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.

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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.


6 comments:

  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.

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  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.

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  3. Hello! Thank you for this blog post. I am trying to decide between Warwick Schiller's online program and TRT. I have an 8 year old Mustang mare who has had a lot of Natural Horsemanship training, but when she is in an unfamiliar environment she gets very nervous and "goes Mustang" on me. She stops thinking and starts only reacting. She does not have the skills to control her emotions in this setting. She is lazy when not in this mode and I think her prior NH training made her dull in a familiar environment without giving her tools to deal with her "prey" instinct away from home. She will fall asleep doing the types of things you are doing in the video, but it's not translating to under saddle away from home. I'd try a month of TRT but it looks like there is not trial period. You're in for a year, or not at all. Thoughts?

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    1. The TRT Method is not just about habituation to different scary things it is really about changing how the horse deals with anything fearful even something they have never experienced before. That to me is the big difference between TRT and some of the other NH programs. That said,I follow Warwick Schiller on Facebook and he looks really solid in his training and methodology. I just think TRT focuses on changing the fear response so it is far more targeted and specific. I have found it super helpful and I have been able to do things that I never thought I would achieve with Jet like not just showing but having him ENJOY being out and about because he can relax himself.

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  4. Great article - so very true. I started the program two weeks ago and can see the difference in my hot arabian already. Natural Horsemanship never quite 'clicked' for me. I did the moves but wasn't understanding the why. With Tristan - I GET IT!! and so does my horse.

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    1. That is exactly it. With the TRT Method you get the why of the release and it carries over into all the training. Glad you liked the post!

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