‘Zuckis Verboten’ – Jumpers in the Spotlight

A Torturous Practice among Jumpers Ends in 2022

It is with great sadness that I read how some of the really bad news around equestrian sports come from my country of origin: Germany. The widely read ‘Suddeutsche Zeitung‘ had the following headline: ‘The End of Torterous Horse Practice‘.

Right Under the Spectator’s Nose

The practice in question: Bandages and brushing boots – meant as protective gear – are spiked with pressure points and tightened to the point of pain. The purpose: The horse will now lift his legs higher and be sure to avoid any type of contact with the jump. The unsuspecting spectator simply sees a spectacular performance.

A ‘Lame’ Decision?

The FEI’s General Assembly in Montevideo recently decided to prohibit the practice (in German called ‘Zuckis‘) – starting in 2022. So a little over 4 more years left to torture horses legally. For many horses, it will come too late. They will end their torturous career in the service of an overly ambitious prize money hunter.

Wraps Getting a Bad (W)Rap

‘Zuckis’ are now in the public eye – it’s a good thing. The flip side: Wraps and other leg protection are getting a ‘Bad Rap’, much like nose bands. Important to remember: It’s not the piece of equipment per se that is at fault. Real protective gear for horse legs like wraps and brushing boots are a blessing and protect the fetlock joint from injury. It’s the abuse of the gear that makes it ‘verboten’. If we ask our horses to maximize their athletic potential in jumping, we do need to protect the horse’s legs.

Just like a hammer…

….can become a murder weapon – so can a wrap or leg protection become a torture instrument.

Let Common Sense (& Compassion) Pervail!

jumpingIt’s once again up to the spectators to raise the flag. Become aware, speak up, don’t applaud when you witness such practice (especially not on easily-shared social media) and DO THE RIGHT THING yourself – modeling this to kids and younger riders.

Commons sense tells us to differentiate between those, who protect their horses with brushing boots and those, who abuse gear to realize their own ambitions in equestrian sports. Compassion mandates us to speak up for the horse – no matter where and when.

 

 

Spot the Offender

When visiting or participating in an event, here some things to look out for:

  • A helper runs into the warmup ring before the horse enters the arena and quickly tightens the horse boots (there is a term in German for very quickly: ‘Ruck Zuck’ – therefore the boots are called ‘Zuckis’ when used for this torturous practice).
  • The horse lifts his legs unnaturally high and overjumps.
  • The horse seems tense and in a rush to get things over with.
  • During the ride, the horse kicks out repeatedly with the hind legs, as if to get rid of something (the ‘Zuckis’…).

I am grateful for you, the reader, who is undoubtedly NOT in the ‘Zucki’ camp!

Enjoy your horse!

SReinhold_sm

Stefanie Reinhold
www.ReinholdsHorseWellness.com
www.HorseHaus.com

Advertisements

5 Ways to Practice Gratitude

…In the Barn & Beyond

Gratitude. It’s been quite a few years that this powerful concept – thousands of years in the making – has moved into the spotlight of our consciousness. From Oprah & Dr. Oz to gratitude journals (I love the Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal: Questions, Prompts, and Coloring Pages for a Brighter, Happier Life), gratitude rocks, and jars – you name it, it’s there!

Gratitude – A Deep Human Need

From Stone Age to Rocket Age, humans have been practicing collective and individual gratitude (e.g. Thanksgiving Holiday, Thank You cards, Prayers and Offerings, etc.) and there is good reason for it: Gratitude is Good Medicine!

Gratitude is Good Medicine

Have you ever felt warm around the heart when expressing gratitude to someone? Then you did it right! That’s the kind of heart-felt gratitude that feels good to you when expressing it and to the receiver – whether human or not…

No Lip Service, please!

In our brain-centered, head-heavy world, we tend to rationalize, organize, streamline, multi-task – all brain-based ‘surface modes’ that do not get to the core of feelings. To express gratitude so that YOU & the RECEIVER FEELS IT, please let it come from the heart.

Let it come from the heart!

Try this exercise at home:

  1. Stand in front of a mirror (or talk to your dog or an imaginary friend 😉 and say “Thank you for [fill in the blank].” How do you feel?
  2. Now let’s try that again: Feel you heart area. Really direct your consciousness to this area. Then imagine, you heart had lips. Relax you shoulder, soften you gaze, smile a little and say (with your heart lips) “Thank you for  [fill in the blank].” How was that?
  3. In step 3, you ‘lip synch’ with your heart. If you do it right, you will feel your heart area and other parts of you body – perhaps your hands – warm and feel pleasant. This is the kind of FEELING you want to convey when expressing gratitude.

5 Ways to Show Gratitude in the Barn & Beyond

  1. Simply say ‘Thank you for […]’ whenever you feel there is something to be grateful for. Example: I say “Thank you for providing such caring help to Regalo.” to my helper and friend Bettie – either in person or even via text! Important: You must look the person in the eye (when in person), smile, and ‘lip synch’ with your heart. Then it’s a real gift!
  2. Leave a little note. That can be a sticky note with a smiley! Example: I have a little book that my dog walker and I use to communicate. I draw little smileys next to my thank yous and often say “I really appreciate that you….”. Find opportunities to express your thanks to others with little notes they find in unexpected places.
  3. Share a little. Baking something? Got a little too much of something? You certainly have experienced an overabundance of something. Instead of putting it in the freezer or the cupboard, why not attach a little ribbon and a thank you note and express gratitude by sharing. You can find plenty of opportunity! Example: When I buy a big bag of Forage First horse treats, I put a few in a little bag and leave it for a helpful barn friend’s horse with a little thank you note.
  4. Picture that! You may have a smartphone or a phone that takes pictures. These can be easily shared. Taking a picture of something someone else loves or has helped you with and sending it to them with a ‘Thank You’ is a great way to show gratitude. Example: Take a picture of your friend’s horse (“Thank you for […]. I saw your horse in the pasture and thought you’d like to this picture.”)
  5. Book it! Accidentally bought the same horse book twice? You may have done this before, if you are like many horse people on a horse book buying binge… This book will be someone else’s treasure! Write your heartfelt thanks into the cover and give it to or leave it for your helpful barn friend.

You got this!

These are just some ideas. You know best who to thank and how to do it. Practice is key! Here some tips:

  • Practice heartfel thank yous at home – you may be in ‘brain mode’ and give ‘lip service’ without realizing it!
  • Grow your gratitude vocabulary – create a little collection of terms and phrases that express your gratitude. Write them on a card or in a journal. Soon, they will be anchored in your gratitude tool box!
  • Say less – mean more! A simple heart-felt ‘Thank You’ is better than a stream of words that come from the ‘head’.
  • Be grateful! For everything. Food, air, your old paddock boots, a cup of Joe, fair weather, YOUR HORSE!

Hope you find this helpful. Please share this article, if you do!

THANK YOU for reading this far.

Enjoy your horse!

SReinhold_sm

Stefanie Reinhold
www.ReinholdsHorseWellness.com
www.HorseHaus.com

Continue reading “5 Ways to Practice Gratitude”

Good Brushes: More Everything for Your Buck

Why you should use the best grooming brushes you can find…and where to find them.

If you own or lease a horse, chances are you have to groom him. You can find plenty of tools online and at your local farm supply or tack shop. Most of them look like what everyone else is using. And they are cheap.

So why go for anything else?

Let’s ask these questions first:

  • Do you care how your horse feels?
  • Do you want a good relationship with your horse?
  • Do you want the best possible grooming results?
  • When making purchasing decisions, do you care about the environment?
  • Do you appreciate quality that lasts for years?

If you answered YES to at least 3 of those questions, read on.

Grooming can be so much more than cleaning your horse.

Gentle strokes with a soft brush are a tactile experience that feel good to your horse and will be appreciated.

But many grooming experiences are pure torture.

Just play this through in your mind and see it from the horse’s perspective. Remember, your horse’s skin is extremely sensitive:

  • Someone approaches you with a tool, intending to work it across your skin.
  • You don’t have a choice in the matter, you are tied up and any attempts to protest to unpleasant touch (wiggling, pinning ears, kicking) will be interpreted as ‘ naughtiness’.

What happens in ‘your grooming story’?

  1. Does the groomer use a tool that feels good or just anything that may be about the barn, scratchy or not?
  2. Does this interaction between groomer and horse lead to a better relationship or to resentment and even fear?

Let’s continue our story imagining our groomer has already discovered the many advantages of using high-quality brushes such as HorseHaus brushes:

  • Our horse will be relaxed and unafraid, and looking forward to the grooming session.
  • He will use this time to relax deeply and enjoy the company of the groomer, who goes about her task in a methodical, but also gentle and considerate manner.
  • At the end of the session, our horse may have dozed off or show other visible signs of relaxation, his coat clean, healthy and shiny.
  • Our groomer will have learned a lot about skin condition and little bumps or scratches on the horses body.
  • She will be satisfied with the result and carefully clean and put away her brushes to keep them neat and ready for the next grooming.

Now horse and rider are ready to begin their activities together.

Whatever those may be, both will feel more comfortable and trusting toward each other.

You will feel good about grooming and your purchase.

  • Others may notice how shiny and healthy your horse’s coat looks and you will wonder whether it is not just the proper cleaning but also the gentle massage you give your horse with every grooming (and the answer is yes).
  • Knowing that your brushes will last for years, you feel good about your purchase.
  • The fact that neither people nor natural resources got hurt in the manufacturing of the brushes (HorseHaus brushes are FCC certified) or sourcing of the raw materials make you feel even better.
  • When a brush finally does wear out and needs replacing, you can rest assured that the discarded brush will disintegrate and not be an environmental burden.

For comparison, let’s spin our story off in a different direction, a scenario all too familiar to many.

  1. Here our groomer ties the horse up for grooming, both dreading what follows.
  2. The horse is wide-eyed, distracted and fidgety.
  3. The groomer approaches the horse’s body with a stiff and scratchy plastic brush, the horse’s skin flinches in terrified anticipation.
  4. Our groomer just tries to get it all over with because ‘the horse does not like to be groomed’.
  5. Moreover, the results are mediocre, the coat looks dull, something to attack with a horse vacuum or another bath or ‘shine spray’….
  6. When the scratchy plastic brush is finally discarded, it will remain intact on the landfill for at least 1000 years.

You see where this is going….

This type of ‘get it done’ grooming does nothing to improve the condition of the coat or the relationship between horse and human.

What a waste of time and opportunity…!

Which groomer are you?

Life is learning. If you are the groomer with the horse that does not like to be groomed, the scratchy plastic brush wielding type, do not despair!

Read about the 4 step grooming process and peruse the different types of horse brushes to put a set of HorseHaus brushes together that meets your needs. Or pick a complete grooming brush set and purchase without regret!

Questions about grooming or brushes?

Please send an email to info at HorseHaus.com to get answers and a 10% off coupon for your first purchase.

Enjoy your horse!

Stefanie Reinhold

http://www.HorseHaus.com

http://www.ReinholdsHorseWellness.com

3 Ways to a Stronger Bond

greenshirtsmThree do’s and don’ts of creating a good relationship with your horse

After many successful rehab experiences with horses that had ‘people problems’, and 7 years of working with ‘airs above the grounds’ performer turned equine behaviorist Anita Kush, I realize that a large range of problems in the human – horse interaction can be traced back to a small set of unhelpful behaviors on part of the human.

Let’s get one thing clear: It is NEVER the horse’s fault. If we can agree on this, you may read on and may find something helpful here.

Bonding with our horse – what a wonderful and noble intention. Not only do we want to get on, get along and understand each other, we want to forge a relationship that will be strong enough to carry us through the unavoidable moment of crisis – big or small. We want to have ‘something in the bank’ – on the trust level.

While this is a topic for a book in itself, here 3 common mistakes and what to do instead. I hope you find this helpful.

Mistake: Feed snack as reward.

Do this instead: Let ‘virtue be its own reward’. The exercise went well? The horse stood calmly for the farrier or while mounting? Praise in a soft voice, be a relaxing and reassuring presence for your horse. Then feed snacks out of that context of reward, for no reason at all, just to socialize.

Mistake: Letting your horse fend for himself

Do this instead: A dominant horse is crowding your horse when you fetch her from the pasture? Your horse’s more assertive friend grabs for his feed bowl? A fellow boarder is loud and encroaches on your space in front of your horse? These and other types of situations require you to take charge. Give your horse the feeling that you are “in charge of everything” and will create a safe environment where your horse’s needs (for instance for space) are met.

Mistake: Expect obedience at all cost (i.e. follow the mantra “don’t let him get away with it”)

Do this instead: Look at every interaction with your horse as a conversation. E.g. you want to turn left, your horse turns right. Diffuse, deflect, rechannel – never argue with your horse. In this case: Good idea, but let’s do that my way (turning right, circling around, coming at it again, repeat until desired outcome is achieved – without confrontation!). Obedience in horses is a habit willingly built on trust, never enforced.

Follow this ‘recipe’ for 30 days, then let me know how you and your horse are doing.

Enjoy your horse!

SReinhold_sm

Stefanie Reinhold

http://www.ReinholdsHorseWellness.com

No bridle, no problem!

How bitless isn’t all the rage…

Every horse is different – when it comes to mouth shape and sensitivity. Some horses simply cannot make peace with a bit, others are bothered by a bridle.

My sensitive Lusitano gelding Regalo tends to curl up with even some gentle bits. For him, the answer is an original Meroth Freedom snaffle (caution, don’t buy a knock off, more about that in this blog post).

When I approach him just with reins and attached bit in hand, he willingly opens his mouth and lets me place the bit inside, then patiently stands while I fasten the bit at his jaw. I make sure to have two finger wiggle room as I don’t want to tie the tongue down, simply stop the bit from falling out.

Riding with gentle contact makes for a relaxed horse. No metal in the mouth, no bridle hugging the head.

Regalo seems happy, is responsive and no longer curls up.

Hirse with leather bit

Besides, doesn’t he look handsome without bridle?

5 Signs Your Horse Is Unhappy with Bit or Bridle

  1. Shakes head
  2. Grinds teeth
  3. Doesn’t take bit
  4. Curls up (behind the bit)
  5. Tension in poll and TMJ

What do you think? What are your experiences with bit and bridle? Do you use a leather bit by Meroth? Comment below.

As always, enjoy your horse!

Stefanie Reinhold

Because I Say So!

Domination, intimidation, confrontation, anthropomorphism – and the effects on your horse.

In this article, we will briefly explore how our ‘frame of mind’, interaction and communication styles affect our horses – mentally and physically!

Watching a young father today with his unruly but content and curious toddler at our local Wholefoods, I remembered a standard sentence that I heard when I was a child: “Why?” “Because I say so.”

The memory triggered number of other phrases that people in my generation will still be familiar with:

  • Don’t talk back.
  • Children should be seen, not heard.
  • ….. the list goes on.

Not blaming the generation of my parents here, who learned their parenting skills from a generation born into monarchy. Not listening was utterly ‘un-Prussian’!

What I am saying in a nut shell: We all know that what we learned to be true at some point, may no longer serve our higher purpose and we can unlearn and relearn to better meet our own and others’ needs – including our horses!

One of those things many riders and horse people need to desperately unlearn and relearn – in my opinion – is the way they interact with horses.

Negative Effects of  Confrontational and Threatening Interaction

Ever walked down the street and heard a sudden crash from a car accident? How did your body respond? You went into ‘defense mode‘, preparing to fight or run. Horses and other mammals respond very similarly – with ‘hyperarousal‘. scared-horse-200x132

Here from loom, S. L. and Farragher, B. (2010) Destroying Sanctuary: The Crisis in Human Service Delivery Systems. New York: Oxford University Press. (pp. 102-106)

“Like other animals [like horses…], humans have formed a highly effective protective system that evolved in our original evolutionary environment when human beings lived in small groups of family members and were threatened by hungry predators. This defensive action system is a total body mobilization, driven by powerful neurochemicals that flood our brain and body. To survive, we must pay attention to any information from the environment that might help us, so many of our senses become more acute—eyes dilate, hearing improves, smells sharpen. Whenever threatened, our attention becomes riveted on the potential threat, and we become hypervigilant to what is going on in our surroundings. … This state is called “hyperarousal” (Horowitz 1986). Below the level of our conscious awareness, we choose appropriate survival-based action: fight, flight, freeze, appease. If we survive the threat, recuperation follows, which is characterized by rest and isolation, wound care, and gradual return to daily activities (van der Hart, Nijenhuis et al. 2005).”

Confrontational Interaction with our horses keeps the horse in a constant state of hyperarousal. This does not always show up as a ‘hot’ horse. The following can be indicators of chronic hyperarousal:

  • Shut down and dull, perhaps ‘lazy’
  • Shut down and occasionally explosive/unpredictable
  • “Rude” – another way of being ‘shut down’ (walks right over you, pushes into you, just wants you to ‘go away’…)
  • Aggressive (bites, kicks, aggressive toward other horses)
  • Tense (stiff movement, holds breath, grinds teeth, leans on bit or gets behind bit, etc.)

Possible long-term health problems resulting from chronic hyperarousal (examples):

  • Arthritic changes (namely in the vertebrae from staying stiff under saddle)
  • Ulcers and chronic teeth or TMJ problems
  • Stress on muscles, tendons, ligaments and resulting injuries (from lack of suppleness, chronic tension)
  • Possibly Insulin Resistance (see source below)

Your frame of mind – and how it plays into your horse’s mental and physical soundness

Our ‘frame of mind’ determines our reality, to a great extent. It provides basically the color glasses we see the world thought. We will then also behave and communicate according to this ‘frame’ and draw respective conclusions.

Example: If I am a surgeon, I will look at every wart as something that can be removed surgically. If I am an herbalist, I will think of a tincture to apply.

When entering the barn – have a ‘horse lovers frame of mind’. And to love the horse means to strive to understand the horse’s nature and actively work to meet its mental, emotional, and physical needs!

“Lasting success can only be achieved, if the heart and soul of all superiors and subordinates [instructors and pupils] is filled with the joy of riding and the love of the horse.” (HDV12 German Cavalry Manual on Training Horse & Rider, Xenophon Press)

Part of our ‘frame of mind’ is composed by things we learned throughout our life, meaning learned behaviors that become – sometimes deeply ingrained – habits. This includes attitudes relating to interaction with others and the respective communication style.

Example: If I have learned that I get ahead at the work place by behaving in an intimidating and dominant manner and that this is the way to get results, I may behave similarly at the parent teacher conference (or at the barn!).

Houston – there is trouble!

Over the years, I have observed many kinds of unhelpful and downright harmful interaction with horses, resulting in behavior and performance problems and unsoundness:

  1. Confrontational behavior
  2. Demanding obedience
  3. Intimidation
  4. Punishment
  5. And the greatest sin of all: Anthropomorphism (meaning subscribing human traits, feelings, thought patterns, motives, etc. to your horse)

Number 5 is key here: Perhaps it is possible to be a tough one to deal with at work or at home, if your ‘frame of mind’ at the barn is that of a person, who realized that the nature of the horse demands a completely different set of skills and attitudes, namely:

  • Non-confrontational interaction
  • Asking for cooperation
  • Non-threatening behavior
  • Punishment only as immediate response to dangerous behavior (the very rare exception)
  • Deep understanding of the nature of the horse as a prey animal that lacks a human’s ability for cunning, strategizing, manipulative, intentionally malicious behavior.

Anthropomorphism (treating your horse as if he/she was a human) sets you up for the following interaction patterns that are not only unfair but also extremely stressful to your horse (examples):

  • Untimely and unwarranted ‘reward’ and ‘punishment‘ – often long after the fact, something a horse cannot relate to.
  • The habit of assigning human-like motives and strategies to horses. Horses live in the moment. They did not ‘plan’ to do anything more than 3 seconds in advance!
  • Expecting your horse to ‘understand’ what you want. (He knows exactly what I want, but doesn’t want to do it.) If your horse understood, he/she would be happy to do it, if you set it up right and strive to understand yourself. Example: Riders, who kick their horse’s sides and shoulders because ‘the horse doesn’t WANT to give me his shoulder’ should be flogged, tarred and feathered. Because that is what that feels like to the horse.
  • Constant nagging, tugging, pushing, jerking, yelling, as a response to perceived ‘misbehavior’. This includes making annoying ‘eh, eh, eh’ sounds!
  • Treating your horse like a pet and interpreting disrespectful behavior as ‘cute’ or as a sign of ‘intimacy’. Your horse needs to know you will keep him safe. Let  him know you are doing that by setting boundaries.
  • Being inconsistent and spoiling your horse. You are puzzling your horse! A spoiled horse is a dangerous horse. Create consistency and predictability in every interaction.
  • The list goes on…

When looking at your horse – see a horse! Do not transfer the way you understand humans and the behaviors, expectations, interaction and communication styles you may have with humans to your horse!

4 simple steps to improve interaction and relationship with your horse

  1. STOP THINKING OR SPEAKING OF YOUR HORSE AS IF HE/SHE WAS A HUMAN!!!

If you have developed this habit, it takes practice to break. For the next week, simply observe how you think and talk about your horse. Does it sound like you are talking about your favorite nephew or some bully in class? Take a deep breath, acknowledge you ‘anthropomorphized’ your horse, and move on. After this first week, you will feel the NEED to change this.

  1. ASK – DON’T TELL!

Start by changing your vocabulary around that.

I worked with my horse all morning.                NOT I worked my horse all morning.
I am asking for a rein back.                                  NOT I am making him rein back.

Later, you can expand on that by framing every request to your horse in an ‘ask’, not a ‘tell’.

  1. DON’T THREATEN YOUR HORSE

You may think you don’t…. But many of us do. Example: I recently stood next to a horse in conversation with the owner, the working student was holding the horse. The working student incessantly jerked on the lead rope/halter every time the horse so much as breathed. It was clear that the expectation: BEHAVE was communicated in a manner that horse must find threatening. This is a hard habit to break as it requires a lot of awareness. My tip: Read the original horse whisperers (Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt). After that, you may find more wisdom in modern horsemen/women but you will know what to look for.

  1. OBSTAIN FROM PUNISHMENT

This is a tough one. The horse was ‘bad’ (anthromorphism) and needs to be punished, isn’t that so? Don’t we hear trainers say – time and again – “Don’t let him get away with it!” or worse “Whack him!”. We don’t want to be bossed by our horse, we don’t want him to get the upper hand and ‘push our buttons’. Right? Wouldn’t this make us look stupid or incapable? No worries… The only worry you should have is how you look in the eyes of your horse. Don’t punish. Redirect, start over, reward.

Exception: My rule is, if a horse shows learned, dangerous misbehavior such as biting humans, I do punish swiftly, clearly, without anger (that’s tough) and without letting this moment linger on. 1 second punishment, the next second we simply move on – on a good note.

IN SHORT

  • Horse are horses! Do not interpret horse behavior within the frame of mind applied to human beings, who have completely different needs, behaviors, motives, and agendas.
  • Learn non-confrontational interaction with horses!
  • Don’t threaten your horse! (Get help in identifying what these threatening behaviors are!)
  • Don’t punish your horse! (Redirect, start over, reward. Exception: Learned, dangerous behaviors!)

The reward:

  • A better relationship with your horse.
  • A more willing horse.
  • Better performance.
  • Often, improved health and soundness due to a more relaxed body and mind.

Enjoy your horse!

SReinhold_sm

Stefanie Reinhold
www.ReinholdsHorseWellness.com

Sources:

Anthropomorphism

Horse Behavior – A Review of the Human-Horse Relationship

Stress as possible cause of insulin resistance

 

 

 

 

Can You See the Real Me?

“Riding is not about “riding”.  It is about everything that happens before we even get to the mounting block.”

A guest blog article by Horse Behavior Specialist Anita Kush

In my practice as a coach to horse owners and trainers, who seek a more mindful connection with their horse, I come across many, who have become caught up in a vicious cycle of unfulfilled expectations, shattered hopes and dreams, disillusionment, and more – albeit adjusted – expectations. The way out of this cycle is to start by asking ourselves the right – and perhaps uncomfortable – questions.

[Now, please take some quiet time, read each question, pause after the question, answer it for yourself, honestly. Then move on to the next …]

When we arrive at the barn, what do we really see?  Is it what is before us?  Or is it our vision of what we want to be or achieve?  And is our horse – our colleague in this endeavor – a partner or a slave to our ambitions and desires?

Is our goal predicated on a picture in a magazine, a moment frozen in time, a video, an idea, a concept, a wish, a book telling us that – yes – we too can look like and be THIS…if only we will follow a certain method or buy a certain product or gadget…

What is meaningful horse work?  It is work that is considerate, fair, helpful, firm (when necessary) and facilitates long term understanding in relationship  of the two parties involved.

Wscared-horse-200x132hat is the difference between “disobedience” and learning? Is it possible that what we interpret as disrespect or unwillingness to perform certain tasks, may be in reality lack of understanding? The horse showing us what he knows and that he is unable – not unwilling – to fulfill the request?   Or that perhaps our question isn’t clear. What is accomplished by demanding that certain things happen – even though it may be physically or emotionally impossible for the horse to comply?

What is the process of learning that we need to understand?  Making mistakes and struggling means: Your horse is trying to figure out a way to accomplish what you are asking. He is not avoiding the question!

“Remember, it is not about the task, it is about how we come to it. Is it with willing cooperation or grudging resentment?  The choice is ours.” (Anita Kush)

Riding is not about “riding”.  It is about everything that happens before we even get to the mounting block.  Getting on is the culmination of the totality of the relationship between you and your horse.  No gadget or video can give you the answer. There is no one size fits all method or equipment.  See beyond mechanics and arm yourself with deeper knowledge.

The horse has all the answers! Look at the horse in front of you: He’ll always tell you the truth and live up to your expectations. Learn to expect what you want to see – a non-confrontational, cooperative and mindful interaction with your horse!

anita

Anita Kush

[If you are interested in a consultation with Anita Kush, please see her bio here or call +18477910494 or email caprioles at hotmail dot com.]