The Five Most Important Things I Learned About Horses After I Thought I Knew It All - Dr. Robert Miller's Articles - Dr. Robert Miller - Spalding Labs
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The Five Most Important Things I Learned About Horses After I Thought I Knew It All

Except for number one, which I discovered when I was 33, during my third year of practice. I discovered the others between 50 and 60 years of age.

  1. The horse is a precocial species. The most powerful and fastest learning time in their life is during the minutes, the hours, and the first few days following their birth.
  2. The horse is highly intelligent. They have limited reasoning power, but their speed of learning, awareness, and memory are the best of all domestic animals.
  3. Leadership in the horse is established by control of the feet. This is a flight species. Controlling movement establishes the controller as a dominant leader.
  4. The secret to horse training is to offer the horse a choice between comfort and discomfort. The comfort or the discomfort can be mental or physical and it can be extremely slight to influence the horse’s behavior. Many trainers refer to this as “pressure and release” but I prefer “comfort and discomfort” because horses are so perceptive, that it encourages more gentle signals.
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