Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Not Soft at the Start . . .
All of my horses know what it is to be soft, and responsive, and together with me. But there's a gap in my riding and handling - with all three horses, it takes some time during our work sessions for the softness to come through, and it really should be there from the first moment. Since all three horses know how to be soft, it's clearly a problem in the way I'm presenting myself to the horse in the beginnings of our work sessions - I'm not offering them the softness they need to respond in kind. Although I'm clear about what I want, I expect I'm too "declarative" at the beginning, rather than offering the horses softness from the start. And remember, softness isn't about being wishy washy or unclear, it's about offering the horse a soft place to be together with you in the work. I need to draw them into the feel without fuss or muss . . . this can be as simple as how I hold the lead or how I pick up the reins - there needs to be no abruptness - no "sharpness". Sharpness, or being overly declarative, can get the job done, but the softness that I'm looking for is missing. I'll have to see what I can do about that . . .