Teaching “Less is More”

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by funkybizniz, Oct 27, 2018.

  1. funkybizniz

    funkybizniz Full Member

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    Yesterday I had a really frustrating lesson with a student who tries really hard but hasn’t been getting the results she’s wanting recently- after an emotional first half of the lesson (which we had a discussion about), we decided that it would ultimately be in her benefit to “try less.”
    Not try less in the sense that we aren’t going to try as hard to get results, but try less in the sense that we can’t force it and by doing less you can let the horse do more for you...

    I was trying to find an anecdote for trying less but coming up blank.. what are your thoughts/anecdotes on not trying so hard?
     
  2. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Tell her “do in your body what you want the horse to do“ and take her reins away.
     
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  3. funkybizniz

    funkybizniz Full Member

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    Can you explain why take her reins away? She’s not a beginner, and it’s not a problem of her being mean to her horse or too handsy. She is a good rider but hit a plateau with a more difficult horse.
     
  4. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    Be more specific about what she was doing...pulling on reins, whipping, yanking, kicking, etc. What gait and what movement was she having a problem with?
     
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  5. QRTXhorseman

    QRTXhorseman Senior Member

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    Sometimes the particular words we use makes a significant difference. With one student, I suggested trying to "influence" rather than trying to "make" her horse respond.
     
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  6. funkybizniz

    funkybizniz Full Member

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    We are working on putting more “jump” in the canter. She is a good rider and the horse is nice but larger than she is used to and takes a lot to put together and “package.” She in particular is working on putting him together better in the canter using only her seat. He has a soft mouth, is in a snaffle, and she doesn’t beat on his mouth.

    The problem is more that he takes a lot and sometimes she expects it to happen and it takes more time. It’s more about emotional frustration and figuring out a bigger horse. I am trying to show her that the less she tries to push him together, he can come together by himself if she lets him. It’s a matter of when riding to the extent of your knowledge hinders the way or your horse.

    She doesn’t pull, yank, or kick. ;)
     
  7. bellalou

    bellalou Senior Member

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    Okay, that clarifies a bit. And that sort of thing can take some getting used to. My TB mare has a huge stride and it took me some time to stop falling behind her in trot transitions. It's not that her transitions are abrupt - they're just really big.

    How is she with trot transitions on him? Is she having the same issues or not so much? Because, if she is, I'd suggest doing a lot of walk/trot transitions to kind of catch up with his movement and get a better feel for it. Then move on to canter.
     
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  8. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    She can then think of lifting the horse with her seat and pelvic floor...teach her to breathe into her pelvic floor. Ask for transitions and half halts more. Inhale into up transitions and exhale into down transitions. She most likely needs to open her hips up as well as sternum and open collarbones to accept the larger movements.
     
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  9. funkybizniz

    funkybizniz Full Member

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    She does well in transistions and we do A LOT of them. He’s definitely benefitted from quick transitions and a lot of changing tempo within gaits. He is big and difficult to put together regardless- I ride him once a week for her and he is sometimes a challenge for me. He is strong and has lots of energy but needs some direction to keep together.
    It is more an issue of maintaining the gait- she rides really hard to make him the best he can be and does well but tires herself out and then has a harder time supporting him. She’s in good shape, but the issue is that she needs to ride less and let him carry her. It’s difficult to put into words, hence why I am having trouble explaining it to her.
     
  10. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    You take her reins away so she can't U~sssssss~e them~!!
    Then what does she have to use to cue the horse with?

    Exactly what she SHOULD be using for her first cue: she has to look where she wants to go and use her body position to cue the horse for speed and direction.
     
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