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Mental Clarity

Assess yourself before you critique your horse.

When did your ride really start?  Your ride should begin when you THINK about going for a ride.  You need to raise your level of awareness that at everyone moment you are interacting with your horse (starting with when you catch him) you are influencing the "tone", energy and attitude for the upcoming ride.

Distraction, stress, goals, patience, sensitivity, work, family, “real life.”  Leave "reality" at the door.  If you're not 110% available for your horse, there is no way you will be able to offer clear and effective communication with your horse.  If you're not completely "present", then there is no way that your horse will be.

Intention-Purpose-Self Analysis Do not brainlessly go through the motions, even when catching, grooming and tacking up.  Have an initial "plan"- though this will change numerous times throughout the ride.  If you set small goals (even just for every three or four steps of the ride) you will be able to break down what you are offering, what your horse is doing in response, and what changes you'd like to create a better quality ride.

If something is NOT working, try creating a change in you in order to find one in your horse.  Many people think that repetition is the way to teach a horse something.  Put it into people terms.  If someone were trying to teach you something, and you didn't understand, if they kept saying the same thing over and over, louder and louder each time, you STILL would not understand.  They would have to change how or what they were saying to find a way to offer you a better explanation.  The same goes for riding.  Even if you think you're being clear, you need to address each time your horse isn't clear, which may mean diverting from the "original" goal, in order to set the necessary foundation in order to accomplish the end goal. 

Brainlessly offering the same movement over and over until your horse accidentally or finally figures out what is being asked of him, decreases his confidence and willing to try and learn the next time you offer something new.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, thank you for sharing!

    Petra Christensen
    Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
    Parelli Central


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