“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.
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:
- 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.
- I 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.
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:
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!
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!