Borrego & I had our first drive this weekend thank to great preparation with Julie and coaching from world class driver Shelly Temple of Catalyst Driving Center.
He started out a bit nervous when he first felt the pull of the cart… in the first photo you can see his tense body posture and high head. Borrego stringhalts when he is worried, which means he lifts one hind leg (in his case, always the left) up extra high and stomps it down. It is a neurological thing that causes no pain but happens when he is excited or stressed. In the second photo he is a much more relaxed picture… low, stretched out neck with soft muscles & ears. Getting in the habit of closely observing your horse for the first signs of tension is one of the best ways to proactively avoid a wreck. Establishing a baseline of your horse’s natural relaxed state and knowing what he’s likely to do when he gets worried so you can be one step ahead in giving him the guidance he needs is the key to a horse that can allow you to handle things when the going gets tough!