Many people shy away from training plans. Who has the time for that? Time is short and we want to be with our horses, not write about it.
I used to feel the same way. But the great trainers I admire stress the importance of training plans and record keeping. So I kept at it.
I tried scribbling in notebooks, typing into my computer, filling out forms and checking off boxes in data sheets. After giving up many times, I was taking an online course in which the trainer shared her training plan. I tried it, used it, adapted it, used it some more, tweaked it a little more, used it some more and finally I had a format which seemed both simple and thorough.
I sat down and timed how long it took me to do one the other day. I completed it in a minute and a half, start to finish. This doesn’t include thinking time but I do that while cleaning stalls, driving, walking dogs or any other time my mind isn’t focused on something specific. Thinking is a critical part of training. Don’t skip that part!
Writing a 2 minute plan prevents me from doing the same boring thing every day. It helps me be prepared and give my horse the best chance at learning happily. It functions as a great marker of progress as I look back a couple months ago to see where we were then.
You don’t need anything special for this. I use a pen and notebook, but you can use a computer, a smartphone or any other tool you are comfortable with.
I designed this course to take at least one month, but you will have 6 months from the time you sign up to complete it. You will use the lessons in actual training sessions with your horse, so if you skip a day of training, just pick up the next time.
I will present a lesson and you will have three days to practice that step (baby steps!), but you can practice longer if you like. Then you will share your practice with me, via a “quiz” and receive the password for the next lesson. There are ten steps to the training plan, so adding one more step every three days is how we arrive at a minimum of 30 days to complete the course.
And hey! Popular knowledge says that it takes 28 days to form a habit, so by the end of the course, you will have the habit of making lesson plans! That’s a big step toward success.
Once you sign up for this course, you can click on the first lesson below (“Making the Most of Your Training Journal”) to proceed. You must do the lessons in order and complete the assignment (quiz) for each before moving on to the next lesson.