Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Projections, Reflections, and Rejections

The problem with some  little riders' eyes is not that they have poor vision. The problem is that they can see so well that they see things that are not even there. Their hearing is even more of a problem. They can hear another young rider decree that a given horse is "not smooth", "afraid of water", "always ready to kick", "pokey", or "stubborn", and by hearing, believing, and acting on these completely baseless opinions they harm a horse's reputation every bit as easily as they do on the play ground with other children.

The rider that does not work to get in sync with the horse's movement will certainly find that that horse is "not smooth". The rider who tenses up at the sight of wide water or deep mud passes that fear on to the horse. The rider who constantly eyes other horses who approach with near panic tells the horse that it is in a fight or flight situation. Without knowing it, that rider often holds on tight with the legs and puts pressure on the reins. A rider who refuses to make a horse move quickly produces a "stubborn" horse.

Good horsemanship begins with solid knowledge and and a positive attitude. Good horsemanship ends without those two things.

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