Without the Mind There is Nothing

"Direct the Mind and the Body will Follow."

Now that we have the horses attention, we can do something with it!

First, we need to be able to direct his attention.  Ask him to look at various things; the cat in the corner, the horses playing in the pasture, the tarp on the ground.  How effectively can we tip his attention from one thing to another? We get this very good from the beginning, both on the ground, and under saddle.  It needs to be so good that when we look from one thing to another he is right there with us! This is where it starts, it is all in the small things!!! Soon it will be tipping his mind from the red oxer to the triple combination, to the vertical across the diagonal and so on.

When we are able to influence the mind in this way, we begin to feel the horse "line out" or "turn loose". This is where the horses idea and yours are one and the same.  Imagine coming back from a trail ride on your horse, you can fee his mind go to the barn, and his body "lines out" in that direction. You can feel total commitment on the horse's behalf, he is truly "through". This is a great feeling and one we would like to build upon. The horse is "turning loose", the greatest accomplishment you can have when ride.

Once we can direct his attention then we need to be able to bring up his life (energy) and bring it back down.  We may ask "See that tarp, go over to it, now stop and smell it". We just directed his focus, brought his life up, and let it settle back down.  

To the horse, it felt good and harmonious.  He found it was easy to follow our feel. This is because we presented our ideas to him in a way he could understand and easily interpret.  

Eventually, we may have the horse lunge over a fence, do flying lead changes,  or gallop in the field, all while focusing on directing his mind. There is a natural progression that moves the training forward in a meaningful manner. We will increase the difficulty of tasks as the horse progresses, not overexposing him, or putting him in a situation where he loses confidence in himself or us.

The horse should remain calm in his work and confident in what we ask of him.  

We set him up for success, and he becomes proud in his work. He finds a friend in the human.

"Direct the Mind and the Body will Follow."

Please leave your comments below, I would love to hear your Feedback!!!

Happy Riding! ~ Paula


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