The cleverly named Remix is a four year old horse in a six year old suit in terms of experience and education. In the two hours that we spent with him we started with some physical checks and looking at saddle fit. We also discussed the relationship between him and his owner and how she can enhance that even further. We talked about touch and energy and empathy.
In the saddle we worked on what to do when he gets 'stuck', how to keep his attention and re-direct energy. We put in some clickered halts too.
On the ground we looked at how to keep a connection by using body language...
...and asking him to keep that connection by softening to the bit.
We long reined him home again so that we could look at his confidence levels, and work on helping him when his courage batteries fail.
Hopefully, with all of this in words, in actions, and in writing, J has a good starting point for her work with him this year.
"Thanks for your help today. Was very enjoyable learning new skills. I promise to try and keep my energy levels down and not ask too much of Remix. I will let you know how we are getting on and get you out again in a few weeks." JW
5.2.15: "Rode remix today and took him for an hours hack in a route that he knows. Practised my breathing and Remix standing still and getting a treat when I made a cluck sound. He learnt pretty quickly! One time I was just about to give him a treat when someone shot a gun and he jumped to the left. He calmed down pretty quickly though with me being calm. I had to unstick him a few times using the rein to my thigh. He is very supple! Was a good ride for us both. I have just finished reading Mark Rashid book "horses never lie". What a fab book and has made me think differently about my relationship with Remix. Trust comes first and everything else will fall into place easier." JW
As Mark would say, "Atta Girl".