Horse Training?Not Just for Horses

Reilly, aka “The Big Guy”

Though I am currently horseless, I do have a very large dog (who is almost horse-sized). I’ve noticed lately that my lack of a horse?and being around them in general?has made me treat my dog as though he were a horse.

While walking “The Big Guy” (his “barn” name), I use the pressure and release technique. When I want him to move to the right, I lay the lead?I mean leash?against the left side of his body. As soon as he moves over, I put slack back in the leash.

Because he is quite lazy, I often have to ask Reilly to speed up and walk at my pace. To do this, I make the kissing noises I’d use to ask a horse to step it up while riding.

Lastly, I’ve taken the lead of one of the saddle barns I worked at in high school to combat Reilly’s shedding. Anytime I have the vacuum out to clean my apartment, I vacuum the dog as well!

To be sure, he didn’t like it at first; he looked at me as if to say, “I’m not sure about this, but I trust you, so ok.” Now whenever I’m cleaning, he sits by the vacuum, looks at me, and waits patiently for his turn!

What are some of the ways you’ve seen your horsiness translate into other areas of your life?

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