My Philosophy My training philosophy is centered on the conditioned response. Conditioned response training involves setting up a condition, or teaching a cue, and getting a specific response. This kind of training works under any circumstance, for any discipline, and for any breed. The goal is to ensure that the horse delivers the response you want in a positive, relaxed and controlled manner. Although I will take on horses to be trained on their own, my preference is that the owner be closely involved. Whether you attend clinics or take private or group lessons, you need to do the work along with the horse so that you are speaking the same language. The Rules of Engagement In any education or training, there are rules of engagement. While at the John and Josh Lyons Certification program, I learned three rules for horse training that make more sense than Iíve ever heard:
1.You cannot get hurt You are more important than any horse. Period. When evaluating a training method, ask yourself, ďIf things go wrong, if things do not work out quite as planned, can I get hurt doing this?Ē If the answer is yes or maybe, then do not do it.
2.The horse cannot get hurt Whether you are handling the horse from the ground or from his back, the lesson must be appropriate for the horse. Do not rush the training and risk the horseís safety. If you or the horse are pressured in any way, then re-evaluate the situation or what you are doing. By taking this preventative step, you will avoid a wreck, thereby keeping your horse safe and helping him learn the correct response.
3.The horse must be calmer after the session than before it began If the horse is absolutely, completely relaxed and calm with the handler and is doing what he is being asked, then he is telling you that he understands. He is comfortable with what the handler is trying to teach him.
Another of the Lyonsís rules that Iíve adopted for use in my training programs and clinics is NEVER turn your safety over to someone else. No matter how much you think the person knows, if you are not ready, then you are not ready. Understand that this includes me.
I am not responsible for your safety or for your horseís safety. All of my methods I use in my clinics and training programs are deeply rooted in safety. I will always consider the safety of the humans first, and the horses second. I will NEVER put a person or horse in an unsafe position. However, you are responsible for your own and your horseís ultimate safety. You are responsible for your own decisions and actions.
The Rules of Engagement are based on excerpts from John and Josh Lyons Certification Program training materials, and are reproduced with permission.
A Word on Young Horses I encourage horse owners to begin working with their horses as soon as they have been born. I will help guide you through the process of working with your foal right away. This early work sets the stage and smoothes the way for the more intensive training thatís ahead.
Wayne with his mare Wind, and her newborn filly, May (Photo: M. Wing)
I work with horses of all levels of ability. Whether you have a young horse you want started or a trained horse with an issue you want corrected, I will work with you to develop a training program that fits your needs.
Copyright 2007 Wayne Wing Horsemanship. All rights reserved. All images by Charles Hilton unless otherwise noted.