Raincoat, scarf, or sunblock? Dress for Success

(“Less making, more allowing”)

So much of the time, I talk to people about creating expression or energy. Routinely at clinics filled with lower level or amateur riders, the majority of them under-ride their horses. Dominant themes are getting the horses quicker to the leg, more attentive, and more active.

But there are exceptions. Sometimes these qualities are already there, even overflowing into tension or stress. More of the aforementioned qualities of themselves do not necessarily make a better picture.

The horse’s trust and confidence in you are equally important. You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s always worth exploring the notion of “Less making, more allowing.”

Remember that when a horse carries himself, that means more than not being heavy in the reins. He carries himself forward in balance and without the need to constantly be poked and prodded to maintain the gait or the movement. Also remember that if your horse seems hyper responsive—bursting against the hand in an upward transition, for instance—he may need some time to be de-programmed, even intentionally under-ridden to compensate for his elevated concern. And certainly the last thing you want to do is punish an overreaction. That will only feed the problem!

I am not trying to go all snowflake with you, but right here let me cast a vote for harmony. You can always turn the volume up and add more power and expression when he can understand and accept it.