When we train, we train using patterns. Patterns of behavior that create habits. Lead to the saddling area. Ground-tie. Brush. Saddle. Mount. Warm up. Work period. Rest period. Work period.
On the surface it may look to an outside observer that we are teaching the horse to perform a pattern, like a trick, however, we are simply becoming predictable. Routines allow the horse to relax. The make us trustworthy.
And while the outside observer may think that the ‘pattern’ is physical the real ‘pattern’ we are training is mental.
The art of training is balancing the predictable patterns with small changes. This way the horse become more mentally engaged and more interested in the next lesson.
Great teachers use just enough creativity inside of a predictable pattern to keep the student both interested and comfortable.