Originally Posted by spirithorse8
...I school traditional, though I do not take hold of my horses and force them to submit, instead I release them and ask them to make the decision. ...
I know that this is one of the things that makes some people furious. It sounds just too...woo-woo... But my angle is that I only want to do what my horse wants, and THAT could be construed "making the decision." I do not believe this is a truly classical
-- old-- approach. The ancients needed more control in their lives (I believe.) But I think it's an improvement!
But for this to work, you need a strong bond (another concept that gets people angry!)-- I think of us as a herd. What horse won't run off when the herd bolts? It doesn't matter if she's tired, or hungry, or even sore. When I present (as I'm doing now) the counter-canter, my horse says she can't; I'm asking her to "run with me" on boggy ground...I ask her to try, because I know she can, and she does try. So long as she keeps trying, the herd is together; it is my responsibility to know when to stop, and when we need to keep trying. (That's the hard part!) But when she does learn something, and I present the opportunity for her to "go for it" the energy really comes from her, it's not re-active but voluntary, and, in my opinion, more beautiful than simply a well-schooled obedient
horse. Much more fun too.