Foundation is everything. You don’t appreciate a good foundation until you don’t have it. Think about that. If you’ve got a well-built house, you don’t give its foundation a second thought. But if you’re living in a house with a faulty foundation, you’re forced to think about it every day. Why are the floors uneven? Why are there cracks in the walls? Why is the roof leaking? It all goes back to the foundation.
The same is true of horses. If you have a horse that was started correctly and has a great foundation of respect in place, you find it easy to get along with him. Nothing you do is ever a big concern. The few times that he does react or hesitate, you’re able to get him on the right track with little problems thanks to his foundation. On the other hand, if you’re working with a horse that has no foundation in place, it’s evident every day that you are around him. Any time you try to correct a bad behavior, 10 more show up.
The Method is all about giving horses a solid foundation from which to excel in any given discipline. It doesn’t matter what a horse does for a living— reining, dressage, cow horse, jumping, trail riding—no matter what he does, he needs to be safe, willing, respectful and easy to control. All of the exercises in the Method, starting with Fundamentals groundwork and progressing through Advanced riding, are designed to do just that.