Many trainers think their horses have some type of attention deficit. That might be so for a few horses, but the lack of focus could be caused by too much going on in the stalls, the horse actively resisting what we want, the horse is in pain, or the trainer is not focused. If we want our horses to be focused, we must be laser focused on them. Horses need to have a short attention span to be able to flee predators, so it is up to us to keep them focused. Talking to them and touching them are two things we can do to bring them around to what we are asking. If we are hitting the horse or otherwise using negative reinforcement, we are guaranteeing that the horse will be focused on that rather than our request to yield.

Focus to Yielding: Getting a horse to focus requires the trainer to be focused and to actively engage the horse’s attention to help it yield to what we are asking.