Two States of Mind: Meld & Mold / Solve the Puzzle.

I love the thinking part of the horse's brain! We can..and must…engage that curious and confident part of a horse. 

I’ve narrowed things down to two connected mental states a horse can be in when they are with us. On a regular day I want to engage both because each has a different purpose. 

  1. Connected and following a feel - I call this: Meld and Mold. This is how they feel and respond to your aid(s). This is about communication and connection. This is like dancing with a great partner where you can't tell where you stop and your horse begins. 

Ride your horse to follow a soft feel as you bend them around a corner or on round, smooth serpentine lines in an arena. Do this for at least 20 minutes focusing on following a consistent path at a slow pace. Focus on breathing and quiet aids, waiting for your horse to soften.

      2. Solve the Puzzle. This is about purpose and having your horse ‘Get it’. We have all felt when our horse knows what's happening and helps us finish the task. This is a positive anticipation versus anticipation that takes over and isn't what you want. 

Get some obstacle fun going and teach your horse something different. Try putting 1 foot on a log or try to stand all 4 feet on a pedestal. Then test your teaching - see how few aids you can use and still have your horse figure out what you want. The best part is the look they give you when they get it. 

Split your time between slow, follow-a-feel exercises and solving simple puzzles. 

This will help with their confidence, their curiosity and their independence. There are no mistakes here. When they are trying, they are working through a problem and must be allowed to work it out. This is them solving a puzzle. 

As you develop your awareness of the style of communication you are good at expand this by trying new things and adding to you and your horse's routine. 


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