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Teaching a horse to Search to improve the Partnership
I balance between working with a horse both on the lead rope and loose.
In this scenario, with Pardner the goal is for him to address when I ask him to think, then move with intention.
It is an opportunity for him to think through his options, try something, perhaps let it go if I ask him to, and then to be willing to try something else.
I'm looking to see if he gets stuck on a thought, or if he has the ability to address me, if he can pause when asked to stop or if he has to leave to sort himself out.
In the end, he "happens" to be asked to step into a tire cutout. But the focus was not about the task, rather the Quality of the Conversation, that then allowed the horse to "find" the specific task presented.
I don't want conditioned or patternized responses from the horse. I want him to be interested in participating and willing to try. Is the about getting him to be obedient? No. It is creating a scenario where we can practice the Conversation together which will apply to any future scenario with him, whether from the ground or while I'm in the saddle.