MM Training and Consulting News and Informational Articles

Entries in stress (5)


Tales of the Color Wheel Volume 1 Number 1 - Family Camp 2013: Reds to the Rescue

In addition to customized day camps youth, adults, teams or church groups, MM Training and Consulting offers “Family Camp” by invitation only. Typically held over Memorial Day weekend, this camp focuses not only on horsemanship but also on activities that build stronger human relationships. On the horsemanship side, we work on improving our connection with our horses through ground training, under saddle work and trail riding. On the human side, there are activities and discussion time about personal goals for life and relationships. Marcia and Davalee integrate the MM Training and Consulting philosophies and Color Tool© to promote connection in both realms.

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Finding Success Through Frustration

Our clinics may be different from other clinics that you have experienced. Because our focus is on developing your horsemanship on three different levels (3-D Rider™) – ground training, equitation, and training under saddle – you probably experience more stress at our clinics than you do at others. We believe that you need to stress yourself on all levels – physical, mental and emotional – in order to experience the deepest growth as a person or as a horseman. We hope the stress you experience at a clinic transfers to your growth in all realms.All horse trainers feel frustration at one time or another. When you are working with another mind, as we are when we’re working with a horse, we have to be aware that frustration will happen. The horse has its own agenda and also feels its own sense of frustration when it can’t understand us. We don’t want to prevent frustration because frustration handled properly promotes growth. So how do we positively handle our frustration and our horse’s frustration?

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Connection...What Does it Look Like?

As many of you know, we have addressed the topic of “connection” between horse and handler for years now. Yes, it has evolved over the years, but it is something, to some degree, that I have always done with horses since I was a child. Although I didn’t call it such, my awareness about “connection” started many years ago after an observer asked me, “Why do you blow at your horse?” As with many trainers who have worked with horses their whole lives, I had no idea why I did it. I just did it. And frankly, at the time, I was a little embarrassed that someone noticed that I did it. Since I’m a former Marine and grew up a cowgirl, you can only imagine how it might have seemed a little too “touchy feely” for me. But blowing at my horses was such a part of me, as a horseman, I kept doing it. And after some time of thinking, I concluded that I did it because horses really responded to it and liked it. And I could have simply left it at that. Right?

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Honest Thoughts From Your Horse

Just like you, I have physical needs, and if they aren’t met, I am not able to give you my best. Please remember to feed me plenty of good quality hay or pasture and have a salt block where I can reach it. Just like you, I need to have fresh water available to drink all the time. My hooves grow just like your fingernails, and they need to be trimmed regularly. Keeping my hooves trimmed will help ensure that I stay sound and will be able to carry you when you want to ride. Regular de-worming and immunizations will keep me free of disease and parasites. When you don’t take care of me, I don’t feel good, and I don’t want to work for you. When I’m happy and healthy I enjoy working for you.

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The Foundational Key To Training Success For Any Discipline

Some of you may remember the discussion we had during the Fall Series when I brought up the above topic. I believe this is a powerful statement that renders very powerful results. It is the foundation in everything I do with the horse (the pressure is on when they are wrong and off when they are right). I would love for all of you to understand this concept on a deeper level and to consciously implement it into your own training program. So in this article, I am going to break these concepts down to try and explain them a little further. I’m going to start with the goal of “trust and respect” and work my way backward to how we can reach that goal by “teaching where we release” through “stress and recovery.”

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