Dowdy's 'ears back' face:
Now that Dowdy is beginning to understand the ways that horses communicate with each other, we're looking at implementing those things ourselves. So, its all very well to know how the horses are moving each other about, but how do we do those things? How do we mimic the 'ears back' how do we do something that has the same effect as kicking or biting?
We've covered a couple of fundamentals:
1. Pressure motivates, but its the release that teaches (so its all very well that you're doing the action, but it has to mean something. Its when the horse responds appropriately that you release the pressure)
2. Find the amount of force that the horse is using, and then use the same amount and a little bit more back
3. You have to know, how much pressure to use, where to apply the pressure, and how to apply the pressure (known as phases, zones, and games in Parelliville)
We played about with a couple of 'horseless simulations' - getting each other to do different things, but without using verbal cues. That was fun! We also practiced our 'ears back' faces, for the first couple of days they were 'students of the horse' but today, I told them that they must do the same things as the horses.... yes, ears back, kicking, biting, eating grass, pooping (nope, not quite that far, but you get what I mean!)