Friday, February 18, 2011

A Beautiful Dance

A horse's movement can be gorgeous ... and we all love seeing a horse that is naturally elevated, a spring in their step, their self-carriage unhampered by a rider ...

Here is student Mia with my egyptian arabian gelding, Sharif, in their first freeplay session yesterday, Sharif elevated and with his attention focussed on his young friend!

One of the ways that you can see and feel this, on the ground, quite early in your activities together, is to develop your 'come to' with your horse. Teaching your horse to trot toward you - at Liberty - while you are 'trotting' backwards is an awesome feeling!

Having a good 'come' is essential for this exercise! Taught on line first, this is essential to this game. Then, developing your horse's focus and being able to 'engage' them is the next ingredient. You can start with a walk backwards, then with more energy, lift your 'life' and start trotting! Don't fall over, select a space with a firm, flat surface, and some room to move. Maybe you could practice running backwards without your horse first! Great exercise for your legs!

Your body language is all-important - knowing how to beckon, draw and release (we don't want them running on top of you!) - so essential also is your horses' respect for your space!

Freeplay is one of my most favorite activities with my horses, and it always puts a smile on my face and a joyful skip in my heart!

If you would like to get started with this, you will find my Essentials Ground Skills dvds helpful! Just go to my website shop to have a look.