Discipline and reward are very important elements to starting young horses under saddle, or really any training program. I choose a form of discipline that is appropriate for the undesired behavior. Being precise and consistent in the delivery of the discipline is important.
If a horse is sometimes disciplined for incorrect or undesired behavior, but not always, he won’t learn as quickly to stop that behavior.
Rewards are equally important. Correct behavior should be consistently rewarded to a horse who is starting under saddle, even if the reward is a simple pat on the neck or a “good boy” vocalized. Rewards provide reassurance to a horse that he’s on the right track. Reassurance builds confidence and trust which leads to consistent behavior.
A trusting, confident young horse under saddle becomes a willing, eager equine partner. It is my goal as a trainer, to produce these kinds of horses.