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So I'm havin some fun, munching popcorn and watching Warwick Schiller videos (they seem to be handy for adding to threads today.) What occurred to me is the importance of having patience and waiting for the horse to give the answer we want, while we do barely anything. I think a lot of people (sometimes myself included) expect our horses to just be 'fast' and 'respond on cue, right now!' While this might seem flashy and appealing to a human (because the quicker we can do anything, the better at it we must be), I think there's a difference between a responsive horse and a human with overly demanding expectations. In everything we do with horses, we are asking a question. Do we give our horses enough time to THINK and then answer the question? Thought I'd share these two videos to see what everyone else thinks! =)

(The point is not the reining. The point is waiting for the horse to respond.)

(The point is not head-down cues. The point is waiting for the horse to respond.)
 

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Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
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This is another favourite Schiller video of mine, and probably the one I link to the most on here, haha. What is it about it, exactly, that makes me keep coming back to it? It's giving the horse the chance to mess up and then learn to manage itself. Instead of micromanaging every movement and never giving that chance. The constant hold on a horse by its chin that some people do is such a metaphor for how so many people go wrong and add stress in their handling and riding -- for no reason!! But also, just... if a person can teach a horse to lead really well, that seems to have benefits across the board.

 

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A lesson I learned as a child was to give the horse a chance to make the right decision

I was riding a young pony, this was with an accompanied ride. There was a gate to open at the top of the track onto the Downs. The pony was fractious about doing the job mounted. Miss Fleming, the elderly instructor told me to give him a chance and let him think it through. I stood alongside the gate and let him think about it. I had no trouble in opening it, following it around and standing holding it whilst the other riders came through.

He had seen other ponies at the gate but hadn't a clue what I had been asking him. I got annoyed with him and it was all going downhill but for the wisdom of an old horse woman.
 
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