I basically always first start with the leading exercise, followed by the groundwork pattern. With the groundwork pattern you teach your horse how to feel relaxed in his body.
You then move onto the second step, which is working with the tools.
The tools are not(!) there to let your horse get used to certain elements.
The tools are there to teach your horse how to respond to the certain elements of tough, sound, movement and approach.
And that response should be the relaxed posture of the first step. So you basically teach your horse to create a relaxed posture when something ‘scary’ happens.
Because a relaxed body will create a relaxed mind, stopping the vicious downward spiral of getting more tension.
And then finally, the third step is where you apply the first and second step to the riding. This is where you build the bridge from working on the ground to working with your horse in the saddle.
It’s the final, crucial step to overcome spookiness and tension.
Earlier this year, we held an Online Masterclass about the 3 steps to reduce tension.
In the clip of the Masterclass below you see the three steps I take to teach a horse how to manage himself.