How much does a thought weigh?
I got to spend two days in a row out at the barn; one in the round pen and today on the trails with Mac.
I had the most wonderful ride and all, I just felt this great connection to him. I am really starting to be aware of where his thought is, and being sure that I keep him "with " me in thought.
I start to see how the horse's thought is there for the reading, if you stay alert and look for it.
It is my job to watch his thought and to see when I need to bring it back to me. In order to do that, I have to know that it's going away.
So, how hard do I have to work to get his thought with me? Well, that depends on how much a thought weighs. If the horse gets that thought really strong and heavy onto something, like, "I wanna go home" or, "my friend is calling me back" or, "I think that dark red thing over there is going to eat me", THEN I will have to be strong to bring that heavy thought back.
But if I can catch my horse's thought while it's still feather light, then I can move it where I want it to be with a mear breath of my air.
Amazing lightness and connection can be felt. It's exquistiely beautiful.
Those are the moments that we all aim for. I believe this is why we keep going despite the money woes or the other commitments we have. It is hard to explain to a none horse person, those moments of connection.
I am yet to feel it with my current horse, I have owned him for a year now, and I feel it on the ground, but not under saddle, but I am determined.
My previous horse it came in flickers and then came in floods and was wonderful, it will forever be my goal to chase that.
Congrats to you for feeling it with your horse, it is a huge deal and a huge training moment.
I have been riding Mac almost 3 years. He had and still does, the habit of spinning and can do it with lightening speed and NO obvious warning sign. For that reason, I began really watching him with my third eye , all the time and trying to feel when his thought was too far away. I ride a fine line of balance, though, because i was for awhile micromanaging him, so worried that he was going to spin. So, I watch to see when I feel that he can mentally handle something that troubles him (not sure) and when he goes into a mental fear void and I need to step in and create a "draw" to bring him out of the void.
Yes, although when I experienced it, I was not as astute as you are, nor did I stick with my problem horse for as long. She would have made a great rodeo horse and was dangerous. I tried for a year and got nowhere so cut my loses.
It is a huge thing to relax enough to trust your gut, and to listen to your feelings. And those feelings are often better than the thoughts in our head.
Oh, I was really close to dropping Mac, he put me on the ground 5 times in less than three years.
But as I go along I am beginning to realize how very much the horse's brain is the most important thing to ride. I spent so much time listenging to this and that instruction of this and that aid to apply and how to sit and all, and throughout that time, I never ONCE stopped and listened and watched to see where my horse's thought was. And the thing is, once you start looking for it, you see it all over the place. It's like a silent world starts to get busy with "chatter". Well,, not chatter, but you start to see that like any moderately intelligent animal , horse's are very aware and their thought is always somewhere. They don't turn off, like a machine. And they are so honest about it, too. Watch their ears, eyes, shift of weight. You can tell so much. It's amazing. And when you have their thought ON you, you can move them with breathe, like I said.
The really good horse people have their horses thought really strongly attached to them. Me, I get a brush of it sometimes.
I think riding Western has helped me in this growth because I ride so much on really loose reins, and the horse can be spooky, I have to really be aware of where his mind is, and if he stays light to the bit, then I can regather his mind by just lifting one rein. I don't ride the bit, I ride his mind.
I think it is more than just paying attention to them, I do that all the time but Lucas is dumber than a small rock, most of the time he is thinking 'la la la'.
It takes a connection, an understanding to get to that point, and while that is my goal, I am not there yet with this guy.
When you feel/hear this with your horse it's the most amazing feeling.
Yes it is, it is what we all seek every ride, and when we get it, it is wonderful.
I have only had Bracken (4yo gelding) for 4 almost 5 weeks now, and our first hack out together was an experience I wont be forgetting in a hurry!! We only managed to get say 150 yards away from the yard after crossing a bus way, dozens of teenagers and pre teens, even a bus crossed his path.. not a blink!!! I tried to turn him down a quiet lane when a lorry was coming slowly towards us, i moved bracken back onto the corner so he wouldn't be rubbing his whiskers on the vehicle, then out of nowhere, chaos hit both of our worlds.. He was panicking from the lorry, the cars behind him (cars going uphill to stop at traffic lights at the school run time. but it was quiet never the less) but i could hear everything in his mind! Everything was elevated like i had super sensitive hearing!! It was all too much for both of us so i took him home and schooled a little... even when we both calmed down i was still inside his thoughts... A flock of blackbirds flew above us, but it sounded like they was flying around our heads it was so loud! ... Since having this connection with him we have had this respect and connection for each other.. but as youngsters go, hes taking advantage haha !!
That is wonderful that you are hearing him. For me, the purpose of trying to stay atuned is so that I may bend my horse's thinking to what I need it to be focussed on. And if I can feel when the horse's thought is leaving me and catch it early, then that thought isn't very heavy and bringing it back to me can be done softly. Once it becomes heavy, I might not be able to bring it back or if I do, it becomes "dramatic".
As for your experience, you Brits amaze me to how you ride on those narrow roads with trucks and cars and noisy people, dogs etc. I commend your bravery. I would be scared stiff to do that.
The only thing I can think of would be to take him out, and try turning back BEFORE he gets to the point of "I have to go back". But that is hard to do 'cause one cannot predict how and when traffic will appear.
So, the more he is trusting of you and the more he is willing to follow your lead in safe places the better he'll be when panic is present.
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