Greatest Threat to Your Horsemanship - Part 3

Greatest Threat to Your Horsemanship – Part 3

The Greatest Threat to Your Horsemanship?

Read Part 2 here…

We must re-think the process.

Few are interested in hearing the boring reality about what it takes to succeed. People will buy bogus quick-fix solutions all day long, but don’t want to hear that the way to build their horsemanship is to work hard for a long time and never surrender the love of learning and awareness.

The absolute simplest way to partner up with a horse is to get rid of our ego. Now, I did say simplest – NOT easiest. But, it’s our ego that provides the drama and trouble. That shouldn’t be a surprise as it’s the same with people’s relationships, right?

Critical thinking is hunh… critical! And it’s hard work! It takes perseverance just to pay attention to your horse every step, every second until you do it automatically. Folks are constantly walking off with the horse in tow and don’t have a clue as to what the horse is thinking or where he is in relation to them. The chain over the nose (just in case—my a$#) and the elbow attest to the willingness of people to use a mechanism to get from one place to another when horses get from one place to another all the time all by themselves—nicely.

It is also extremely difficult to have the honesty and integrity to think that you aren’t really the boss and that there might be a better way to get along with your horse.

I hope that when I tell you sentences here for the example you will be able to understand HOW to think by the wording I’m choosing. What I’m trying to convey is the feeling behind the thought that will bring about a different manner between you and your horse. For instance: To make it really simple, lets say that you want to go left and use your left rein to turn her. Precious braces up, neck and jaw stiff, and blows out the right, opposite shoulder.

You could yank the left rein and kick hard with the right leg, but we all know that Precious can just keep keepin’ on. It’s not the legs that you’re having the trouble with. The legs work fine and they will go any direction. The trouble is with the horse’s mind. As in NOT meeting with you.

Instead of getting angry and pulling and kicking, what if you thought about it like this: Ease up a bit so that Precious will start to listen to you instead of fighting against you. And think, “Darlin’ I see we are not on the same page. I’m going to re-assess my request as I may have been a bit harsh and thrown you off your reasonable thinking. I’m going to make sure that my cue is correct with the right amount of ask in the right position, my body soft and relaxed so you don’t feel I’m all tense to try to push you. Then, I’d like it if you would re-consider. You can continue to go to the right, but I’m going to continue to try to influence you to go to the left.”

Believe me folks; it makes all the difference in the world.
That’s what a partner in a business would do. Figure out how to influence the other.

If your ego gets in the way and you have a “the horse has to do what I say” you’re in for a rude awakening. Every day horses DON’T do what their people want. Not being aware of it or choosing to ignore it doesn’t change the fact. And why should a horse respect someone who is unaware or ignores what the horse is saying?

Learning is by definition uncomfortable so plan on the learning between the two of you developing a partnership having plenty of uncomfortable moments. But as you work out agreement after agreement, you both will start learning how to work together and then it gets really easy to ask and receive.

Success is a long-term goal achieved only thru commitment, care and patience.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” –DaVinci

It’s work… it takes effort… but it’s so worth it!

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About the author

Lauren Woodard

On horseback since a toddler, Lauren's been training and teaching for over 30 years. She has many years of formal training in hunter/jumper and dressage with Gran Prix and occasionally Olympic caliber trainers. She also lived on a working cattle ranch in AZ for 3 years learning about and moving 2000 head of cattle around. Working with all breeds and any discipline from hunters, jumpers, trail/endurance, pleasure and barrel racers, Lauren has a particular fondness for the challenges of working with and training rogues, renegades, spooks and knuckleheads. Exceptional Horsemanship is Lauren’s version of results oriented learning to be better for your horse and with your horse. She has the ability to observe what is happening between horse and rider and the background to teach the skills and positions required to remedy the less desirable aspects and obtain the results you’re striving for. Lauren has written two books “Curbside Service, Change the Way You and Your Horse Think About Each Other” and “Balky, Balky, I Ain’t Goin’ “ available from Amazon in print or Kindle. And you can catch up with her stuff on her website.

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