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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

August 30, 2011

What is the trainer REALLY saying.

As you all are probably aware I tend to ponder over simple ideas and concepts.  Sometimes I get so caught up in "outcome" that fail to understand "process", and the importance of process.  As Journey and I met with our trainer last weekend I had something akin to stage fright.  I became ensnared with the mechanics of this rope, this position, do this, that, and the other.  The basic outcome became muddled, and lost.  I don't hold this against the clinician, as it is how I am with processes.  So the next day I attempted again the process, same rusty wheel application, same lack-luster result.  So I went to bed a little disgruntled with myself that I am managing to fail my horse in what should be such a simple task.  A night's sleep and an epiphany of sorts came to my mind. 


Well...the function is to mimic a horizontal bend  to the rein, and a disengagement of the hip, as if you were in the saddle.  I think if I switch hands I can easily do this.  As we are to do it, standing on the nearside, the rope is in my right hand with slack in it.  Left arm catches it and puts pressure on right side of horse's face, horse bends creating release (I'm good up to this point), then the right hand picks up the end of the rope and encourages the horse to disengage the hip.  What works for me is to hold the rope in my right hand, put pressure on the face, allow to face to soften, then use the left hand (behind where the girth would be) to step the horse over. 


Various clinicians have different methods for achieving the same thing.  Some clinicians are warm and fuzzy in their approach fostering the "relationship" above all things.  Some clinicians are in more of a "boot camp" mentality.  I believe that sometimes the horse's personality matters, and sometimes the handler's personality matters concerning the approach.  I do know that Journey has not partnered up with me at this point.  I've figured out some aspects of her behavior:  Dominent mare, a little bit lazy, sensitive, stubborn, severely herd-bound, and a wee bit of a temper.   I think I want to do some ground work exercises to foster join-up...and I believe it will take awhile.  Tonight we will again practice things the trainer's way, as that is what I paid for, doesn't make sense to hire someone to help you and "do a different thing."   But I'm going to try doing the thing with the actual outcome in mind.  Maybe that will make it flow more smoothly.

1 comment:

  1. Rope handling is definitely a skill you want to get worked out without a horse attached. Tie your rope to a fence or ask a friend to hold the other end and practice. Once you can do it fairly well with fence or friend, then try it with your horse. I think you will find your results will be better. A friend can also give you verbal feedback on how things "feel" to them. You get feedback from a horse, but it doesn't always help you figure out what you need to do differently. It is actually pretty fun to do!