Also in the trot Lucano is finding more relaxation with the saddle on. I have not used a cavesson in the first few lessons because my priority was finding comfort
with the saddle and not the best physical quality.
In a normal halter, he can express himself a bit more freely without being too much in the house of correction especially on the head as we humans tend to always correct and fix things on the reins or lines.
As I have worked him quite a lot at Liberty using the concept of the 3 R’s (release, reward, relax) the moment he gave me a good step, thinking inwards, stepping under and curling around me, he is now set up to be longed in a decent manner even in a simple halter.
This concept of the 3 R’s is a very important tool in my daily training with horses and should not be underestimated.
🎯 Giving a release in the right moment can be difficult as often we miss the right moment either being too late or too early ;-)
🎯 Rewarding the horse with goodies can be tricky as well because finding the balance in how much and how often is key. However, a soft touch or scratch on the neck or a simple ‘good boy/girl’ can be enough as well. Every horse is different and we should be flexible in an individual approach. Lucano, for example, is happy with a vocal reward, he does not like to be touched all over, so I simply respect that. A goody he receives only for outstanding performance.
🎯 The relaxation is in my point of view the most important one as this gives the horse time to digest whatever just happened before we release and reward.
With Lucano I have longer breaks (sometimes many minutes) relaxing and giving him space to breathe as this really helps him to reset staying mentally in balance. Once you have him mentally the body can follow.
In Straightness Training the top priority is to understand and communicate well with our horses, which we call ‘Horse Training 101’.
Only then we can start to integrate new exercise or tools because our horses are open-minded, curious and mentally connected to us and see us as trustworthy.
If you like you to know more about Straightness Training, the concepts and frameworks we use then you are very welcome to contact me to find out in the form of individual lessons or workshops.
Some canter work :-)
Some update on my youngster Lucano :-) Jan.2019
I have not done so much over the winter time as he is still busy growing up. He is also not ready to be worked with a cavesson on a regular basis as he gives me some clear signs of discomfort.
So instead I focus mainly to create the LFS (lateral bending, stepping under and forward down tendency) at Liberty in walk, trot and canter.
Capturing the slightest try with a lot of release, reward and relax in between. Very happy about his progress because small steps will add up over time.
Stay tuned for the trot video :-)
Some trot work at Liberty :-)
The higher the gait the more visible his vertical and diagonal imbalance is showing; falling on the inside shoulder, speeding up looking to the outside. With time and practise, he will be able to keep more consistent balance, suppleness, shape, tempo and rhythm though.
We both are still getting to know each other so Liberty is THE pillar to find out :-)
I am very happy that the canter comes along to the right as well because this is his hard side, where he does not like to bend to the inside.
He used to get a bit stressed in the transition (still visible) starting to speed up in the wrong lead cross cantering.
I try to help him by cantering a bit with my own body language but with time my inner metronome should be enough :-)
A lot of RRR (release, reward, relax) in between is the key to keep him motivated and to bring calmness in everything we do :-)