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Knowledge & Skills Quiz - Test Your Confidence

Knowledge and skills give people confidence which the horse can see and feel which then in turn gives the horse confidence.  Horsemanship knowledge is knowing what makes horses and humans tick.  It is knowing what to do or not to do in a given situation.  It is knowing about habits and tendencies humans have that can create problems.  It is understanding horse’s tendencies, such as drive lines, phases, body language etc.  and those horses have mental, emotional and physical parts that all need to be further developed.  The physical is more obvious and most often addressed which is only a third of the horse.  

Knowing how to be effective
Skills are things that we can develop that will allow us to use techniques with the correct feel, timing and balance to improve ourselves and then our horses.  Skills such as correctly reading whether it is a confidence, respect or understanding issue or how you use your ropes and reins, how you saddle and halter a horse, if you have developed the art of riding with an independent seat. The way you approach a horse and even the attitude you have when you’re with your horse.   Being able to time our release to develop the behaviour we are looking for.  We need to have these skills and knowledge equally from the ground and on the horse.  Knowing when the ground skills would be more effective or when on the horse skills would best fit the situation.  Having the skills and knowledge to use one to improve the other.  It doesn’t matter if you are very confident or not very confident, we can become more confident if we chose to, by learning more knowledge and skills.
With horses and horsemanship there is always more to learn. To say safe and have fun while learning ask yourself some questions. For example, we could ask ourselves what could your horse do that would not bother your confidence from the ground or from the saddle that wouldn’t unseat you.  How much could happen and you say,

“ No problem, I have the skills to deal with that and I have the knowledge to do what is necessary at the time and know why it happened and know how to repair or improve my foundation so it’s not going to happen in the future.”

And then having the knowledge to stay inside the parameters that are safe for you and your horse until you have expanded the parameters.
The other side of the coin is:

"I don’t know what happened, why it happened, or how I can improve it."

That is not a place you want to be very long if you plan on spending much time with horses. You don’t want to ride around hoping your horse will do this and not that. You want to get to where you know how to prepare them and are very much in control of the outcome of your time with your horse.
Play inside your parameters but quickly expand them. Nobody wants to say  I don’t do whatever because my horse doesn’t like it or is scared of it which limits the fun and experiences you can have and probably the reason you wanted a horse in the first place.  Confidence is for all people and all horses.  
Stage 6 of the Horsemanship Stages Program would be a great base to achieve if you would like the skills and knowledge to understand and deal with most situations with your horse and many others.
Here is a small example of some of the confidence tests our horses need to pass at The Horse Ranch:  (this is only a small sample of some things I would expect if a horse has a good foundation.)

Try the quiz. Give yourself a score.
For 10 points your horse would be calm and relaxed during these exercises.  Use any number from 0 to 10 that you believe fits your situation.
For example if you answer:

Yes, no problem               10 points.
Kind of, or maybe              4 points.
No or I’ve never checked  0 points.

 

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911 Horsemanship Quiz Sheet2.pdf131.54 KB