I am planning a “Boot Camp” for horse and human anxiety at the end of June. This “Boot Camp” will be different from my previous workshops. The question that stood out the most from my last workshop is what to do when your horse spooks.
A human usually wants to react, instead of respond, by gripping with their legs and pulling back on the reins. We have all heard that this is the worst reaction a human can have BUT yet it still happens ALL the time.
Most anyone can sit on a horse (and ride) when everything is going well…BUT things change when their horse reacts to something. Unfortunately, the best way to help a rider understand what to do is to experience such feelings. A rider needs to feel the horse change under their seat.
This “Boot Camp” will expose riders to such feelings. It doesn’t matter if anyone has attended my past workshops as this will expose more to riders…whether you think you have the most quiet horse around…this “Boot Camp” could still be very helpful. I have tried to keep things very low keyed for everyone (in the past) but now I realize I need to step things up a notch but not to the degree of chaos.
When a horse’s anxiety rises…it is a feeling that you can’t understand from a book or video…one needs to feel it. The “Boot Camp” will be on a Saturday. The time will be from 10:00 a.m. to around 3:00 p.m. I am looking at either June 22 or June 29. I would like everyone to bring a lunch…
I plan on having a little fun…BUT get ready for a “Boot Camp” atmosphere. If this sounds like a plan…please feel free to contact me. I will try and have the exact date and other details in a couple days………
Success is a scary word sometimes!!! The definition of success is different to each horse and each individual!!! I, often, talk about setting your horse up to succeed…well, riders can set themselves up to succeed! I am writing this blog because one of the things that I hate to hear riders say…”my horse doesn’t look like that horse” or something similar. Does this sound familiar to anyone???
I try to advise riders to quit comparing themselves, or their horses, to another rider or another horse. It is great to have goals but not constantly comparing…this will set you up for more failure than success in the long run. If you do see a nice rider and their horse doing well…don’t compare…you have no idea where that rider and horse started from and/or how long they have been on their journey.
If you do see a rider and their horse that you admire….then I would strongly suggest that you talk to that person. Ask them a lot of questions…I am sure you will be surprised by their detailed and long answer back to you.
Nothing good happens over night. So before anyone keeps beating themselves up by always comparing themselves to someone else…ask questions…you will be in for a surprise. Try and think of you and your horse and the journey that the two of you are on…NOT everybody else. Set yourself up for success!!!
The only success that should be important to you is you and your horse’s journey together! If you feel the need to compare…then compare you and your horse from the day before or week before or six months ago. Have you and your horse made positive improvements? That is what I would be comparing. Every rider and horse is different.
Humane Society Says 75% Of Horses At Walking Horse Celebration Tested Positive For Foreign Substances…
Difficult for people to change…I, often, find that when a student’s horse is improving that it is difficult for the rider to change along with their horse.
For example: If a student has always kicked their horse to go forward and we have educated their horse to move forward with a much softer leg cue…then the rider needs to make a change in the way they ask their horse to move forward…meaning do not keep kicking their horse. Riders can get into bad habits and they are difficult to break.
Just try and remember if your horse is improving…then the rider needs to improve along with their horse!
It’s all how you look at it…for example:
Does your horse maintain a nice rhythm at his gaits? Does your horse change his rhythm by choosing to slow down often? I see this happen quite often.
I try to explain to riders that instead of looking at making their horse go…look at it by helping their horse to NOT want to choose to slow down. Every time your horse wants to slow down…you can bump with your legs and/or tap him with a whip. The idea is that you want your horse to want to make a better choice. Every time he chooses to slow down something will happen to make it uncomfortable for him to want to slow down. If he chooses to not slow down…then life will be good…no bumping with your legs or tapping him with a whip!
I find this way of thinking is more beneficial when a horse has the issue of constantly slowing down and not maintaining his rhythm. It seems when riders think of making him go forward…they use excessive leg and/or whip in trying to make him go forward. Don’t make him go forward…help him to not want to slow down!!!