We all know the term, and many of us look for benefit packages before we even apply for a job. The dictionary explains Benefit as: An advantage or profit gained from something. The sad and simple truth is, nobody does anything without it benefiting them in some way shape or form.
Some of us are real selfish and there really needs to be something very worthy in order for us to even put effort into something. Others the benefit could be real simple, Like, it makes us happy to do something for someone else. Whatever the scenario, Benefits are Motivators.
I'm writing on this topic because if you understand what a benefit is, and you know how to use it in Horsemanship, (Or anything else) it can make a huge difference in the outcomes you are trying to attain.
The simple explanation is this. Make sure that what you want from them benefits them by doing it. Also that anything we do not want from them should not benefit them by doing it. That's the simple answer but some may see this as a riddle and get confused. So here's an example.
If we ask for something from our horse, we want him to get a benefit by doing it. In many cases this can be just a simple release of pressure. This example is what one may call, "A Perfect World Example" This sums up our end result for what it should be like pretty well. But many people have "Problem Horses" Not really but that is what they get Labeled as. The problems get created when the horse does something and our response makes it Beneficial for them to try it again. If they keep benefiting, they keep doing it and they get better at it with practice. We don't really want them to get better at "THIS". There are so many examples for "THIS" I couldn't possibly get to them all. I really mean it. Start putting this into practice and you will see it in every interaction at almost every moment you are with them. If you really understand this and know how to put it into use respectfully, it can change your world. Problems will go away because they will not benefit from the misbehavior. Only willing, relaxed, cooperative response will benefit them. So that is how they will behave, willing, relaxed and cooperative. That will bring you closer to the "Perfect World Example"
Implementing this might not be easy. Specially if you are not aware of what is really happening. But just by reading this your eyes will be opened to looking for it. Keep looking, there will be more to see. Once you are aware of it, it will start getting easier and you will keep finding more. The more you heighten your awareness, the better and easier it gets. Sometimes our lack of confidence allows them to intimidate us and our fear response gives them benefit to their actions. We want to be careful of this. Fear and lack of confidence is OK but we need to evaluate a way to stay safe and find a way to take their benefit away in times like this. If you find a way, then your confidence is boosted. You will have less fear because you will learn that you have some control of the situation. Sometimes they frustrate us into giving up. This they see as benefiting them as well. If they know you will quit, they will wait you out. Sometimes they try to change your mind. Like if you want to go one way and they go the opposite direction. Most people will give up on their way and turn the horse in the direction they want to go, circling back to where the person wanted to go in the first place. This seems like a win to most people but if you evaluate it closer you see the horse gets benefits by changing your mind. You not only lose control but your leadership is at risk and the horse will start to question everything you ask of them because they lose trust in your ability to lead. Most of the time they are doing things like this just to see your response to it. This is where you gain or lose points with a horse. They test your leadership by trying to change your mind or direction. They are not being defiant in most cases. Just trying to see if you are worth following.
As a great leader you will give benefits to receive benefits. The simple laws of karma. They apply directly here. No waiting for it to come back around. It's instant once it's established. If it benefits them to comply with our task they will. If we do not allow their misbehavior to benefit them, they will stop misbehaving. Both of these will lead to a willing, relaxed and cooperative relationship for both you and your horse. Both of you will Benefit and really enjoy your time together.
I hope you find some BENEFIT in this post. Pun intended. I wrote this to Benefit everyone who reads it.
Thanks for reading along.