I was recently inspired by this quote from Keri's blog:
"I particularly wanted to play with Figure eights, another thing Mrs. Parelli talked about. She said that there are two ways to do Figure eights, as a driving game and as a circle game. Doing them as a circle game gives the horse more responsibility and causes the horse to fall in love with you being in neutral. Doing Figure eights as a driving game you are micro managing the horse to much."I'm starting to consider the over-use of the driving game as though the horse is a passenger riding in a car being driven by someone else - he probably doesn't have his brain engaged enough to be able to repeat the task by himself, since he is being directed each step of the way. However, if he were in the proverbial driver's seat (ie; had the responsibility) he would have to think his way through the process.
Guinness strongly resists being driven. He will accept a cue to move away, but is only happy when he voluntarily moves. If I push him too much, he responds with "you can't make me move my feet" - just like he does with the other horses in the field. Then it turns into a dominance game and he has very thick skin. When I rely on driving him through a task, I think that his brain is too occupied with "how can I get out of this" for him to be really learning, even with lots of repetition.
I need to find types of Phase 4s other than getting more physical or big with him. Upping my intensity? Maybe little annoying things? Or perhaps even the idea of a "phase 4" (forcing him) is going the wrong way with him? Maybe I just need to give him enough space to solve each puzzle for himself (in order to earn a reward) without me pushing him? When he asks a question, I could give him some guidance.
Light Bulb Moment: This works with kids too. And with anyone needing to learn a task. When a student is in charge of finding their way, they learn more. I'd bet that is why the PNH instructors have changed their teaching approach from taking over from the student and showing them how to do things, and more to acting as a resource for students as they explore new skills. How interesting..
Isn't this also the way that the best old-time horse trainers passed information on to their students? Allowing them to learn from their mistakes and to find their own answers? Maybe they were using the same techniques on both horses and humans?
I'm not talking about "defending my space" here. Just methods for teaching a task and/or getting results. I guess those can be two different things..
Please feel free to comment. I'm trying to sort this out!