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[RC] affecting the horse - Jonni Jewell

Steph indeed brought up some great points. Our animals pick up so much more
from us than many of us realize. One of my "games" I like to try, is when I
am heading in from a ride, and I am coming to an intersection that one
direction goes "home", and the other, back out on to the trails, I give the
horse their head, relax my seat, and look ahead on to the trail that goes
back on to the trail. Picture in my mind going that way, and concentrate on
it. Well, a horse that knows a trail system well, will almost always take
the turn towards home, but very often, just my thoughts, I find I can have
the horse NOT turn towards home.

If you have a horse that is spooky and goofy at things along the trail, try
this. Next time you see that stump, bush, rock, plastic bag or what ever
scary thing is up beside the trail that you are convinced your horse will
spook at, do NOT stare at the item. Look past it, on up the trail, relax
your mind from thinking that the horse will spook, and think about the trail
beyond the scary item.  if you find you are still waiting and worrying for
that big spook, try singing to your horse. (you can not hold your breath and
tense up when you sing) I find when I do NOT look at the spooky thing, and
look beyond, the spook never comes, or at least is not as dramatic. Then, to
test the theory, try really focusing on a spooky item, stare at it, keep it
in your vision as you approach. The spooky horse usually will spook, and
some who rarely spook, will do so if the riders is worrying about it.

These are sensitive animals, that we often do not give enough credit for
what they sense, feel, and think. If the rider is bold and brave, usually
the horse will be also. Timid scare riders, often create timid scared, and
spooky horses.

Jonni



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