I thought I would write a little of what has been happening since the last post. I have still been working with Raven, moving her toward the advanced level. She is doing well, because I am learning little subtle details like lifting the outside rein just a little bit will make a difference in moving their butt over, or just holding the outside rein to stop forward motion on a side pass. These little details are what makes the difference between being successful in the manuever or not. Also, I found that if I grit my teeth, which I am known to habitually do, my whole body will be tense and thus that is what the horse feels, from my teeth right through my hands and seat. So I need to be more slack-jawed in order to accomplish softness. I have learned to also talk myself through a move out loud, the horse thinks I am talking to them, but it helps to stay focused on what move I am trying to get. So we have been making good progress. The horses are getting better and the rides more enjoyable for all of us.
I would have liked to ride today, but with the rain as it is I think I will give them a break and let them lounge in the barn for the day.
I watched a flick called, "buck" about Buck Branaman. Wow, is all I can say about that movie. I do have one beef with it though. They claim, Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance are the ones who started this 'natural horsemanship' stuff. Not so, This is nothing new. John Rarey was known for this in the 1800's as was Jesse Beery. In fact, the US Calvary used this method in training their troopers and horses, see a book titled "The U.S. Calvary Horse, General William H. Carter, Lyons Press, 2003. The first edition was published in 1895. They have been instrumental, though, in repopularizing the method.
I only wish I could get more of it in me so that I could be a better horseman for my horses and students.