This is the place where I record my current learning experiences with horses. I’m personally aiming to become an excellent horsewoman, but the nature of horses is that they are truly catalysts for personal development. So, while half of my musings will be from a point of observation and communication with horses, this only reflects the way that I am personally developing. Because of this, it is my hope that you can relate to my blog on whatever level you wish. If you are a fellow horseman-in-training: good to meet you, it's wonderful to be on the same journey! But at the same time, if you are a complete stranger to me or to horses, you are just as welcome. Hopefully this blog will bring you some amusement; even if it is just laughing at how mad we horse people can be!

In this blog, you can find pages about my life so far, mentors, and of course, horses and my adventures with them.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory..."

Monday, September 6, 2010

10 Qualities of a horseman

There are 10 qualities of a horseman, the first 4 are shared by the horse and human, and the last 6 are mostly for the human.

1.Heart & Desire

One could extend on any one of these qualities, but I'm going to focus on the first 4. Pat Parelli regularly talks about having your horse fit in 3 different ways, and in the following order:

1. Mentally
2. Emotionally
3. Physically

Mental fitness is respect. Emotional fitness is also impulsion. Physical fitness is flexion. Can you see any correlations to the qualities of a horseman? Its important to keep these qualities in order, as they'll have an effect on each other. So...there is no point in asking a disrespectful horse to flex, or an emotional (impulsive) horse to be flexible.

I've realized that I've been muddling these qualities up! Without realizing it, I sometimes ask Boltar for impulsion, when I haven't got his respect. So, we've been focusing on establishing respect in the small things. One of the biggest dominance issues I've noticed is that he is not great at yielding his forequarters. So, I've been more particular about him yielding to and from pressure, instead of putting up with it. Once I became aware of this, I felt as if I was making all my corrections personal, and that I'd do hardly anything I'd set out to do in our sessions, so I had a chat to one of our coaches. My coach helped me to see that instead of focusing on the task or desired response, I was allowing Boltar to change my original focus. I would end up going all over the play ground... without gaining the desired response! Hum....

So my new focus isn't going to only be on what his emotional state is, or how he's responding to me. Rather, I'll focus on establishing leadership by moving his feet. I'm also going to play with being more particular and specific, especially about my personal space, and how I want him to respond to pressure.

I'm learning a ton about focus! I'll be honest. Becoming aware of what I DON'T know isn't comfortable, but learning happens outside of the comfort zone, right?! I'm finding a new phase 1, which will strengthen my phase 4, and will help me to find my neutral (forgive the Parelli terms...)

I've written another blog post for Parelli Central, which you might enjoy to read!

1 comment:

  1. I can relate to this posting! I also allow 1 of my horses to change my original focus of the session. I like to go with his ideas sometimes, but I allow this a bit too much!

    He is also slow to move his shoulders way from me. This is improving though!

    I recently played with a friend's horse who has a similar horsenality to mine. I know this horse and have a nice relationship established, but It was so much easier because the depth of my emotion was not present.

    Thanks for sharing!