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You've found the Mary-Dixon page about horsemanship.  Horses are my passion and my obsession.  They have helped me become a kinder, more confident, more patient person.  What they have taught me about them and taught me about myself is immeasureable.  I now try to teach folks about the nature of horses and how to understand each other which leads to a more confident human and a more confident little darling.
Adventure Horse Riding in NYS

1/23/13

# 87 To Move or To Stay Put - A Big Decision.



To Look or To Move - An Important  Decision.

Most clinicians and trainers feel very strongly that when your horse gets nervous or scared, it is important to keep his feet moving - doing circles, changing directios, backing up,  or whatever.  And since  your horse's  brains are more or less in his feet and you have his feet moving in the direction you are asking for, then his brain is expected to get more rational instead of reactive.  This is the reasoning.  In other words, he will calm down and you won't get in a rodeo and all will be fine.  (When you get your horse to move, he has to THINK and NOT REACT - which is important to your safety.)

Others, though in fewer number - believe that you should allow your darling to look directly at the fearful or uproarious thing for a few seconds - in other words, if your horse just stops, you allow him to stay stopped so he can check out the monsters.  The premise here is that he will figure out, on his own, that there is nothing to be scared off, trust you as his leader,  and then  he'll settle down on his own, and  the two of you can move on.

These actions - to move or stay put -  when your buddy is confronted with a scary or dangerous situation BOTH WORK  - but it is YOU that really needs to know your horse well enough to so as to be able to anticipate his thought process - should  you get him to move or allow him to stay .

This decision, from you, is a real big deal for your darling and for you  - since he has to know he is going to live and not die.  If the thinks he is going to die, and you misread the action you should be taking to get his brains back on, you may very well end up in one heck of a rodeo with your 1000 pound little darling.

Adventure Horse Riding in NYS            Smilla13@gmail.com  (Mary Dixon)         www.RideNYS.com