Monday, September 1, 2014

Quick Tip #73 If You Want To Stay On The Horse..

...then staying on the horse must not be your top priority. The top priority must be controlling the horse's speed, gait and direction.

That requires one to keep the hands on the reins instead of simply grabbing the saddle, holding and hoping. Holding and hoping are poor substitutes for control of where this 700 pound horse will carry you. All to often fear (panic) results in forfeiting control of the horse.

There is no time more important to be in control of the horse than when there is a problem.

To safely stay on the horse one must control the horse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lydia taught me that there is great utitilty in instantly matching one's energy level to the horse's, and then using that match to ease the horse back amps up, I amp up just for a second, then ease back down to where the horse needs to be..rather, where I need the horse to be..while this is not as difficult as it sounds, it does take some practice. It is perfectly natural to get scared when the horse flips his lid..the trick is, to learn to take instant stock of the situation, regulate yourself and get the horse hauled down to a stop, collect them and go on down the trail just as if nothing happened at all.
We do this in the round pen, but the focus is different, here we are moving the horse by applying pressure to him, pressure that naturally causes him some concern while we control that pressure and release with our own energy, energy that is kept as calm as possible, as always the smallest pressure required to get the desired result, this makes a light, and responsive horse if done consistently.
It is a very much different set of issues on the back of a horse under saddle out in the woods when that turkey blows up under him..our first instinct is to curl up and protect ourselves, which helps the horse not at all. We must learn to master the emotion of fear, to look through it, and bring the horse back to the thinking side of his mind.
Smart fellow once said, "The horse will bring 90% of the physical strength to the game, and the human must bring 90% of the mental strength to the game." One of the Dorrance brothers, I believe.

It ALWAYS come back to the concept of feel, the concept that is the alpha and omega of horsemanship..
The more time you spend on and around the horse, the more you will understand what is going on with him, sooner or later you will find that your horse did not spook at what the other horses just spooked at..and you may find that you felt it coming just as the horse did, and lifted the rein, sat back and just gave that horse all the reason in the world to believe that everything is under you can go help that other guy dust himself off and get back on...try not to is undignified and may embarrass your trusty steed.
In the picture above is Red Feather; as interesting a horse as any of us is likely to meet. He has taught me more about riding through an adverse, fear filled situation than a whole adult career in the military, and I get to count three wars. Red Feather absolutely requires focus, trust and control, and it must be quick, as his reactions are alot like getting hit by lightning. it is not a thing to fear, it is a thing to respect, and master. In working with his half brother, Stitch, who is very much the same sort of horse in a bigger package, I am trying to channel what I have learned of Red Feather into helping Stitch along. See how it all ties together? -Lloyd