As I wrote about in my previous post HERE, I’m finding a lot more information than the last time I used the TRT website. I’ve maybe done a quarter of the available videos so far, but I thought I’d post about what I really have found useful at this point. First up, the foundation course above, which I had done before. There is a lot more supplemental material though, and more involved explanations and examples, so a second look through on fundamentals was worth my time. It is the basis of the system, using horse “yoga” that gives the trainer the ability to move each of the horse’s feet and go through the pattern that leads to relaxation and suppleness. There’s also a big emphasis on teaching the horse the postures so he can use them himself when fearful, working towards self regulation.
Closely related to the foundation course is the Off The Horse course which goes over all the body language and timing you need to implement the foundational course. This was new material to me and WOW. The intricacies of positioning and timing are so much easier to practice without the horse and with simple step by step instructions. This was a game changer for me and the practice without a horse has improved my timing and body language so much. I can really see it in how much better both my horses do the ground work patterns and much more smoothly.
Speaking of horses going better, the Connective Energy course, has been SO enlightening! The visual imagery is very easy to use and the course links using energy in ground work and under saddle. It’s been very interesting with my low energy horse Cruise, and my high energy horse Jet, to play with using my energy at different strengths. I finally get how I haven’t been using my energy strongly enough with Cruise and too much with Jet. Jet really appreciates how I have modulated my energy a bit and he is so fun to play with on the ground now that I’m not shouting at him with my energy.
Lastly, we have Leading to the Field. This is a continuation of the TRT leading in the beginning of the foundation course. I don’t believe it was part of that course when I did it a few years ago and honestly, this leading protocol is a huge deal for both my horses. Basically, the horse is led on a long rope behind you and cannot pass you, needs to match your energy, and has to stay out of your bubble. If the horse tries to pass you you go to the horse “yoga”. When the horse gets too close you move them out of your bubble with energy, voice, and then the practical application like the stick. You then wait until they release while standing still and then go back to the matching walk. It requires the horse to regulate himself and not rely on the trainer to manhandle him. Both my horses are now leading this way quietly all over my farm and various spooky objects. Cruise is turning out quietly on cooler mornings that would have been a challenge for him before this way of doing things. This one really amazes me because it’s so simple but effective. In its own quiet way, as effective as the horse “yoga” pattern.
I’m really pleased with my deeper dive into all things TRT. I feel excited for all the courses I haven’t even touched on yet, and I’m excited to keep exploring and learning!