Tuesday, February 10, 2009

According To H.T. part 6

Again, don't forget the ground preparation before you mount. After mounting I will set still for about 1 minute, then I will ask my horse to back, in hopes that he remembers everything from yesterday. My next step will be to flex his neck in both directions. These drills help to keep him relaxed and his mind on me. I will then cluck if needed and squeeze with my legs just a little, (never more than nessasary) to ask him to move forward. Walk your horse in a relaxed manner for about five minutes directing him in the path you would like for him to go. Ideally, you have planned your riding exercise for the day, so you know where that is. :o)

Today, we are going to ask our horse to do some obstacles. We have already prepared him from the ground and familiarized him with the obstacles, so he should not be afraid of things like water, the bridge, etc. As you approach the obstacle, don't think of it being any different than you did when you were working with him on the ground. Horses are very receptive of our seat, hands and legs,.. the way we convey our messages to him. Look how easy you are getting him to move to the left or right. You will find all you have to do is look in the direction you want to go and he will understand the que. I have watched John Lyons with his horse Zip. He found that Zip would move if all (he thought) he was doing was thinking about moving. If John "thought" he wanted to move to the left then Zip would move to the left and the same for the right. Now, I know that Zip did not read his mind, (and so did John) but the point is...his que for moving to the left was so subtle that Zip was able to pick up on it. I couldn't see John give Zip a que and John did not think he was giving Zip a que, but we both knew in the smallest way he did. So eventually we want our horse to be as in tune to us as this. My point being don't think about the object being scary and you will find your horse will not pick up on que that this is a scary object. Is that as clear as mud?

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