How to create Adaptable and Reasonable horses

How do YOU and YOUR horse respond if: 

 You go into the pasture/stall with a halter in your hand, but don't immediately catch your horse. 

 You open the gate/stall door but don't go out it. 

 When you do go out the gate, you stop and talk to someone, instead of continuing on to wherever the tack up area is. 

You tack up "wrong"- place your saddle blanket on the horse's neck or rump instead of the "normal" area, or change the order by bridling before you saddle. 

 You lead from the horse's right side. 

 Mount/dismount from the horse's right side. 

 You mount/dismount multiple times throughout a session. 

 At the end of the ride you head all the way back to the "normal" dismount area, then turn around and head back out as if you were doing another ride. 

 Especially with seasonal changes potentially limiting the amount of time spent with your horse, or limiting the area in which you ride your horse, I find people and horses get stuck in a mental/physical rut as to the quality and intention of the Conversations and interactions with their horse. 

 Without having to "go anywhere" there are so many scenarios that you can create to help you assess, then address and refine, in your own clarity, communication, and adaptability. 

Then notice how receptive your horse is to be asked something different from what he has learned to expect if you change your normal patterns of interaction. These seemingly insignificant moments or minor changes contribute to you building a thoughtful and intentional partnership with your horse so that the day you need to ask something unexpected of your equine partner, he is mentally available and physical soft towards participating in the unfamiliar. 

But most folks due to time limitations, convenience, or lack of awareness, create patterns in the interaction with the horse. This often leads to mindless moments as human and horse are going through the motions during much of their time together. 

 Folks are frequently shocked at how little it takes to "bother" their horse, and then how much effort it takes to help the horse let go of his defensiveness when not asked what was anticipated or was familiar to him. 

 Instead of avoiding potential "holes" in your horsemanship, view recognizing them as an opportunity to address and "fill" them. 

 Remind yourself to not have self-critique or critically reactive responses towards the horse if he offers unexpected moments. His physical behavior is a reflection of his mental and emotional state. 

 Take his feedback towards you changing things up as learning opportunities, rather than being under the illusion he is "fine" and then experiencing "all of a sudden" moments. 

 By acknowledging and refining areas how and when you offer quality support towards the horse, helps him increase his adaptability and reasonableness.

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