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Lessons for 2000…
Keep Consistent

It seems that every year the horses, along with their humans, have something new to teach me.  Often these are little phrases, that when applied provide the thread that binds thought to actions...feeling to understanding.  This year the word that the horses keep whispering to me is: Consistency – The ability to apply your aids, feeling, and understanding with persistent rhythm, timing, balance, and focus to achieve clarity and responsiveness.

I went into my thesaurus and looked up the word “Consistency”.  The results were quite stunning, as many of the related words are concepts we strive for everyday with our horse/human relationship. Agreement…Harmony…Unity & Cohesion were a few of the words with similar meanings.  When you search a little deeper, you find that within the word “cohesive” additional meanings such as Softness Firmness & Flexibility are to be found.  My thesaurus search blew me away.  I knew consistency was important.  Now I know that all along the horses were telling me it was linked to so much more! 

In looking at the ways in which we can apply “consistency” I have recognized several other truths that have helped the relationship with my horses.  First, I have found that there is little room for being timid around horses.  They are herd animals with six very useful weapons, of which we need to be ever vigilant.   

A horse can employ four feet, a head, & teeth so quickly.  By being timid we forget that herd animals are looking for good leaders, and survive on the pecking-order system.  They will take over, take control, and accidents will happen when we fail to provide leadership.  I found myself saying this summer…Be BOLD in your mistakes – Then you will recognize them as such, and use better judgement next time!  There is a balance between being overly confident and way too timid, just as there is a difference between being aggressive and assertive.  What I think the horses are asking us to find is a consistent method for being an assertive leader by providing guidance when needed, and then waiting for the horse to find the right answers.

A second consistent truth I have recognized this year involves a better understanding of how the eyes effect the feet, body, and mind of the horse.   Again, as herd animals horses have terrific sight.  Along with hearing and the ability to smell, the senses of the horse keep it alive.  The senses relay whether to flight for safety, or stand comfortably and graze.  The senses, particularly the eyes, control the feet, and how they will position the body to react. 

What I have observed, particularly in my round pen work, is that if I first focus on getting the attention of the eyes, then I can influence the feet.  If I have the feet, the body and mind will follow freely.  On board I have been striving to apply these same principals by observing the eyes, so that I can feel for the feet.  It has made a world of difference in how I set things up, and my ability to wait for the response.

I am constantly amazed at the lessons the horse has to teach me.  If I can only remember to consistently apply these principals, I will have been given a blessed education!

Join Us in2001

The T&T Horsemanship indoor arena is completed, the sound system&lights are in, and sand is soft&ready…All we need is your participation!

Give yourself or someone ya admire the gift of riding all winter&into summer. We have numerous offerings for all levels&disciplines:

horse Courses from Beginning to Advancing Students with once a week dedication, +practice time

Weekend Horsemanship Classes for 12 hrs. of instruction over a 2-day period

5&7 Day Horsemanship Development & Colt Starting

Individual Study Lessons

4-H Leaders/Parents Weekend Forums for safety & development of young horsemen & women

 Going Forward... Disengagement Holidays 2001 Tom Dorrance Lessons for 2000 Sideways Self-Carriage NWHS 101


T&T Horsemanship
15477 Sky Ranch Lane 
Haines, Oregon 97833
(541) 856-3356

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