How to Multiply Your Time at The Barn

“You multiply your time by giving yourself the emotional permission to spent time on things today that wil give you more time tomorrow”. This is a quote from Rory Vaden’s TedX talk How to Multiply Your Time.

barn hacks_hippologic

I want to have more time tomorrow

That quote fits exactly in my description of me being a ‘lazy horse owner’. I like training and I rather spent invest my time in solving the problem than in dealing with the symptoms of a undesired behaviour over and over and over….

Time saving training hacks

Here are some examples. People often think I ride and work on long reins bitless out of belief, but I started it out of laziness:_sandra_kyra_hippologic2017

  • I started Kyra bitless long reining when she was changing teeth. This went so well I never got to the point to teach her bit aids and start using a bit. Too lazy… Now it saves me time to clean the bit, warm it in winters and spending time and money on going to the tack store and buying and trying different ones.
  • I applied the Konmari method to my equestrianism which saves me tons of money and hours of debating with myself which colour saddle pad I want to add to my (non-existing) collection. And  deciding if I need a new halter to go with it. I have 2 saddle pads: a black one and a white one. I the use that is clean. Simple.
  • _house_training_horses_hippologicI house-trained Kyra and taught her where to poop in the arena (next to and preferably in the wheel barrow in the corner). This will save me hours in the future of going back to the arena to scoop her poop. It was also a good investment in my relationship with my barn owner and barn friends because I often forgot to do it.
  • Out of frustration I went looking for a way I could teach Kyra a ‘stop grazing’ cue. The way I reacted for decades (and how I was taught) didn’t give long-term results. Now I don’t get pulled to every single patch of juicy grass anymore (I have a clear “you can graze now-cue”) and I never have to pull her head up. I simply ask her to stop grazing and she does. I never expected this to work so well and even when she is on a restricted diet because of her EMS she still follows my cues. This saved me so much frustration and really contributed to our relationship.
  • Same goes for trailer loading. I spent time practising this, so it takes less time in the future.

Watch the TedX talk to see what Rory is talking about:


Now I think of it…. I apply this to all my training. It’s just something I learned over the years when I realized that there are no shortcuts in training and a poorly trained horse cost more time, more energy and costs more of my joy than the few hours I spent in training.

Plan ahead and keep track

Using positive reinforcement, making a good shaping plan and keeping track of my process and progress taught me that most behaviours don’t take ‘weeks’, ‘months’ or ‘years’ to train. I now count training in minutes and hours, divided over multiple short training sessions. Very reinforcing!

Training time outweighs your frustration

Teaching a horse to come to you in the pasture may take a few short training sessions and some adjustments of your side, but chasing your horse every day in order to ride him will suck up more energy and time than the training costs you.

I love to hear from you

How about your genius time investments? What are they and  how much time did you end up spending on training?

No time to train your horse? No problem!

Lately I hear many horse people say (with regret in their voice) that they don’t have time to train.

There is so much you can training, even in Winter conditions!
There is so much you can training, even in Winter conditions!

Did you know that you can improve behaviours with as little as 3 x 15 minutes a week? I see it all the time with clients. They do need:

  1. Accountability 
  2. Training plan
  3. Clear shaping plan 

 I provide all of these in the HippoLogic Clicker Challenge.  It’s so rewarding to get back into the habit of speed training (short training sessions with a clear goal).

Are you coming?

Join us and a enthusiastic bunch of clicker trainers and have some fun and learning for two weeks. If you think you don’t have time to train, this would be a great opportunity to work on your time management at the barn!

I show you how you can train your horse a new behaviour or greatly improve a trained behaviour with only 3 x 5 minutes three to four times a week.
Do you think you can spent 45 minutes a week on teaching and improving your horse’s behaviour? In a supportive group? With a clear plan? I am sure you would feel happy that you gave it a try, once you’ve decided to join.
Give yourself the gift of training and have some fun in the last month on the year. We already had too much stress this year (I know I am super busy in December and the month before, preparing for all virtual festivities).
My advice? Unwind at the barn!
Did you know members join for free? 😉 #membershipperks
Happy Horse training!
Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
I help horse owners get the results in training they really, really want with joy and easy for both horse and human. I always aim for win-win!


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