Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Soft Spot - Not Mechanics, Not Verbal (Part II)

(Part I is here.)

I've got a lot of bits written, but it's hard to write about the soft spot and what it means.  Part of the problem is that the soft spot isn't really about mechanics.

We're taught and learn lots of mechanics, as if riding a horse were like driving a car.  Almost none of the really good stuff is about mechanics, which is about operating on the outside of the horse.  Now, this is not to say that our own mechanics - how we sit, what we do with our bodies, our tension/relaxation, and how we time our aids - aren't important - they are.  Part of what I'm trying to write about is responsibility - our responsibility to the horse to be the best rider we can.  But softness isn't something you do to the horse, it's something you and the horse are, together.  There are mechanical things that can get you part of the way there, but in the end it's not about mechanics.

The soft spot also isn't a verbal thing - using words to describe it is hard.  The soft spot is physical, and mental, and let's be clear, it's also spiritual and about relationship, deep relationship.

So these posts are going to come slowly.

More coming . . .


  1. Ray used to tell us that it was very hard to explain, it was something that had to come from inside of a person. That feel. "but if I can show you a little bit of what I'm talking about, well then, maybe you'll begin to understand and take this way further than I was ever able to." As if...he's so right, it has to come inside of us first, so we have something to offer the horse. It's responsibility, partnership, leadership all in one. Feel, timing and balance. A tangible that's almost impossible to explain. But when you get it, you and your horse immediately recognize the connection, that softness and feeling of becoming one. But you do a very good job at putting the ideas into words Kate. Eager for more...

  2. I remember reading a story when I was just a little kid- maybe 7 or 8- about a frontier family and a horse that the little boy loved - I think they had acquired it as part of a trade, I don't remember- and how a little Indian boy came along and took the horse one night, and how the child knew that the horse really belonged to the little Indian boy because of the connection they had, and how they seemed as one when they rode off. There were several other stories I read back then that talked about being one with the horse, and that is what has inspired me throughout my life with horses.


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