Quick update on this evening’s Seminar at De Woldberg Academie – it went super!
Two Icelandic horses on Feather Lines with Carina, who wanted to learn how to get them more in harmony and be able to communicate with them individually… Anna and her lovely LBE mare that was having trouble in contact and making an intermittent hiccuping noise… and then Gierje (not sure of the spelling!) and her lovely LBI mare that always felt kind of sticky and not freely forward and relaxed… and right around 100 eager, smiling faces in the audience (many of whom will be in the next 5 days of the Adv. MasterClass with me).
I showed Carina how to change the horse’s positions so the faster one was on the inside and would automatically be slowed by the line from the other one, rather than constantly asking the slow one faster. And then how to ‘talk’ to each horse separately. And finally, that the real goal was to teach the horses that harmony together was the goal! The changes were immediate and I’m sure Carina will make huge progress in the next months.
Anna’s horse was really afraid of contact and would get tense and make that little choking noise. I explained to everyone that this is low-level panic. Imagine yourself being choked and making that noise, it’s the same sound! The solution was easy – repeatedly give the outside rein forward and say/think to your horse: “It’s not a trap.” It took only a few laps for the horse to start wanting to lick her lips, let go of the adrenaline, and realize that she was OK. She would also stop suddenly and not go forward, and we just relaxed and petted her, and pretty soon she didn’t need to do that either. I think in this next 5 days she’ll make awesome progress!
Gierje’s horse did not want to go forward, and when she was told to (even nicely), she was stiff, reluctant, and had quite a bit of displaced behavior in her jaw. I showed Gierje how to ask softly with her seat, gently close her calves, and then tap her with the stick, and it didn’t take long before her horse not only went with just her seat, but did not even want to break gait anymore.
It’s all about PSYCHOLOGY. What is important to horses is: Safety – Comfort – Play. What we need to learn is how to consciously know how to provide that, and that’s what this program teaches you. Keep looking at things from your horse’s point of view. If you can give them what they need, they will give you what you want.
Looking forward to Day 1 of our course tomorrow!
Nitey nite from the Netherlands.