Tuesday, March 21, 2017



I right about this today because I think it's important to know there is a difference. It is possible to have a light horse that isn't soft. It's also possible to have a soft horse that isn't light. It's important for them to be both light and soft. I'll explain.

Having a light feel to your horse is great and pretty much a must if you want a horse to give to pressure with a light response. Lightness comes from them understanding the cue fully, liking you well enough to do it for you, and knowing not to lean on pressure. Repetition, consistency, and not overusing your aids can help you attain this. It comes from our ability to ask lightly, feel every little response, know how to respond to this, and give back. Making it beneficial to respond is better than making it consequential to not respond. So knowing when they are ready for you to ask for more is an important factor. If they're not ready, they might resist. That can be counterproductive.

Softness comes through the heart and mind then to the body and feet. True softness is difficult to attain. It only comes when all inhibitions are washed away. For softness you need to have a real connection with your horse. One that goes beyond the Rein and leg cues. Your thoughts and emotions need to match almost completely. Knowing how to read and understand your horses every thought and emotion is the only way to find the path to attaining this. You can't guess and you can't assume. And worse of all, you can't make excuses. It has to be real and true.

You may experience a horse that is responding to the lightest touch and doing everything you ask spot on. But maybe you have some inhibition causing small tension spots that to most would go unnoticed.  That would be Lightness without softness.  Or maybe your horse is as relaxed and carefree as can be with no worries, anxiety, stiffness, or inhibitions what so ever. But then when you apply a cue the response needs a second request. That could be having softness without Lightness.

The reason it's important to have both in my opinion is. A lot of (but not all) light responding horses are responding out of emotional energy. The fear, anxiety, or inhibitions becomes the motivator to that light response. If this is the case, then you risk them trying to overachieve, or nervously making a dangerous move. So building softness into this horse will remove those risks.

Also. There are some horses that are so soft that they're not very responsive. They may bend or move without resistance, but not necessarily with effort.  Building Lightness into these horses will benefit that greatly.

To me it takes a balance of both to make for a well rounded and safe horse. One that responds well, maintains emotionally, communicates with us and knows that we understand them. We won't always be on the same page everyday, but it is worth attaining and maintaining.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hearing Nature's Voice


For the longest time I've been working to find a way to explain the most important aspects of communication.

When I communicate with a horse, a dog, or any animal that doesn't speak verbally, I rely on my ability to interpret the things that can't be said, can't be touched, and can't be seen. I talk about it in many ways but most people either don't understand or don't believe it is possible.

I recently read an article about talking to nature. I can appreciate the article to its fullest. For many who may read it, they would  think it was all hogwash.

Thinking just that, I started pondering on a way to explain how a person would go about "Hearing Nature's Voice"  By doing this I think we can make a connection to how it works with animals as well.

A person can receive tons of information if they know how to interpret it. Nature is a hobby for me. I am into wilderness survival, edible wild plant life, using what nature provides. I admit my skills are probably not as good what my Great Grandfather's generation would have had, and certainly not what the Native American people would've had prior to the European invasion. But when I look at a tree, it tells me a story. In a quick glance I can tell a great deal about its life and the life of everything around it. If I was standing on a mountain looking down on a valley and viewing other mountains, I could tell by the growth on each mountain where I might need to go to find certain things. The trees and the lay of the land tells me what will be growing under those trees, where a stream should be so I could find water. This can be done by anyone with prior knowledge and understanding of nature's harmony and the purpose for its existence. Again, I know my skills could use some great improvements. But this basic thing I understand.

This is just another way for me to explain how I communicate with the animals as well. You have to listen without hearing, feel without touch, speak without saying a word. Interpretation of thought through thought. Energy received and returned in an endless cycle of harmony. Again I am still evolving into this capability and have much to learn. It doesn't always work. Misinterpretation, distractions, hurrying, and not thinking ahead can all make a mess of things. But when it is working, it's something so special.

I realize most people could care less about this. They just want to ride and the subtleties aren't important. That's OK. It's their choice. I know this and it's the main reason I don't push it or do any hard core advertising.

Also, this is at the end for a reason. It's the ones who are looking for this type of thing that I am most interested in working with. Sure I can give riding lessons, train their horse, or help them with their problems. And I am happy to do so. I would never turn anyone away. It's an opportunity for me to plant a seed of thought in their mind. Maybe it will grow interest. If not, I am still happy to have helped them with whatever it is they come to me for. I can't say enough how happy I am to help whoever is in need of some help.

My outlook on life is to always try to make the world a better place. I will do my best till my end days.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


The simple laws of physics state that for every force or action, there is an equal and opposite force or reaction. This is a universal law that applies to everything.

In Horsemanship, or when it applies to people or animals that think, it can become amplified and accelerated into perpetual motion. This happens because one applies a force, the other applies a force to bring balance. In the case of thought, whether it be ego, inconcideration, or any form of inhibition,  an extra force comes to gain an upper hand. This in turn begets a force to establish balance again. The cycle can intensify in this way. This is how we get the "HARD MOUTHED HORSE"  Many other problems like stiffness, bracing, refusing, escaping, and many more come from this same basic natural law.

If thought is the energy or the force that is in play, and they are respectful and meaningful, then the responding force will be one that maintains balance and harmony. This will keep all actions and reactions civil. It maintains a balanced mind in the Horse and the Rider.

Sounds easy right? The key is to do more with thought and energy and less with restriction through Reins and legs. You can use your Reins and legs to create thought, but that alone isn't enough. You have to communicate and maintain thought while helping your horse do the same.

This is where I differ from other trainers. Yes, all trainers work on some form of cue development process. The better you understand this the better things get. You can get a horse to a do a lot of things through cues. But the real softness and suttleness comes from them being able to think with you. Not responding because they know what's next, but responding precisely at the moment it needs to happen. Always on time and never early or late.

I can't write about how this works, you have to see it. And even then you barely get anything from it until you start working to develop it.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Horse Problems

We all have them from time to time. Like, hard to catch, disrespectful, leaning on pressure, won't stand still, panicking,  won't go, won't stop, won't turn, and the list goes on and on.

Sometimes it's a new thing that we have not seen in this particular horse before. It appears to have just showed up out of nowhere. Other times, we no the problem exists and they have been doing this for a while. The horse may have even came with the problem.

So now for some harsh reality. Without picking on anyone or making anyone feel degraded. I put myself in this next sentence as well. Every horse problem is a problem in ourselves, not in the horse. Even if the horses issues have been on going before you ever got to them.

I'll explain. First thing is, a horse really only wants to be left alone. They are happy to just eat and engage in some play with other horses. We are the ones that WANT, WANT, WANT from them. This is where our problems all start. If a horse acts up with you in any way, try to remember this. Find a way to get them mentally engaged to where "THEY" want to be a part of what "YOU" are doing, AND allow "THEM" do it.

This is one of the most difficult things for us to do. But when you can keep this fresh in your mind and understand how to put it to use, you can do a whole lot more, doing a whole lot less.

It starts right here. This should be step one, but unfortunately, most of us don't take that step. Or we forget to on occasion.  Once you understand how this all works, you'll be happy you learned it. No matter how advanced you are in your discipline, if you didn't make this step one, I encourage you to go back and make this step one in everything you work one. If it's not working in one exercise, don't move on to the next until it is. You may find you need to go back and get it working in another exercise then come back to this one.

The concept behind this is really about getting the horse interested and caring deeply about understanding your thoughts. Appreciating you to a point that they know your inner most wants needs and desires and they are driven by their own desire to help and be a part of it. You can never have a lighter, softer, more responsive horse than one that is so mentally engaged that they understand fully what to do, and are willing to do it without your help.

This is what makes liberty work so beautiful. And how riding becomes effortless. If you get this really well, you will be able to ride without the use of Rein or leg cues. It won't always be great. It will only be great when you and your horse are communicating thought with each other.

So to put this in a different light. The first step is to care about everything your horse is thinking and know that they want to know ALL (not just some) of our thoughts as well. Once we are communicating thoughts, we'll gain in appreciation. It all gets better from there. Because that's when the magic starts happening.