I’m not impressed by speed.
It happens at every horse show. Someone is driving around the warm up ring, grins at me, points at the horse they’re driving and proudly says, “It’s only his fourth (third, fifth) time in the cart!”
I am not impressed by this.
They might as well say “Look at me! I didn’t care enough about my horse to properly prepare him for what I’m asking him to do, but I’m getting away with it, yay!”
I see it online too, with equestrian influencers sharing how quickly their horses were trained to do some impressive feat.
Is it possible to train a horses both quickly and well, so the horse is comfortable, both mentally and physically to do the job we’re asking them to?
Yes, of course it’s possible.
But speed isn’t the point. The horse is the point.
In an industry of futurities, and colt starting challenges, and all sorts of other systems that reward speed, we need to consciously slow down.
Often, it takes time for a horse to be able to truly understand what’s being asked of them. It takes time for them to build the strength to do the job to their potential. It takes time for us to work together in partnership with our horses.
And that’s okay.
Go slow, you’ll get there faster.
You and your horse are learning together. Don’t worry about how fast someone else is doing it, or claiming to do it. Listen to your horse, take your time, and enjoy the journey.
It doesn’t matter how quickly you train your horse. What matters is your horse, their experience and your relationship with them.