I have said this before, but sometimes you just have to take your own advice!
If you have a problem with your training, the horse will tell you what the answer is. The only problem with that is, sometimes we are too busy with our own agenda that we are not listening. Or we are not asking the right question.
We know the easy language of our horses like – “hey, you are here! Can I have a cookie/breakie/lunch/dinner (or all of the above)?” Or with Vinny it is more like – “Where is my cookie?”
This is another easy one: “ooh, can you scratch THAT spot, no THAT spot, oooh THAT’s it.”
So how can this translate into training?
Well, there are some obvious ones – like the horse is behind your leg if it is breaking from the canter, or if it keeps popping into canter for a few cheating steps when you ask for more trot.
But other things can be more subtle, like the horse that has had clean changes its whole life and then has issues and is late behind. Maybe it is time for some help for those hocks, or back, or fetlocks.
I have to say (and I have to remind myself) that horses are, for the most part, compliant animals who are willing to please. They are not devious masters here to make our life difficult.
Mind you, not all of them are made or capable of doing top sport, so that is definitely something to consider. Have the horse that is capable of your ambition – so when you are looking ahead ambitiously, you can still hear what they are telling you. And second, that you are asking them clearly and consistently what you want, and not confusing them all the time.
So, are you listening – and who said horses whisper?