• Angélique Mould

Time, Principles and Goals


This is already the second blog of 2018.

Starting to look forward to longer days, warmer weather…..

Sounds like expectations.

I thought I would talk about a horse I help to deal with the human’s expectations.

I often get asked “how many sessions will it take?”. Well that really depends on so many things. But the main thing is that the horse is in charge of the time.

Someone once told me that there are three ingredients:

  • Time

  • Principles

  • Goals

Depending on which two you choose, the other will be left out.

If you put time and principles first, your goal will be left out. If you put time and goal before principles, your principles will be left out. And so on.

It depends which ones are more important to you, but most importantly to your horse.

Ideally all three are equally important. But often only two are chosen.

I always put the principles first, the horse is in charge of time and the goal gives me something to work towards.

Sometimes we do not have much time to complete something, so you either:

  • take time to prepare your horse

  • give yourself more time next time

If you do not put enough time into your horse to prepare him you risk your relationship and all that you have invested (not money) into your horse.

This is something to keep in mind.

Back to the horse that I helped. I told the owner it probably will take 6-7 sessions, it actually ended up being 10 sessions.

The first couple of sessions I didn’t even work on the goal, but worked on the ingredients I needed:

  • Gain his confidence to be haltered and tools

  • Standing still

  • Touching all over

Because the issue was not the goal but the ingredients, which was not complete or were not done with confidence.

Every session I had to prove him that I will take care of his confidence that I will take the time he needs and that I will not “make” him.

By the time we got to session 7 I was able to complete the goal, but I felt it was more important to give him a little more time. So that by session 10 the goal could be done with total confidence, without cutting corners and so that it could be done again the next time.

How often can you only do something once with your horse and the next time your horse says “no”?

So even though at session 7 I could have done the goal, without neglecting the time and principles, I decided to give him a little more time.

This I did to prove to him that this is not about doing something just once and getting “through it” but to build his confidence and trust in what I ask him to do.

Sometimes our expectations lead to us getting too focused on one thing, yet other things are being left out.

At the end it’s always the horse that makes the decisions, we can not make him learn faster or make him feel a certain way towards us.

We have to take the time to prove the horse that his trust and confidence is taken care of.

Many horses have lost that believe that we will take care of those things. These will be even more critical towards us.

It's a journey .....

#HorsesandHumans #NaturalHorsemanship #Time #Principles #Journey