Last Friday, opening day of deer season, I was sitting in my tree stand and, as often happens, my mind drifted to thinking about God and then horses. I was pondering my relationship with my relationship with my own horses. You see, I have often read and heard about having a relationship with the horse that is so close that it is as if the horses feet are merely an extension of my feet. In other words, that we move as one, whether on the ground or in the saddle. As I was thinking on this I gave thought to whether I want to be in tune with the horse, or the horse in tune with me. These may appear to be the same thing, but not so. If my goal is to be in tune with the horse then the horse, in a sense is in control. It is about the horse, that everything I do is an attempt to get to know the horse better so I can move as one with him. On the other hand, if my goal is to get the horse in tune with me, then it is about what I want, where I want to go and to do. Now, here is the way I see it. Pardon me if I get a little preachy here. God has created us. He desires a relationship with us, not because He needs us or is in some way incomplete without us, but because we need Him. In fact, we do not naturally seek after God, according to the Bible, Romans 3:11. So God selects out of the mass of humanity and does things in our lives to irritate us enough so that we will look to Him for rest and leadership. He is not trying to become in tune with us. He already knows all there is to know about us. He made us. What He is trying to do is to get us in tune with Him: to think and do what He wants us to do. Now that is exactly what I have come to the conclusion of, although it has been my view for years, just couldn't put it down. So my point is that I want to get the horse to be in tune with me what I think and do and where I want to go. That means that I do have to know the horse in general and my horse I am working with in particular. I have to know what I want to do at the moment: I want to walk forward -how can I best get the horse to do that with me; I want to move to my right but the horse is in the way - how do I get him to move over in such a way we are moving as one?. The same thing works under saddle. I know it is not that simple. But each thing has to be broken down, just like when you learned to tie your shoe. It had to broken down into manageable little steps. After those steps had been practiced with enough efficiency you no longer actively thought about each step you just did them and it became a habit so that now tying your shoe is second nature. The same with each movement of the horse. You must know what you want to do then break it down into manageable little steps and practice, practice, practice with enough efficiency that your horse is reading your mind. That is a little bit of what I think horsemanship is all about. Have a good day.
Oh, by the way, I did work with Raven today. Though I didn't ride her. I only had a little bit of time so I worked her at liberty. It all started when I was working on setting some posts for my arena. I wanted to just walk up to her and rub on her as she was nearby. But she took off on me. Now I cannot allow that to go without recourse, so I walked after her, not mad or anything. But when she stopped and gave me two eyes I backed off. Then walked up to her as she stood and I rubbed on her as I intended. Then I decided that since I couldn't ride today, I would work her at liberty just a short time. So I asked for lateral flexion then I asked for YH. She was real soft so I asked for more steps then a YF and a backup. She did all of this without any touching or connection other than she was tuned in to me. Then I did some intermediate exercises like touch and rub where with slightest pressure of fingertips she lowers her head or moves hindquarters or forequarters. She did real good here too. Then I asked for Leg Yield toward me and she did that on both sides. It was working real good. I only played with her for about 10 minutes and then released her. I loved it and she then followed me for a while on her own.