Between appointments Tracey and I tend to listen to Radio 4 as we go along. We've kept up with the Archers and who's died on a Friday. Occasionally you catch something that just seems so apt for the horse world.
The Hospital Pass
The Mayor of Bristol was explaining how being handed a city's finances, obligations, power and authority, was akin to a Hospital Pass in the game of rugby. This is where a player is being chased down by someone from the opposite team, someone big and intimidating, and throws the ball to you just as that person is about to reach him. I know that feeling. Sometimes horses have been in trouble for so long that they're actually dangerous by the time they seek my help, and responsibility is passed to me just after the horse escalates their behaviour. Please call me out early if you are having a problem with your horse.
The Elite Referee
There has been some recent research which showed that it isn't enough for a football referee to have 20/20 vision. They need to train themselves to use their peripheral vision, their knowledge and skill, to read a situation so that they can spot something almost before it happens and address it appropriately. Without being watchful, this is how it is with horses. You need to be able to read their body language so that you can answer their question almost before they have asked it. I do go out to a lot of experienced horse people who cannot read their horse's body language. They don't notice, for example, that their horse is fed up with the way that it is touched, that the horse turns away as they approach and braces itself for a pat, that the horse is sick of its saddle, or not happy about going forward. Be an elite referee for your horse!
p.s. I was chatting when out walking with Sammy yesterday and he stood on the back of my foot. Poor refereeing...I should have noticed that he had moved behind me.