Saturday, June 18, 2016

Jet Set and the Tristan Tucker TRT Method Under Saddle

We did not go quite this far but you can see how once you have the principles down pretty dramatic things are possible.


Let me get right to it.  I am a big fan of the TRT Method for hot or sensitive horses.  I think the not inconsiderable price of around $400 was totally worth the knowledge gained and the big improvement in all three of my ponies.  This was my first time using an online video training system and again, big fan.  The TRT method has a slick website, clean and comprehensible videos, live Q&A sessions, and bonus clips for specific problems.  I did not have one problem with billing, access, or understanding the content of the exercises.

The Method itself consists of three separate modules; ground exercises to control the feet/introduce the relaxed posture,  introduction of the "scary" tools standing in hand and out on a line, and finally combining the relaxed posture, with the tools, under saddle.  Each module has 2-3 videos the comprehensively explain the what and why of the exercises, how to read the body language of the horse, and the thinking behind changing the response to pressure.  This is a Natural Horsemanship program but it is very user friendly and really targeted to the specific problem of the fear response.  However, after the fact, I realized when looking at other NH videos and systems, that by working through the 3 modules I covered a lot of ground that is included in longer, more comprehensive NH programs.  

Basically, I think Tristan Tucker is a genius and watching him read and respond to the more fearful horses was so enlightening.  The training and horse thinking insights were many and new to me.  The whole idea behind the Method is to give the horse a different response to fear or pressure, so that after he has gone through the program, when something new or different is scary the horse know how to get himself in a posture that is soothing.  Instead of conditioning the horse to be desensitized to specific item you are conditioning the horse to respond differently to ANYTHING that induces fear.  And it works.  From a horse that spooked at EVERYTHING to the video you see above.  He is so much happier and confident in hand and under saddle.  Total game changer for me.


  1. I really appreciate training methods that set up your horse to think a task through rather than the traditional "here's all the scary stuff, now deal with it" desensitizing approach. Creating a thinking horse unlocks a whole world of possibilities, not just for scary things, but in teaching movements in a more positive, interactive manner.

  2. Exactly Wendy. You're giving the horse tools to deal with stress/pressure on the ground so that if they get confused or stressed under saddle they don't flip out and are more willing to offer the right puzzle piece that answers the question.