Before I tell you a little title story, here is Shabby working his little socks off today in canter exercises in the field.
Our jumping makeover plan is based on him seeing poles and jump wings every day (he doesn't have to go over them or jump them everyday but even seeing them sends his blood levels up...I don't like any 'flooding' based training methods and think slow habituation is kinder and more humane. So I dragged a wheelbarrow, a couple of wings and poles to the field where we worked on better balance in canter via various canter exercises. Super riding from Emma today even though it was far from easy.
Now another little moment from my life ;)
Aimee: Ok, so what shall I do with him tomorrow?
She is referring to a nice little ex-racehorse she rides. She is a lovely. quiet rider, an ex-jockey whom I am torturing into a non jockey rider ;) The horse she rides comes with various racing related baggages as they do but has a lot of potential and a great jump.
We chat through some difficulties she had yesterday and I decide that best option would be to work on the ground with him followed by a hack as she is having a lesson on Wednesday.
Me: Lunge him, and play with the exercises we did on the flat. Ask him for little yields so he goes from one shoulder to the other, decreases and increases the circle, relaxes through his back and neck.
We discuss what else she can do and after a minute Aimee asks.
Aimee: What's best to put on him?
Me: Lunge cavesson so you can influence head position to some extent
Aimee: No gadgets?
Now, Aimee knows I am not into this type of training so I know she means something mainstream, maybe side reins but this horse doesn't need those. He needs to be explained to what posture to go in and for this to be done by the rider. She makes some horses she schools do dance steps with her so I know she can do it ;)
Me: BE the gadget! Move towards him and yield his shoulders away to help him release the muscles on the outside of his body and bend, if he loses energy, send him forward with end of lunge line or the whip, if he rushes, slow down, travel around the arena, work him, ride him from the ground, just be the gadget.
We laugh about it a little but then ten minutes later I have this realisation that I cracked my quote of the lifetime :-P I just hope nobody else has used it before ;)
BE THE GADGET rather than use one ;) Learn how to influence horse's posture without strapping their head to their body.
Aimee tried to claim intellectual rights to this one but I am only giving her the inspirational ones ;)