(“. . . big but only about the size of J Lo’s thighs! “)
(“. . . you were supposed to put your arm back down!”)
Riders are herd animals. Much like all those suburbanites with yellow diamond Baby on Board signs or stick figure families pasted on their SUV’s rear window, horse people have had their own odd bandwagons to jump on. Some examples:
QOTM: I try to ride my mare on a loose rein so she’ll relax. When my trainer gets there she tells me to shorten my reins a lot because my horse is too quick, borderline running away at the trot and no where near being round or on the aids. She wants my horse to basically ‘earn’ a longer rein by going slower and giving in. Will that really help relax her?
(“. . . a time to de-program.”)
(“. . . concern for falling off the edge can be a great motivator.”)
(“Aside from the zero likelihood of that ever happening . . .”)
Bill— The most obvious answer is that it’s a matter of intent. Being on the outside lead by accident gets you no credit. However, that heightened level of obedience to your aids which allows you to choose your lead—true or counter— ensures that your horse is not taking his lead by rote or on autopilot.
(“They don’t want to risk undoing anything . . .”)
(“There are only so many pirouettes in a set of hocks.”)
BiLL— “Clouded judgment is bad judgment.” I think Al Roker said that. Regardless, it is certainly true that if you are grumpy, depressed, irritated about some other facet of your life, or just plain off your game, it’s not going to help your riding or your horse!