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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Forsell

Allowing Your Horse to Flow with Your Intentions

In my training I always try to show the horse what I want, not what not to do. Same with small kids, if they are doing something you don’t want, get them to do something that you do want.

We can apply this all over the place in our riding. What if, rather than thinking, “get off my leg!” think a like the pig, Babe in the movie when he beats out the border collies at the herding competition by very politely asking the sheep to go where they need to go and all the little sheep did exactly what he asked (if you haven’t seen Babe, it’s adorable)

Here is an example for you to play with and see how you can apply it to other places in your riding.

While I am not going to deny the importance of the outside rein, because it is, there are times when we unintentionally block the bend or shut down the horse’s desire to go to it. I think of the outside rein as a receiving rein. Gathering the horse on the outside, but not shutting him down. The intensity of these outside aids may change depending on what side you are working on.

Try turning down the quarter line to just make a simple leg yield over to the rail away from your inside leg. You are going to use your reins mostly as a pair and keep the neck dead straight in front of his chest because too much inside rein will also block the leg yield.

Use your same aids as you usually do with your inside leg. You will have a soft gaze at the spot which you would like to arrive. Then think about your intent to go there.

Try this a few times each direction and see what happens. Perhaps you can apply this idea in other areas of your riding.

Happy Riding!


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