When we think about training our horse,wether its in riding or just in our daily interactions, do we expect obedience from them? In a dressage test the judge will write comments like “lacking obedience” or “obedient transition”. Are we lead to believe we want obedience.

Not for me, my horses have spirit,they have a soul and feelings. What I try to create in them is willingness, joy, wanting to be with me and to find pleasure together in whatever we are doing.

I think it would be amazing to see a dressage judge write comments like this.

Enter at A… looking very connected and focused.

Down the centre line…. in harmony moving together as one

C circle left….. Lovely turn onto the circle horse wanting to stay with his rider.Attentive and willing,soft through his body and relaxed.

and so on, at the end wouldn’t it be nice to have a comment like, horse very happy ,relaxed, really likes his rider.and very WILLING throughout.

Ok that was a bit silly! When I ride my horse, I love it when she feels willing ,wants us to be a partnership, sometimes I get it wrong and she is also forgiving, I have realised that I have to give myself to her 100% and for there to be a magical connection she has to want to give herself to me, not just do something because she is obedient and I ‘tell her’.

This felt great and willing, as well as fun.!

So did this. I havn’t done much rein back because she didn’t feel willing, but gradually she realised she can do it, and I am so happy and proud of her for having a go! and she knows it.

I thought I would show a video I saw of a high level dressage test, where the horse was obedient, she was a truely lovely talented mare and I fell in love with her the first time I saw her perform, you could think,  its a great performance, but when you look deeper you can see its a great horse very obedient. Happy? who knows. I didn t post it . I think its better to try to inspire good, not knock what you personally don’t like. I also didn’t want to get into a debate about Rollkur. That is something to make up your own mind about. I would rather show my feeble attempts at doing things how I see is correct.  By taking the long road  and considering my horses minds, bodies and happiness. I will never compete again. I have no desire to go back to that,it makes no sense to me now. I see the relationship and willingness I am so lucky to experience as so much more than a rosette or medal. I hope my horses will have a long, happy and healthy life because of that. Some dressage horses are put down at 8yrs old.

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