Could a horse trainer, born about 154 years ago, teach us anything new today? Would the methods be old hat or would they be useful?
The answer is a resounding Yes!, they are enormously useful.
The horse training expert referred to is named Jesse Beery. Beery was a world famous horse trainer from the late 1800’s who possessed amazing ability with horses.
Fortunately, Beery’s secrets remain after all these years. His information can be found in his book he wrote in the late 1800’s. However, very few copies of his book exist. It is virtually impossible to find an original – much less one that is readable.
Here is a partial reading from the first chapter of Beery’s book:
Fear is the principal motive which causes the colt to resist training. It is natural for him to kick against an unknown object at his heels, to pull his head out of the halter as from a trap, and if of a bad disposition, to strike and bite if he does not thoroughly understand you.
His fear is governed by his sense of touch, sight and hearing; and it is through these senses we obtain a mastery, and at the same time remove his fears of the halter, the robe, the harness and the wagon. These are the fixed laws which govern the actions of all horses, and the training of a colt is merely teaching him not to fear the working apparatus, but to respect his master, and to obey his commands as soon as he has learned their meaning.
Each one of these senses must be educated before the colt is trained. A colt’s education may be compared with that of a child to a great extent. A horse’s reasoning powers are limited to his past experience. So we must reason with him by acts alone. Hence the importance of beginning every step with the colt right; for by our acts he learns.
The successful school-master aims first to teach the child to have confidence in him. Hence the first lesson we give the colt is simply to teach it to have confidence in us and that we are its best friend and don’t intend to hurt it.
The book continues with the first lesson a colt is to have which is
“How to gain a colt’s confidence.”
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