Advanced Training

 

Xenophon – Advanced Training

On Advanced Training by Xenophon. (430BC – 350BC)

 
Lusitano-Advanced TrainingIn this section of his book On Horsemanship, Xenophon discusses advanced training.   Never attempt to jump a ditch or go up and down an incline at a gallop on a green horse.   First the horse must be shown how to do things.   To teach him how to jump, first pick a small ditch and while the masters holds the leading rein lose, he must jump over the ditch and pull the horse towards him.   If the horse does not jump he must be whipped one time from behind until he jumps.   This exercise must be repeated several times until the horse understands what he must do.   Once he jumps the ditch successfully a couple of times, it is time for the master to ride him over the ditch.
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Lusitano-Advanced TrainingIt is important that the rider spurs the horse the minute he prepares for the leap so he will learn how to use his complete body for the leap.   When spurred the horse will push forward with his hind legs harder and will make the jump even and synchronized.   When training the horse to go up and down inclines at a gallop it must first be taught in soft ground so he is able to feel the ground and to reduce the possibility of it tripping over a rock or obstacle.   He must slowly be introduced to sharper inclines and different terrains.
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Lusitano-Advanced TrainingWhen the horse is made to gallop, the rider must lean forward to reduce wind friction and to change the horse’s gravity center forward giving it momentum in the run.   When the horse is going down inclines the rider should lean backwards and hold the horse by the bite keeping his head up so he may see where he is going and also maintain its balance.   When the horse is going to jump, the rider must let the reins go a bit loose while he grabs onto the mane with the same hand so that he will pull on the horse’s mouth and hurt it.
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Lusitano-Advanced TrainingIt is very important to vary and constantly change the horse’s exercise routines.   Believe it or not, horses get bored of doing the same thing over and over again.   So if you want to keep him attentive you must constantly show him new things.   Xenophon also states that the horse will react better and learn more if he is treated with kindness and love.   Like a child he must be punished if he does wrong or is disobedient.   He must also be rewarded if he does right.
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