Method or intuition?

Method or intuition?

Is it good or bad to follow a certain training method? An established procedure orchestrated by another trainer or thinker? A method in which you can find answers to all your questions?

I have split-up opinions on this subject and I never really thought about it until several people started asking me about my training methods with Alvaro & Torrin. I considered the question throughly when asked for the first time, because I had no idea what to answer. I would like to give a usable answer, but I had none. Briefly afterwards I reached a  point in which I realised that the answer was not to be found.

On my travel with horses I have never come across a theory or view on horse training that I liked to the bits. There has always been things in which I did not agree. And now I was asked which training method I used? At the end of my thinking a reached a conclusion and an answer as well. My final answer to my training method was intuition. That was the most accurate answer I could come up with. It still is…

I see so many advantages in being able to pick up ideas from other ways of training, but a great difference lies between picking up ideas and picking up a whole training method. I have seen the last of the two going wrong a lot of time. One of the reasons is that some people occur to become very blind when they pick up a training method. They tend to stop thinking for themselves because they now have a precise guideline to follow. I don’t like the idea of that because I have seen it gone wrong too many times. On their way to the goal some people end up going to far from what they feel is okay, because that is how the method tells them to do. Others lose their motivation on the way because the method doesn’t fit their horse and blocks progress.

It can feel safer to chose a certain training method if you are around horses without having a lot of earlier experience, but that should never mean that you stop taking a stand on the method you use. Not even if it is made up by a trainer with a well-known name. One should always be critical and make sure that whatever they do feels okay in heart and stomach.

The way I prefer it is by hand-picking whatever I like from lots of different thinkers and trainers. This opens the opportunity of being creative and openminded. Opens the opportunity of following heart, mind and intuition. Intuition, I believe, is one of the greatest gifts in horse training.


3 thoughts on “Method or intuition?”

  • I agree, and even if one does follow a method they should always adapt to their horse specifically. A friend at the stables once told me to get rid of all the books I bought and look at the very horse itself, apply what is of use and discard that what goes beyond limits. Basically intuition. Very well said in this piece you wrote!

    • Thank you a lot Anne! I could not agree more with what you just wrote. That is exactly where I sadly see many people ‘go wrong’ because they do not dare to go away from the method even if they feel like they should. People need to trust their instincts more instead of putting blind trust into trainers who has a big name or whatever the reason to follow them might be. Lovely to hear from you and to hear your thoughts on the subject!

  • I love all your texts, thank you very much for sharing your thoughts with us! I recently found your instagram account, now I start to read through all your blogposts 🙂
    Concerning the thing of training methods and intuition I totally agree with you, I have experienced both sides myself. As I started to work from the ground with my horses, I was about 13 years old, at first I bought one book after another and wondered about why following these books in my work with horses didn’t feel as good as it sounded when reading. It took a bit of time untill I realised that it’s good to read and to learn, but when being together with my horses, I have to listen to THEM and to ME and the feeling we have. I got and still get better and better in just following my intuition and the feedback of my horses, and it feels so much better and lighter, we have much more fun together. It’s important to FEEL instead of thinking, I guess…

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