Jonathan's Reflections on Soft Versus Light.
“Softness has relaxation and respect in it.”
Ask yourself; Is my horse Soft? Is my horse Light? What's the difference between the two?
A soft, willing and respectful horse looks and feels different than a light horse. They have a different feeling inside. In soft horses, there's peace in their mind and body as they move.
A light horse looks and feels different than a soft horse. Horses that get so light to the aid might be quick to respond but carry brace and tension in a request. They are also easily stressed when situations arise. This is because they are already mentally on edge.
My goal is to teach people how to first see this, then feel this with their horses and then finally get the tools to help their horse connect and trust in a responsive yet soft way.
- You can see it in their eye, in their movements and in their body.
- Ride slowly and feel the horses movements through their body to their feet.
- Assess what the very first response is when you pick up your reins or ask the horse to yield from your leg aid.
- Every move is feedback on how a horse anticipates how they will be treated and is a reflection on how they have been treated.
This is the fundamental pursuit of good Horsemanship. It starts with us and our ability to observe and be sensitive to how we ask our horse to move in any way.
If you want a positive relationship or better performance with a healthy horse ~ pursue this study of your horsemanship. It’s a lifelong rewarding journey.
Start by slowing down, get out of your head and just listen to your horse.
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