With a judged trail ride coming up, I was anxious to get some coaching on side passing. I just couldn’t figure out how to correctly cure Jigs. But Saturday morning came and with it rain. We moved our lesson out a few hours and waited.

Now I know Jigs knows how to side pass. He’s a horse, I’ve seen him do it in the field. The trick is how do I get him to do it from his back on cue?

The rain cleared enough for us to work with Gwen, his trainer. Sure enough, I was looking the wrong way when I asked him to move to the side and was confusing him. After a bunch of failed attempts, I finally was able to get him to move a few steps to the side both ways.

It wasn’t him, it was me.

Horses know a lot. They do lots of fancy moves when they are in the herds without any human telling them what to do. Last week I watched a 2 year old playing in the field execute a series of flying lead changes just for the poor joy of it. I can’t count the times I saw Jigs whirl and spin as smooth any any world class reiner as he played in the field with his herd.

Horses don’t need to be taught how to do these things. They are born knowing them.

It is us humans who must learn how to ask them to do them in a way they clearly understand. As with many things in life, it is about communication.

And it takes patience on both sides. We must learn to be patient with ourselves and they must be patient with us. Just like a rain delay of a few hours, sometimes you must wait the for the rain to clear out before you can move forward.

Explore posts in the same categories: horses, Living in the moment

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