Transitions - the Good, the Bad, the Ugly!
WHOA.  I was having a conversation the other day about transitions and it was like I was hit by a ton of bricks.  Have you ever had that thought to "trot" and your horse goes off at a trot before you give any cues?  Or any other transition for that matter.

This happens for me a lot and lately, I have been more in tune to my thoughts and the horses reactions.  This was not always the case.  For years, I would think trot, my horse would trot and I would get after them because I had not "asked" with a normal cue and labeled it as anticipation.  What if, our horses are really good at feeling our thoughts or reading our thoughts? 

Can you imagine the confusion our horses have to go through when we think trot, and then expect them to wait for us to squeeze or give a cue?  

Do you know how many times I have seen or heard trainers upset at horses anticipating a cue? 

This is all on us.  The riders, the partners for our horses to do better.  Our thoughts matter to our horses until they stop listening.

I played with this on Michelle yesterday with backing up.  I have had a slight challenge with her backing the last couple of days and she was so good at it.  I believe it is because I was thinking back, she was backing but then I pulled and she thought backing wasn't the right answer.   The combination of my thoughts to back, her backing, and then me adding the cue after that made her think that backing wasn't what I really wanted.  So I would think back and wait, then slightly shift my weight back, and then pick up on the reins to back.  It didn't take long and she was backing off my thoughts but I had to be exact and very clear both in my head, and with my cues to her and the timing of the thoughts and cues.

For me, this is huge.  It is something I can play with and get better at.  I need a LOT of work but I can play with it with all three Bay Girls and both during ground play, and riding.  I got this!

What are your thoughts on this?  Have you experienced that sense of anticipation?  If you would like to reply, sign up for emails to connect with me - or just send an email,


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