I am a big believer in the immense power of positive feedback. No one likes to be criticized. No one. Although there are times in life where a little constructive feedback is needed, it is always more effective if it can be delivered in a sensitive, helpful manner, rather than dished out as criticism. Whether you are talking to an adult, a child, a pet or an animal, this same rule still applies. Be positive and give praise for the things they are doing right. This will make them want to please you more and want to earn more praise. Harsh words and actions sting and can cause decreased confidence, lower self-esteem, and discouragement from trying to do better.
As it turns out, this philosophy lends itself well to training horses. Punishing a horse leads to a lack of trust between the trainer or rider and the animal. This makes complete sense to me. Children who come from families where they are often criticized and rarely praised may have difficulty trusting the world around them. Every person they meet is seen as a potential source of punishment and harsh words because that is all they have known. Such children may feel like they are walking through a minefield in life, never knowing when the next bomb might go off. I can imagine anxiety and fears would get excessive in these children, and this would likely spill over into adulthood.
Although it can be difficult to stand by quietly and watch someone making errors or doing things badly, a little patience can pay off. Watching quietly and waiting until they do something right and then giving them a pat on the back is a much more effective way to encourage positive behavior than being harsh and negative when they make a mistake.
Whether you are dealing with people or horses, stay positive, and you will reap the rewards. When you visit the 'Meredith Manor' website below you will learn about some training misunderstandings you can have with your horse ant the three times you may just need to punish the horse.
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