Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Horse Body Language: Develop the Try in You and Your Horse

Guest Post by Jeannie Choate

When we talk about the try in a horse, we are looking for a response to a request we have made. A change in the horse, where he is looking, where his ears are pointed can be a response to an idea.

We are asking the horse to let an idea we have become his idea. You have to ask, not make the horse. The horse learns by searching for the answer and when he has a thought or movement in the direction we want we have to recognize that change with a release. We need to break down our big picture and look for a subtle response and build on that “TRY

1. As a student of the buckaroo way do you read to find answers and then do what you have read? This is recognizing the try in yourself. When you and your horse have an area where you don’t seem to communicate, then you need to stop and think about that situation and try to figure out what is going on or maybe what is not going on.

2. Do you watch good horse and rider partners and then go and practice to learn what you have seen?

3. Do you give your horse the chance to learn what you want him to do?

4. Are you consistent with how you handle your horse every day, every moment you are around him, so he knows what he can expect from you and is comfortable around you?

Students of the buckaroo way know signs of a horse try can be very very subtle. Paying attention to this small detail every second you are around your horse, until you don’t have to think about it, will pay big dividends for your horse and rider relationship.

You will know you are developing the horse and rider partnership you seek when you are in the saddle and ready to head to the right and you notice the horse has his right ear tipped back at you, he is feeling of you and knows which way you are asking him to go before you ask.

As Ray Hunt would say “Practice does not make perfect, Perfect practice makes perfect”.

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