No, no, no, no, no. Horses are so intelligent! They learn through far much, far past repetition! I have come to absolutely hate teaching my horses in repetition, especially Cherish. She actually hates it when I teach her repeating, repeating, repeating things. She loves to have new things to learn, and trust me - she always learns the first time. It's not so much how many times you repeat the lesson, it's how you teach it the first time. The first impression always matters more than the next - much as the first lesson matters more than all of the next. The only reason I ever see meaning in repeating things is simply for me to improve on them - not the horse. The horse is already smart enough to be able to do all of that by herself, so I simply get better and better at it myself. It is a constant and forever self improvement. The better I get at it, though, doesn't necessarily matter - the most important thing is that I keep the connection with her as I learn more and more. No matter how hard I try, how much I learn, or even how aggravated I get... there always has to be the connection, openly, when with the horse.
Thank you to Kara Cumberton for answering my questions. Read her blog here.
Next time: A Learning Way- Accident Prone Horses