When training a horse there are ups and downs. Days I feel we are making progress and he is getting it. Days that I’m like WTF? why isn’t he understanding or complying?
This is just the nature of training; the only way to weather it is consistency and persistence. You have to keep going and going every day. Where people make the biggest mistake is getting frustrated and letting their emotions take over.
I had hoped I would be lunging with the Art2Ride program by now but… we aren’t 😀 Instead we are still working on body mechanics of weighting legs, moving correctly, and getting the correct bend.
Right now Straightness Training is more of our focus. This would be groundwork – using one line, working the horse from the ground. The major thing here is to find and keep the horse in the correct movement before moving the horse further from the trainer (i.e. lunging) or moving a faster pace (i.e. trot). There’s an article that goes with this video here.
Stellning – is really eating our lunch. Dante is so reluctant to let the energy move from the front to the hip. He seems to find it easier to give the release (over bracing) when he is moving. Part of it too is I’m sure my lack of noticing and understanding all the components needed to make this work. So we are taking time and doing it step by step.
Bent Branderup’s videos are well worth the money – consider it paying for a lesson you can take again and again – and the value when compared to a lesson from a Master or a clinic is awesome.
What I’ve noticed with Dante is he doesn’t like his head being handled – he braces and resists to having his head moved if the force is too much. Another thing I’ve noticed is if I try to move his head down he resists – if I use a target, he lowers and bends. This is about the psychology behind him being willing and cooperative (which encourages relaxation), instead of me making or forcing him into a frame or position (which fosters bracing).
This type of resistance to what we humans feel is a very simple request, can really get my goat. It can push my buttons for sure so I have to take a step back emotionally and say, okay let’s try this again – or maybe I can try a different way with some out of the box thinking.
Looks easy, but it isn’t.