Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Orange County, California
I like the very "Zen" approach discussed by Marecare. I like that concept and will try to incorporate it more in my training.
I think it is CA who says you contol the mind of a horse by controlling his feet. (rope halter, long lead) If I'm leading and my horse decides to just stop, I want him to understand it is much more fun and relaxing to walk nicely with me than to do his own thing. If I have the room, I will use the end of my lead rope to move him around me a few times in a tight circle (not hitting, just use the rope to impart the feel of moving his feet - ask, tell, demand). Or, I'll just double him back (immediately when he braces, I'll turn around and walk past him the other direction, bringing his head around and yielding his hip out of the way. Immediately reverse again (tight against his side) so he has to hip yield to turn, and walk on. If I'm on some narrow place (sidewalk, trail, etc.), I will start walking backward (saying "back, back, back") spinning the rope like a propeller in front of me. When I pass his nose (going backward), it is his choice to either back up, or run into my rope. Back him up 5 steps or so, and lead on. Lead with a purpose - we are GOING to the arena. Not mean, but direct. You can walk with me, or work a little harder, your choice, but we are going to the arena.
Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing hard. (another quote)