What a group of committed students! Today’s weather went from bad to worse and they just kept smiling and working!
One of the big takeaway lessons for the day was the difference between working with horses for control vs. working with them for improved communication. Both can give desired results, but students quickly found out that control feels very different than communication. Some horses, particularly the ones who are worried, fearful or have had bad experiences may find themselves feeling more worried and fearful when someone attempts to control them with force or pressure. Whereas in improving communication with the horse, a horse can find confidence and direction, and often times lessening their worry and fear.
Through interactive exercises, students got the chance to see how the horse “feels” in these two different situations. By being the horse, seen below with the sidepull, Julia got a chance to “feel” as Judith directed her where to go. It was amazing to watch the light bulbs go off as people experienced things from another perspective.
The AHA’s of the day was that if we offer information to our horse in progressive manner, we can make quicker progress. (Loosing assumptions and investigating how the horse is in the current situation was helpful!) Understanding things like bit mechanics and angles of pressure made it easier to do this. Being a leader with a plan of action that was flexible is key in reaching our desired goals! What a great day of learning, despite not so great weather!