We had a great turnout for our “Taking the Lead” horse training. “Taking the Lead” is an innovative teaching method created by Sandy Webster. Sandy is a friend of Renew and has over 30 years of experience in the field. Sandy visited Renew in 2015 to implement the first “Taking the Lead” clinic at our location. If was so effective that since 2015 we have implemented her training at least once annually, which is now taught by our instructors.
A primary goal of “Taking the Lead” is to enhance trust between the horse and his or her leader and thus enhance the working relationship. Naturally, this process also has positive effects for the rider. Some of the highlights of the training include: desensitizing our horse partners, demonstrating consistent and effective handling methods, and increasing understanding of horse behavior.
One of the ways the desensitizing process occurs is by creating an interactive environment where volunteers and staff are safely engaged in introducing new stimuli, or uncommon activities and/or behaviors, to our horses. These activities may initially be seen as uncomfortable for our horse friends as they prefer predictable situations and environments. However, by waving pool noodles and using wind spinners, for example, (things that are new and thus uncomfortable) we are able to gently “teach” our horses these items are not to be feared and as a result, they are much more likely to handle new stimuli and changes in their environment with greater ease. Plus, as a participant it is a lot of fun to be a part of this process!
If you were able to attend the training, thank you for your commitment and we hope you found it to be valuable. If you have any questions about this training, please ask! Melissa C. or Kayla T. are happy to answer any questions you may have.