Your horse is lazy. Your pony won’t go. Your mule just isn’t motivated. Many equines are masters of conservation of energy. They do what they have to or do just enough to avoid trouble and get the job done. Helen, of New Beginnings, has recently written an excellent article about motivation for Smallholder magazine. Here’s a quote from the article:
Riding him was exhausting and frustrating….In the school or field just getting him from a halt into a walk took much chivvying and pleading before he sighed and lurched into the slowest plod he could manage….It seemed that the harder I tried and more determined I was, the harder he made me work. Each time I seemed to have to do more and more for less and less result. I didn’t want to have to bully him into reluctant action. I wanted to inspire him into being a willing and enthusiastic partner but I had no idea how to even begin.
Check out the full article, Motivating the Native Pony, to read Helen’s full story about her Dales ponies and how discovering clicker training completely changed her relationship with her horses.