Sole is a rescued Paso Fino. When he first arrived, he had a hard time trusting we wanted him to relax and walk. Sole came from a situation where people would kick him to gait fast (Paso Finos are known for a natural gait between a walk and a trot), then hold him back with a harsh bit to make sure he didn’t break his natural gait and start trotting. Understandably, the poor guy was terrified about riding!
We have been working with Sole (who is available for adoption) with positive reinforcement clicker training methods. We reward him for relaxing his head while riding. We also reward him for stopping on a verbal cue of “whoa.” We use no force on him, keep any negatives out of the training session, and focus on building his confidence and enthusiasm for riding again.
Here is a video of how Sole looks after approximately twenty short sessions (less than 15 minutes each) in the ring. He can now walk half way around while keeping his head relaxed.
He will be ready for a new, force-free home soon. Great work Sole!