Quote for the week

We're always so busy trying to show horses what we want from them that we don't take the time to listen to what they're trying to say back.-Mark Rashid in Considering The Horse

One of the things that the DOR has been working on is listening to what I am telling her. She realized that she will ask me to do something, I do it, then she asks me to do something else, I do it and the cycle continues. She was not pausing to listen or to feel what I might be telling her about how things were going. It became clear to her when I protested about having to start trotting straight after trotting laterally. She thought about that for a few days and realized that she hadn't felt the hesitation in my step when she gave me the cue to change directions. That if she had she could have cued me a bit differently and gotten a better result, rather than just getting tighter on the rein. I hate it when a rider is on my face, it is the one thing that makes me crow hop every time....getting on my face with no release for too long. If I don't understand what is wanted it helps just to be more clear, not to argue.

The DOR practiced just sitting on me, closing her eyes and seeing what was happening through feel, rather than just using her eyes. At first she was nervous, but she has learned that I am going to take care of her when we do this exercise so she is okay. She will sit and ask me to collect myself while we are standing by lightly tickling the bit. She can now feel when I drop and tuck my head. She is working on the same thing at a walk. She is slowing down what we do and how fast the succession of requests are, it allows her time to recognize what I am telling her after each request. We are becoming a better team this way. Sometimes she thinks something and begins to cue me and I am already on it. I can feel the most subtle muscle shifts in her, knowing that has helped her lighten up her cues which in turn has reduce my "squirty" responses. It is fun when everything falls into place, but for that to happen a rider must listen to the horse. Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


Dr.blogger said...

thing seem better when we work as team , listening to each other and " feel " each other.

have a nice day

Betty said...

You are so smart to be able to teach your DOR to listen to you. All of us could take a lesson from you.
~~ Hugs and Smooches ~~

Victoria Cummings said...

Jack - So much has happened in your life since I last checked in on your adventures. A new filly, a helpful clinic and fun in the sprinklers. You do have a wonderful life - and how lucky you are to have a DOR who listens to you! Missed you, big guy - hope the warm weather brings lots of sweet grass and good times for you.

squirrelmama said...

Jack, I will think of your wise words when I am partnering with little Flo, the 15'2" appy I consider your counterpart here in New York. I am learning every day to have "giving hands" and to be gentle and rewarding with the bit, and I think it is a wise horse who does not give up on us silly humans who are sometimes so slow to learn.

mommanator said...

what a great photo! sure made me smile!


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