I have recently been lucky enough to work with some lovely people and horses, I have also been lucky enough to work with, and learn from some incredible trainers.
One thing these trainers have in common, They know what their intentions are with a horse, even if you start with almost no intentions, at some point you will try to influence your horse. The more we can educate ourselves and know clearly what our intentions are and why, the better the response from our horse.
Have you ever thought of doing something, then its not working and you are a bit half hearted about it? or you think you know what you want but you are unsure how to achieve it? So when you try it ,its not happening.
Often when this happens we see the horse getting the blame!!! oh he’s naughty, hes trying to get out of it, its an evasion.
Too right! why should he do as requested if he didn’t understand, we have to understand what it is we are doing and why, then our intentions will be clear and understood. Sometimes we think our intentions are clear but we get no response from our horse, I would always question myself first. Were my intentions clear and strong enough, maybe not? Maybe I need to work on my understanding,my energy, body language,my attitude even, or just ask a different way. If my knowledge is lacking maybe I need to ask something more easily achievable, untill I understand how to find the route to the desired outcome.
Recently when Linda Salinas came over to teach a clinic I was also lucky enough to have some private sessions with her, what we did in the clinic, and watching her teach, as well my sessions at home, changed the clarity of my intentions, in learning from her and seeing how clear her intentions were, my communication improved massively.
Joyce rarely takes my horse, inhand but she did last time, her intentions were so clear to Noo noo that she got a much better response, I didn’t have the knowledge she has it helped me to realise my horse can do the more difficult work but I really need to want her to do it and to be crystal clear.
With Maya I also have to have firm intentions she is still learning my aids, if I have any doubt about what I am doing I may seem muddled and unclear to her.
Here I had a plan, which carried through from Liberty to inhand and riding. The result was I achieved what I was hoping for. Halts ,turning, and focus. I need Maya to stay interested and focused in her work as she can use spooking to occupy herself, if I become boring. Its a tricky thing to go to your horse with no agenda, but when it feels right have a plan so that you are clear. The last time I sat on maya I didn’t ride for more than a couple of circles. I was not expecting to sit on her, she had the bbpad on and cavesson but I was just playing around at the mounting block, she was so clear in her intentions for me to get on, it felt rude to refuse such a lovely invitation. I felt unprepared and didn’t want to be unclear to her. So I thought we would have another go if she invited me on again, luckily she did, if she hadn’t I would have had to change my plan. So our intentions must be clear but our plans flexible.