Welcome to my blog about horsey life in the North East - the good bits, bad bits, endless coffees and plenty of mud!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The horse will tell you

The rain has set in and washed away 90 per cent of my enthusiasm for riding. Not that Cady and Harvey mind, it's business as usual for them and they're enjoying the satisfaction of plastering their faces with improvised mud masks.

Last night was just clear enough for long enough for a play in the round pen. Join-ups with Harvey are a piece of cake but in the past I've struggled with Cad as she gets very distracted and spooky in there.
I decided to have another go with her using my new rule - 'Do less'.

I tend to meddle with Cady too much and it's made her less inclined to make her own decisions and give new things a try. But since I've started hacking her out on her own I've had to sit back and let her grow up a bit.

I've learned the hard way that I can't force her past stuff she's scared off but if I give her a minute and keep asking gently she usually finds the courage to go past whatever it is. I tried this last night in the round pen; rather than trying to chase her into the corner she's wary of I just stood in the middle, used my body language to steer her out and gave her some time to do it herself. 

She went round at a slow snorty walk and by the end of the ten minute session she was happy to trot around the outside without fuss. Arguing with her just gives her the chance to avoid the thing she's scared off and argue back. We even managed a join-up which felt lovely. It's reminded me that a horse will tell you what you need to do if you shut up and listen for long enough. 

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