Thursday, May 20, 2010

its in the details

Have you ever heard that before? I have. I find it to be very true, especially with horses. I was able to work with both horses tonite 'cause Ken came over and wanted to practice on Jake. So we got out there and began to review some things. Now mind you, it has been a couple weeks since I showed ken these exercises, but he had taken notes.
He knows the backup, lateral and vertical flexion, disengagement.
Well, he started with the backup and that wasn't working so good so I had him just warm up Jake to get his feet moving and his attention on him. Then we went to lateral flexion.
I really got a glimpse of the details as I was watching Ken and correcting his speed and hand position. I can get a good flex, or backup or disengagement, because I know the details of body position, energy, direction, hand position etc. Ken is still learning these things, but he is getting it.S
So he started getting the lat flex and then the vertical flex. The difference in cue is very slight you sort of have to tweak it so that you putting just the right amount of pressure just where you need it and when and then release at just the right time.
I went fishing with a friend years ago. I thought I was a pretty good fisherman. We were fishing for bluegills. Well, he had the finesse down so much that I could hardly see his bobber move and he was able to move the line ever so slightly and catch the fish. Whereas, I couldn't finesse it that finely and missed most of the time. He caught his limit in short order the began to help me and the two others who were fishing with us.
That is the kind of 'feel' that goes into working with the horse. And once you start getting the hang of it it is alot of fun.
After he worked on the flexion then we went back to backups. He got Jake going pretty good after a few corrections from me and then he was doing a pretty good job. He just needs to practice. Ken worked on the disengagement and here is where position and energy was really noticeable. He couldn't get Jake to stand still so he could get in position to ask for a disengagement. I noticed that both his arms were raised in a more energetic posture and Jake was reading him that way. So I told him to put his arms down and exhale. Guess what happened. Jake stopped moving. Ken had light bulbs going off in his head with that one. Then he could get into position and ask for disengagement.
After that I wanted to teach him how to lunge him properly so he had to learn how to move Jake's shoulders over to get him into position to go around him in a circle. Again body position and arm position is crucial. But after a few times he got him moving. He just had to watch he didn't get ahead of the driveline. Then it was on to changing directions. With that there is moving the shoulders over, forward motion, then changing directions by sliding the correct hand down the lead and pointing in the direction, moving the shoulders over and asking for forward motion again, all this in a sweeping movement that is fluid. I had him do this several times and then it was time to quit.
It is hard to explain in this format, it is easier to show, but the details are so important.
Anyway we had a great time and the horses are better partners for it and so are we.

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