Wednesday, 4 January 2012

You Learn Something New Every Day!

Here's a post that ties in with my previous post about lunging Celtic.  This happened before the previous post, but here it is!

Truer words have hardly ever been said.  Today I went through my usual routine, went to work, did that jazz, went to the barn and worked with Celtic on the lunge line where I learned she has a wariness of lunge whips.  This was learning something new moment number one.  The idea that John Lyons, and I’m sure plenty of other trainers, use is that the horse must come out of a training session more relax than before the training session.  This was made crystal clear to me tonight while working with Celtic!  The moment I sent her out on a circle, she was doing a high-flying trot, tail flagged, head high, snorting, distracted, everything.  My first thought was “ok, she’s just getting the sillies out”.  When we reversed, she was even worse, and every time I raised my whip hand she skittered faster.  A-ha!  So, she is not so sure about the whip.  Ok, we can work on that, no problem.  Commence sacking out with lunge-whip.  After a few minutes of this on either side, she went back out onto the circle and her head was down, neck was relaxed, she eased through walk-trot-walk transitions easily. 

After that learning experience at the barn, I headed home to relax and unwind.  While unwinding, I watched a video of a clinic where the clinician asked why do we keep our thumbs on top of our reins?  Not simply because it would look funny to have your thumb sticking up in the air, but the actual function of it.  I had never really thought about this before, and the answer he gave was SO SIMPLE that I’m surprised I’ve never been taught this before!  It’s to keep the reins from sliding through your hands.  Yes, the grip on the reins helps, but that feel with your fingers changes, it is not a constant pressure whereas the pressure with your thumb on top of your fist can stay fairly consistent, making your contact consistent.

So!  With this in mind, who has had an a-ha moment about the simplest things?  

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