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Buster and Julie
Anzamation and Julie

Constellation Western PL JR horse
SH Constellation

Julie and Shahska
Julie and Shahska

El Zaman

Hunter Please Gelding

Julie Graham-Tevis
Olympia, Washington 98508

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Building Trust - cont.

The second session, will be to repeat the conditions in session one, but to add having the horse allow you to pet it without it trying to flee. Your third session will be to have your horse allow you to approach and brush it without it trying to flee. The final session, and the culmination of your goal, ends when you can approach your horse and place its halter on without it displaying any sense of apprehension. Break a task into steps is a technique for all behavior modification.
Things to avoid while working with horses. Restrain from loud or excessive vocalizing toward the horse. Horses do not vocalize to each other as often as we do. Use only a loud voice to emphasize a wrong behavior, a soft voice to give praise for good behavior. Your body will say the rest. Be sure you use fluid, graceful body movements. Jerky, quick motion tends to annoy horses. Guard your temper. An outburst from frustration will only go to confirm the horses basic distrust of you.
Once you have worked a behavior and the horse understands the rules, be consistent. For instance, if you have trained a horse to be respectful of you in a situation, never be complacent with bad behavior for the sake of your convenience. You made the rules you are responsible to keep them. A horse will quickly lose respect for someone who keeps changing the rules. If you have a horse that tests you often I would look at the consistency of your training habits. Basically say what you mean and mean what you say EVERY TIME! Your horse will submit to you as the leader and trust you because they understand you.
Once you start to work on a goal make sure you finish it on a good note or on your terms. On bad days sometimes this will mean going back to basics like making sure the horse stops when you say "whoa." Always give praise for obedient behavior (not matter how basic). Stay focused and do not expect to much too fast. When a horse does something well unexpectedly give lots of praise but do not expect it to repeat the behavior immediately. A learned response is something the when asked the horse will repeat consistently. So do not punish a horse for not getting it right the second or third time you ask but reward them each time they do perform it correctly. Basically ignore misunderstood behavior, reward good behavior. The only time I punish a horse is when they willfully act out of disobedience and/or defiance. A disobedient act is when a horse has learned a behavior, can performs it routinely but for some reason chooses to ignore you or voices itís displeasure. The other instance is when a horse either bites, kicks or uses itís body to try to inflict harm. I will retaliate as another horse would do in defense and will further establish my dominance by making the horse move away from me, then face me and then stare them down. This kind of behavior I will not be tolerate in any instance.
Building trust is a process of communicating. The more a horse understand the boundaries and rules you put in place the more relaxed and confident they become in themselves and you. Once horses understand that you will not harm them for obeying the rules' things will start to move forward in your relationship. If you go through a difficult situation try to be forgiving and start over and rebuild. There is always hope as long as you do not give up. Remember when we work with horses (or just going through life) we learn as much as we teach.
On a personal note, for all you who have spouses who have told you "I wish you would treat me as well as you do your horse" stop and think about that a second. The Lord has shown me that because we tend to say one thing and do another, our communication can be very confusing. Today, go and practice training your horse then go groom and train your special someone using some of the same techniques and see what happens. It has worked for me and I would love to hear back from all of you.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. NIV

Mercy, grace and love to you in abundance.... God bless, Julie
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