The Seven Pillars


Seven Pillars Explained

The seven pillars are the structure on which Shady’s horse training methods are built.

The first of the seven pillars is horse language . It’s about learning how horses communicate with one another and then using that knowledge. We can use our own version of horse language to communicate with them both from the ground and in the saddle. Pressure and release are at the very heart of the language. There are three types of pressure used by horses when they communicate with each other: voice pressure, sign pressure and physical pressure.

The second pillar is method and technique. These are training tools such as psychology balance and physical balance. Just as you want to balance how much a horse circles to the left with an equal number of circles to the right, so you want to balance the psychological demands you make on your horse. You want to mix things up, and disrupt your routine, so he doesn’t always know ‘the script’. He doesn’t get bored and you don’t get complacent.

The self-awareness pillar is about you and how you interact with your horse. It includes skills like controlling your body language, and insights like learning to dislike your horse’s behaviour but never your horse.

The fourth pillar is about you learning the skills to read horses. You need to recognise the different types of horse horse behaviour and what might be causing it. Is he showing fear or dominance? Laziness or confusion? Does he understand what you’re asking of him?

The ten exercises can be performed on the ground or in the saddle. They are a cumulative set of exercises that build one upon the other, and help you develop the skills to put Shady’s methods into action.

The sixth pillar is planning. Nearly everyone has a set of goals: things they want to achieve with their horse. But that’s not enough on it’s own. You need to sit down and plan what it is you need to do. You can’t just have a goal of baking an amazing cake if you don’t have the recipe and the motivation to follow it.

Signs is the final pillar. The signs are what help you recognise if you’re on the right path with the right plan. Every part of your plan should aim at getting a particular result, and observing the ‘sign’ from your horse is what tells you you’ve achieved it.

Learn more…

You can learn about the seven pillars of horse training in depth by attending a course, signing up to the horsemanship training, or reading Shady’s book “Feeling Safe”.