horse to pick the right answer.  I have had great results with this approach and have fixed horses that others could not.

A major tenet of my instruction for the rider is to use exercises and explanations which show the rider when they are working against themselves and making their job harder.  Much is going on when riding a horse and often a rider is not aware if they are applying conflicting aids with their legs, seat, or hands.  Conflicting aids cause confusion in the horse which increases his resistance and anxiety.  It can take some analysis to discover these conflicting aids which may not be obvious, but I feel it is critical in good riding to deliver a clear, unobstructed message to the horse so I always look for these issues when teaching.

I hope this information gives you an idea who I am and what I strive for.  Please contact me to discuss further and connect about your riding goals.

Enjoy your horse time!  Monica

monica.lukes@yahoo.com   or 707-338-5202

www.HorseTimeTraining.com

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