Saturday, November 21, 2015

Keeping the horses focus, when it does not want to... Training level. S4...




“What if.... in the middle of a training session, your horse decides it no longer wants to stay focused on what you are doing. What can you do to bring them back into connection?"


In this session we are trotting and Ani decides she would rather look at something outside the ring (this is not her barn..) This happens to so many riders. Something happens in the training process where the horse gets distracted and we need to get it back into connecting with us. On this day, Trudy's response was to start locking up in her hands and holding the reins too tight for too long. She told me that her arms were hurting which told me what was happening. To help Trudy get back in control I asked her to focus on something different. I asked her to focus on connecting Ani on one side for two strides, than the other. It worked! This is a great video as you can see that sometimes we simply need to try something different to get to where we wanted to go.

The "Two steps" on one side than the other is a technique I use to help riders become aware when they get "locked up" on the reins or holding their aids to long. When something stressful happens, like a horse not wanting to pay attention, it helps to keep a rider focused on asking their horse to connect on one side than the other. Once the rider can do this for two steps that can move up to 3 and so on.