On a Pedestal
By Joseph Baker 2011
Pedestal training is so beneficial to horses as a species that it is hard to comprehend that many modern trainers over look it! Virtually every other species of animal trained by man is done so using a “place or mark” or in this case, a pedestal. When considering pedestal training for your own horse, understanding the benefits will make your choice an easy one.
I have heard pedestal training described as yoga for horses, in that it provides it encourages your horse to stretch his hindquarters and back, while providing an opportunity for him to relax his mind. Pedestal training improves your horse's ability to stand quietly and focus, and gives him a place to go and stay.
Improves Your Horse's Physical Dexterity
Mot horses love pedestal training and it helps to develop their physical dexterity, which leads to greater self-confidence and boldness. This, in turn, will make your horse more willing to learn other tricks and tasks, which further benefit your horse. Animal behavioral science as applied to pedestal training has many more benefits than even most horse folks can imagine which is why it should be an essential part of any horse-training regimen.
Instills and Strengthens Your Horse's Willing Obedience
In addition to the physical benefits of pedestal training, pedestal training will work to develop your horse's willing obedience. Before pedestal training begins, your horse should be able to lift each foot on cue, so he will likely already have an understanding of what you ask of him. Pedestal training also helps to develop trust in one another, which will deepen as your horse follows your guidance to learn more tricks or moves from his pedestal.
It is important to note that, the benefits of pedestal work will far out weigh the effort that it will take to build a nice pedestal or a complete set. Pedestals constructed to our specs are safe and sturdy. Even if your horse is the most docile or obedient animal around, always be aware that horse nature is just that...their unique nature and expect the unexpected and be proactive with your training.
When you consider the benefits to your horse, the only question should be why you haven't begun pedestal training your horse before now. So get to work, and remember: this is the beginning of a new paradigm in horse training and the beginning of a wonderful and new relationship with your equine partner. Imagine the possibilities!