15 productive things to do with your horse in a barn isle on a cold winter day!

1.)  Ground tie:  Can your horse just stand where you put him if you just drop your lead rope on the ground in front of him?
Tip:  If he moves, just put him back. Repeat as necessary.  As with all things, if it is important to you, it will be important to your horse. Be patient and don’t resort to the cross ties.

2.)  While your horse is ground tied, can you brush your horse?
Tip: If you cannot, just keep putting him back until he can stand still as if he were tied.

3.)  While he is ground tied, can you clean all 4 of his feet from one side?
Tip:  If at first this seems too weird for your horse, just work to pick them up one at a time, while you figure out just how to hold them long enough to clean them.

4.)  While he is ground tied, can you use just a small amount of pressure on his tail to ask him to walk backward toward you while you stand behind him?
Tip:  Since you have been asking your horse to stand still, ground tied, you’ll have to bring up a bit of energy to help him understand you want him to move! If he moves, great, rub him until he stops and praise him.  You may need to pick up his lead rope to ask him , from the front to come back toward you, just a little though, just enough to encourage backward and not to turn to follow you.

5.)  Now that we are moving, can you, with your pinky finger, ask your horse, on his chest, to move backward, just one foot step.
Tip:  If he moves, make much of him, if he doesn’t, instead of adding more pressure on your fingertips, add some rhythmic pressure by waving your other hand, gesturing him to move away from your fingertip.

6.)  You can use this same technique to move just one foot back, forward or sideways. Maybe you’ll just get a weight shift first, praise the slightest try and then as again for more.  Your horse can move up, down, left, right, forward and back in all zones – head, neck, shoulders, barrel, hindquarters and tail, be sure to include all feet and legs. Taking the time to do this well during inclement weather will make your riding so much lighter when the weather is better!
Tip: Avoid ever getting heavy.  Add rhythm instead of heaviness.

7.)  Just by waving your hand, like using an imaginary stick to clear away imaginary geese in front of you, can you softly, but with intention, walk toward your horse and have him back away?
Tip: If you do this and your horse responds, praise him.  If not, you may need something in your hand like a crop or dressage whip.  Use the tool, if you need it, then put it down and use your imaginary stick.  The goal is not to rely on the tool, just to reinforce your idea.

BONUS: Back your horse into his stall, first with soft steady pressure, when that is going well, back him into his stall with slack in the lead rope and no hands on your horse, when that’s going well, take the strings off and do it at liberty, ask him to back into any empty stall you can find, increase the difficulty by placing a 2×4 on the floor in front of the door to be stepped over.  Educating your horses behind will create confidence behind him.  Use everything you have, voice, energy, good things upon arrival in the stall!

8.)  Can you stand up straight in front of your horse and draw him to you by gesturing with your arms for him to come straight to your heart?
Tip:  Be animated and don’t bribe him.  Say come.

9.)  When your horse comes to you from a few feet away, back farther away and encourage him to come to you until, maybe you are ten or fifteen feet away or the entire barn isle away.

10.) When your horse is coming to you easily, see if you can hold up your hand and ask him to stop before he gets to you!
Tip:  You can start slower and only move a few feet away before you hold up the stop signal.

11.)  Back to the stand still, can you ask your horse to put his head down, below his withers and rock his center of mass back so his weight is distributed equally on all four legs, without stepping in any direction?

12.) Let’s use the walls to guide us.  Shoulder-in is the goal, the shoulders and bend of your horse and you, will be to the inside of the isle.  You will walk straight forward with your horse slightly bent around you, down the entire length of the barn isle.  If you get the bend correctly, look to see if your horse’s  inside hind leg is stepping forward under his centerline.
Tip:  You only need a slight bend and angle, you don’t want a sideways movement, this is a forward movement.  This time working in the barn isle will help you tremendously when you get back outside!

13.)  Be sure to move in shoulder – in, in the left bend and then the right bend.  Go slow and do it right.  It is more important to go slow and do it right than it is to go fast and do it wrong.  This exercise will help your horse be more symmetrical.
Tip:  If your horse is pushy, back him up. When he is moving forward thoughtfully and slowly continually, you can begin to move at a more normal pace.

14.)  If you can go forward in shoulder-in, see if you can stop after just four or five steps.  If you can stop softly and maintain your horse’s posture, add a few steps of back-up.
Tip: This back up should be light in your hand.  Use all of your aids to help him go slow and do it correctly.  Aids may include, your voice, your body language, your touch, perhaps on the halter or on your horses’ chest, maybe the stick in front of his chest to create a visual block.

15.)  If you have gone in order and have gotten some nice results, try for a few steps of hatches in.  In this exercise, your horse’s shoulders will be toward the wall and the hind legs will be in isle. two tracks are enough, three or four tracks are fine as well.
Tip: Prioritize the correct bend.  The shoulders will be toward the wall, you are on the isle side, in front of the nose facing the hind quarters.  Ask for hollowness on your side.

There are MANY more things you can do with your horse in a barn isle on a wintery day or on a day where the weather is just too uncomfortable to be outside.  I am happy to help! Feel free to ask questions in the comments and I will help clarify.

Yours Truly, In the Company of Horses,
Mary Ann Brewer
Mbrewer@inthecompanyofhorses.com
http://www.inthecompanyofhorses.com

January 2017 Horsemanship Tip

The keys to having a calm and brave horse…

mountee
Be calm and brave yourself! – This can be easier said than done. Try these tips:

Every day, or every time you are with your horse, notice where you are comfortable, where is your comfort zone. First, honor this place in you, however you cannot live here, you must do something – every day – that pushes you out of your comfort zone, but not over the edge of the cliff into fear.
Every day, or every time you are with your horse, notice where your horse is comfortable, where is his comfort zone. Honor this place in your horse, but don’t live here, you must do something every day that pushes the limits of comfort, but not over the edge of the cliff into fear and self preservation.
This ‘noticing’ can be hard, so here are some scenarios to help.

Scenario  For you: Lets’s say you are afraid to let go of your reins while riding your horse
1.) First, ride your horse with your reins where you are comfortable,
2.) Second, slowly open your fingers so your reins only rest in the crooks of your thumbs and then close them again. Repeat – repeatedly. Notice if your elbows are bent or straight, so go ahead and straighten your elbows, then open your fingers completely.
3.) Third, NOTICE how you feel when you completely open your fingers and let your arms and reins go. If you feel your tummy in your throat, repeat this process of gathering your reins and releasing them, until you don’t notice any change in the butterflies in your tummy.

Breaking down things that are in the way of your courage can make those things easy. Continue this exercise throughout your ride today, tomorrow and every day for seven days, then, every other day for another seven rides, then now and again, In just a couple of short weeks, you will be riding around with no contact at all on your reins.

Furthermore, your horse will have gotten use to this new way you’ve been riding along with you. Together, you will both become calmer and braver and more athletic because you will be more relaxed.

Scenario For your horse: Let’s say your horse is afraid to go to the far end of the arena.
1.) Ride in the arena where you feel your horse is comfortable, NOTICE how he feels beneath you, soft, slow, breathing etc. You are going again, to use the process of approach and retreat without sending your horse over the edge of the cliff into fear and self preservation.
2.) Notice with some landmark in the arena where your horse begins to worry, perhaps there are letters or fence posts in your arena so you can visually mark the place where your horse gets nervous.
3.) At first you are only going to ride in his comfort zone, then you’ll go toward the edge of his comfort zone while he is free to notice. What I mean here is I don’t want you to “work” him so he is distracted, our goal here is that he knows that you know he is worried about this place and you acknowledge it. Let him know you care very much and it’s alright to come with you, only for a moment, then you’ll go back to the comfort zone.
4.) Repeat until your horse’s comfort zone expands and he can breathe and be calm in one session. The repeat this exact exercise every day for seven days, and then every other ride for another seven times. Soon there will be no scary part in the arena.

This seems easy enough, but some people and horses go forever, afraid of a place in the arena or to let go of the reins. Taking the time to address these issues (or any issues) a little at a time, often, will disappear these worries in as little as one month. By Spring you’ll be riding all over on a complete casual rein!

I hope this helps! If there is anything we can do, reach out! mbrewer@inthecompanyofhorses.com

Yours Truly, In the Company of Horses,
Mary Ann Brewer
Find more on Unbridled.blog

Angie

Her life, here with me, on our farm in New Jersey, ended on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 9:30 in the morning after a few months of struggling.  It was our first snow, fitting for a horse named Patches of Winter.  It was a wet night, cold and windy, but the ground was warmer than the air, so it wasn’t so uncomfortable.  in-love-for-25-years

That face, so distinct, so expressive, so memorable.  In fact it was a snowy winter day, when Angie was a baby that I sat with her as she rested.  Like last night, she rested her head in my lap; as a baby, she stole my heart and began a journey with me that was one of true love and intimacy, joy, pain, fun with both great and hard times.

A true adventure through a lifetime!

An adventure of learning about myself and others, an adventure in health and well being, an adventure in travel and bravery, an adventure in friendship and commitment.  In the beginning, Angie taught me about fear and trust, about boundaries and permission, about allowing each of us to have responsibilities.  Those lessons were often hard!

Angie wasn’t my first horse, but my second. My first horse was an 8 year old gelding Quarter Horse, we called him Sorrel Beauty, or just Handsome. Angie came two years later after I realized I wanted to learn “WHY.”Why did he do this or that or the other things.  I figured if I find a baby horse, I’ll know all the why’s!  Hahaha…

Looking Back

Now, in the end, I surely can answer many of those whys,  and the ones that I could not see the answer to when my Angie gave them to me, I learned again from the other horses, who have joined us on this journey so far.  And, Ms. Patches made sure I knew that it was she and I “who started all of this,”  she was right once more!

A 1991 Baby

baby-angie-cropped
Ms. Patches first Winter 1991

With strong opinions and ideas about her place in the world, Angie had many other nicknames that did not quite share the loving sentiment behind Angie!  However, the thing I learned pretty quickly is that I needed whatever my Sorrel Beauty had, because she did whatever he wanted.

sorrel-and-baby-angie
Sorrel Beauty and Ms. Patches of Winter

As she grew bigger, she also grew stronger, so what she lost in quickness in her body she gained strength!  While Angie’s color was a tri-colored Paint, her Quarter Horse Mom’s genes defined her shape. Mom’s color, markings and shape were exactly those of  our friend Sorrel.

It wasn’t long before I set out to find some help with this little one!  After observing local trainers and horse shows, I looked further and found many trainers who worked with the horse’s mind instead of just their bodies.  One gave us some good ideas, but they mostly required a second person to help which I did not have; then onto another, again more good ideas, but that work required 4K repetitions, which I did not have the patience for! Then onto more books, magazines and trade shows until, I found a foundation program.   From 1996-2004 we followed that program in workshops and home study.  During those years, Angie helped me through child rearing, business management, marriage and divorce, dating, self reflection and life altering choices.

Jan 9, 2005 we set out from home in NJ and travelled South and ended in Florida for three months for intense study, then, for the next 3 months we travelled across the Southern USA and found MANY adventures and great places to ride and be. We made friends along the way, human, horse and a donkey that Angie found outside of New Orleans.  We climbed out of red warmth of New Mexico into snowy, cold Colorado, where we spent the next 6 months.  The mountains were amazing and helped us bring about a whole new level of fitness, awareness and courage!

angie-and-me-in-co-editedjpg
Deeply inhaling the cool Colorado Mountain air. 

We like the Winter, so it’s a good thing because when we arrived in Colorado, a 10 year drought broke with record snow falls!  We made friends there and figured out how to ride in deep snow, how to find arroyos (deep crevices) in the snow and stay out of them! We rode with Elk, lived in a cabin on the San Juan River and generally enjoyed one another before we embarked on another intense 6 months of study, where we learned things like, how to scooch down mountains, how to work in teams to drive herds of 40 or more horses or cows.  How to saddle up in the early morning hours well before light and ride out to find said, horses or cows!  We helped each other and we helped many horses and people who we shared our time with.

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A fine and beautiful Mare.

We returned home just before Christmas and rejoined our friend Sorrel, whom Angie loved dearly.  We learned more things than we actually knew back then, and we spent the next 11 years helping others; horses from all walks of life and people with all types of learning styles and abilities. Angie helped me through the death of all of my parents and we helped each other through the death of our Sorrel Beauty.

And so we turn the page…

On Saturday, as I was playing out in the field with Sterling, we had the most lovely of times.  I had a distinct feeling of being free.  And, it felt personal to Sterling.  It wasn’t until those early morning snowy hours of Sunday that the thought came to me that the freedom I felt was from my Patches of Winter,   I believe she passed Me off to Sterling, knowing her time here was ending.

She taught me enough in our time together for me to believe I have what it takes to raise, live with and learn from a stallion. After a 25 year relationship with a mare and then adding 6 more mares to our herd, a deep understanding comes to a person who is deeply interested.  A person who is interested in “why.”

Starting Sunday,
I steamed no more apples,
I cooked no more radish or asparagus,
No more turmeric or coriander soup.
I’ll only make tea for me, that work is now done as my love is now gone.

patches-and-maryann-sharing-pms-tea
Sharing PMS tea with Ms. Patches.

Observe, compare and remember!

This is how we don’t continue  making the same mistakes over and over with our horses!

Let’s have a deeper look here.  First, observe… here is the definition of observation; a remark, statement, or comment based on something one has seen, heard, or noticed. So the first step is being able to see without interpretation what either already happened or is happening now. An observation cannot reach into the future, that is a projection.

bareback-riding

Let’s use this photo for example; a clean observation would only be the things we could all agree that we see, such as:

  • There is a white horse, the white horse has black, longer hair on it’s neck, the white horse has a person on top, the white horse is wearing a blue rope on it’s face, the horse’s front legs are spread farther apart that the horse’s hind legs
  • There is a person, the person has blue pants on, the person has a green shirt on, the person on the horse also has a black shirt on, the person is on top of the horse, the person is holding a white rope, the person’s leg is on the side of the horse

There are many things we could say as projections such as: the horse is walking or the person is grabbing the rope and in motion we could share those as observations, however this is a sill photo and we can only say what we actually see now.

The ability to observe, separate from interpreting, is what allows us to see what is actually happening because we are present, not thinking into the future or remembering the past. 

Let’s move on to Compare: See how many observations you can share about the photo on the left, then observe the same things in the photo on the right. For example, the horse on the right side of each photo has his head toward the horse next to it in the photo on the left, and in the photo on the right, the same horse has his head away.

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p1020676

Take the time to write down as many observations as possible so you can compare them.  This is a worthwhile exercise for eye training and helping your brain be literal.

Our brains are problem solvers. They are designed to draw conclusions and they search our memory banks to find a place, in the past ,where what we are seeing now, can fit into what we already know. This ability to observe without interpreting can shed new light on things that are happening with our horses. This is how we avoid labeling horses or adding excuses like, “he just doesn’t want to work.”

Now on to remembering.  One great way to remember is to make real observations.  Look at all things around to help with your comparison. For example: in the photos above note where the decorative tree is in the foreground.  If you notice things like markers in the environment or on your horse’s body, you’ll be better at seeing what there is to see. Look at the angles, not only of the horses’ heads but also the line of the reins and the positions of the horse’s ears, look at footfalls, notice where is each horse carrying their weight.

Using your clear observations and markers can help you remember what you see and track your horse in motion – clearly!

“UNBRIDLED” The Heart of Graceful Horsemanship – Author – MaryAnn Brewer
mbrewer@inthecompanyofhorses.com http://www.inthecompanyofhorses.com

GRACE AND FOOT FALLS

GRACE AND FOOT FALLS

To move in a graceful way with our horses, whether it be next to them or on their backs, our bodies must stay in motion with no parts that are static, braced, or held.  This is a tall order and the epitome of “staying out of their way.”  To do that, we must be in harmony; in concert with our horse’s footfalls.  Again, this will be exaggerated at first, but we will refine it as we get more connected and comfortable with the movement.

While every horse’s motion is his own, there are certain commonalities with all horses.  For the finer details, you will have to feel, and it surely helps if you have some trained eyes on the ground.

This work should be done on every horse you ride, and often, just to notice changes in you and in your horse’s movement as our bodies change.  And change they do!  As we get more educated, as we change horses, change equipment, as we get older, grow, or have pain, injuries or new levels of fitness and awareness.

mirroring-foot-falls
We can begin this process on the ground! 

I’ll call our arms our “front legs” and our legs our “hind legs”.  The goal here is to get our front legs in time with our horse’s front legs and our hind legs in time with his hind legs.

Now I promise you, this is another one of those uncomfortable places of not understanding yet, and it will be equally as uncomfortable if those watching you don’t understand why you are moving so much; they’ll want you to be still.

Truly, the way to stillness is through movement.

It’s just that your stillness will be through movement, and so connected to your horse’s movement, that you will look and feel like one being rather than like a horse and his rider.

From Chapter 7 in the upcoming book – Unbridled The Heart of Graceful Horsemanship

Riding Bareback Will Connect You Deeply To Your Horse

Riding bareback will connect you deeply to your horse.
IN THE COMPANY OF HORSES INC.·FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2016
I was an adult when I started riding horses, I had kids, a business and a mortgage to pay so getting hurt was not attractive to me! So I learned to ride bareback!
First, I just sat on my horse when she was quiet. I did this every day for a couple of weeks until I was bored with that, then I softly asked her to move forward at a walk. Just slowly, we walked for weeks, every day. Then came the trot, just a few steps at a time, then back to the walk and halt, then back up to the trot and down to the walk and halt again. I did this until I could trot for awhile, It was hard!
I trotted for months because it was so hard, I though I would never be able to canter. But I got so good at the trot, one day I just went for it and it was so easy! The canter is rhythmical just like riding a rocking horse.
This took me an entire winter, by the time spring arrived, I could no longer ride in my saddle, I realized it did not allow me to ride my horse but it made me ride my equipment. I had to relearn riding in my saddle, but now I could ride my horse without relying on my stirrups or my saddle or my reins for that matter.
Learning to ride bareback made me a much more polite rider, much softer, lighter, more patient as well as more balanced and I learned much about rhythm, my core, breath and courage. I also found gratitude, partnership and trust for my horse. And I learned to stay on.
This all happened 20 years ago, so as not to loose that skill, I regularly ride bareback, it keeps you warm in the winter and a bit of sweat in the warmer months adds grip. I recommend riding bareback to my students. You’ll learn things no one can teach you and you’ll connect deeply to your horse in ways you did not imagine.

bareback-riding

Unbridled – The Heart of Graceful Horsemanship   http://www.inthecompanyofhorses.com

Visualize it!

keep-your-clear-pictureVISUALIZE IT!
IN THE COMPANY OF HORSES INC.·SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 201685 Reads
Using your clear mental pictures to help you create what you want is a proven and scientific way to create your desired outcome. Have you heard of the “law of attraction” there is a book you can read called “The Secret”

visualizing
Visualizing
Of course your picture may include things you don’t want! So you will need to manage your thoughts and create the thing you do want! You may want to get very clear when you are not with your horse what you want to create and then you can – think to – your horse.
Here is an example: Say you know you are going to see your horse at 3 this afternoon. Start thinking to your horse when you are getting ready to go see him. Picture him waiting at the gate looking for you. Then don’t be surprised when he’s there, expect it and be sure to acknowledge him for hearing you over the miles and assure him that he can do the same. Then when you get a thought from your horse over the miles RESPOND!
This idea can and should get very particular! How exactly will the thing look, feel and even smell the details! Your toes, his toes, your neck and poll and his neck and poll, what speed are you moving in, think it, feel it, embody it, see it in your horse, Essentially, Be the Change You Wish to See in Your Horse!

visualize-it

See every detail of you and your horse.
And this goes for your emotional fitness as well! Visualize the things you want. I’m not suggesting this will be easy, but with all things, it is possible with practice and belief that you are the one in control of you. You are not a victim of anything unless you say you are. Whether you think you can or you think you cannot, you are right. This is powerful stuff!

visualize-your-inner-lion

Who do you see in the mirror?
With horses this is what is known as Social Intelligence. Collective knowing is what you see when a herd of horses run together or great flocks of birds flying in amazing aerial formations and patterns or schools of fish swimming together, Horses are Masters of knowing the unspoken. We owe it to them to become more horselike and get control of our mental pictures!                                            www.inthecompanyofhorses.com
So, what are you creating?V

To fill up their senses…

Monday, October 3, 2016
To fill up their senses…

To move in grace and harmony with your horse, so you can move with others takes filling up all of your senses with movement.cow-working-the-remuda

We had our “Moving in Harmony” Workshop this weekend. In these workshops I look for ways to illustrate concepts so the participants can locate a similar situation in their lives and apply it here.

Our eyes are one of our primary senses that we (as humans) tend to use the most, so to add to the sense of seeing, we add touch, both, in movement. Remember the goal is to get into harmony with our horses, like a dance within a couple, and then add purpose.

mirroring-foot-falls

In this photo this couple has mirrored “hind” legs, the goal, even including, weight shifts, the human hand on the right hind quarter of the horse to feel what happens to the hip when the legs move; and finally the eyes watching. Let us not overlook the senses of energy and emotion which create the safety and comfort of both the horse and human who only met a few hours earlier. moving with a slowly grazing horse makes it all much easier than a quickly walking horse, so don’t worry about the grazing!

To really move in harmony with our horses, it is the hind legs that should be carrying us. The hind legs are where we need to begin. So far every student I have taught who has taken riding lessons, learns rhythm at the rising trot and that happens by looking down at the front legs, which is an ok place to begin, if the human progresses to feeling, however, so many are forever looking and not able to feel. Resulting in, getting more connected with the front legs only and riding from front to back instead of getting connected with the engine behind.

FILL UP YOUR SENSES!

Riding, while relying only on looking perpetuates unbalanced horses who are already heavy in front, either on the mouth or the front legs, which is why so many riding horses have physical as well as emotional issues in front. It is time well spent to connect with our horse’s hind legs through feel, using all of our senses.

Begin on the ground and then take it to the top. Have a helper on the ground who can help you ‘call cadence.’ The helper will begin by saying ‘now’ when your horse’s identified hind leg is un-weighted and leaving the ground. The valuable place to identify is before the leg gets to the top of the rotation. This is when the leg is gracefully influenced, if you are too late or too early, you can easily unbalance your horse and create a disconnect. Some horses are very forgiving about this lack of harmony. When you begin to call the cadence correctly, close your eyes and fill your other senses with this rhythm.

When you are connected to your horses hind legs through feel, you will always be able to place the hind leg where you want it for optimal movement, like, working cows in a group. The cows in the center of the remuda ( in this case, moving fence made by horses) needed to be trained. This is a peaceful moment in this workshop! There were many times when a good, connected ‘couple’ had to dart off to ‘catch’ an escaped cow! Being able to have a ready horse who is relaxed because she is balanced creates confidence in horse and rider.

Take the time it takes because it works if you work it and harmony with your horse is worth it!

Yours Truly, In the Company of Horses,
Mary Ann
http://www.inthecompanyofhorses.com

UNBRIDLED The Heart of Graceful Horsemanship

Introduction

UNBRIDLED The Heart of Graceful Horsemanship

INTRODUCTION

When a person and a horse come together, in harmony, with grace and ease, what is experienced by horse and human is pure connected joy.  In this place, all things are possible.  Both the horse and the human try to fulfill their part in the dance or the construction of the song.  They both want to contribute all that is available in the present moment.

To get here, we need to be honest with the horses and with ourselves.  This honesty can and will be cultivated by both parties.  We may need to learn about our bodies – how they move, in what shapes, measures, and notes.  Our emotions — what happens before what actually happens?  Our thoughts — the lyrics!  Are we thinking in pictures, words, a hierarchy, in harmony, or in leadership?

Think of a herd of horses running out, moving together…

They want to be together, move together, and run together.  In fact, they are born to do it!  This is the very nature of being a herd animal: being and staying together by choice.  This is harmony, grace and ease, pure connected joy, and if we want this kind of seamless movement with horses, we need to learn it. And if we are going to learn it, we are going to do some personal growth along the way.

Improvisation is a way to interact, in the moment,  free from worry about doing anything wrong. This freedom can help foster play and ease of movement in us, which transfers to our horses. The very nature of improvisation is that no prior preparation is needed.  The hard part is when we have information and rules that get in the way of our ability to say “YES” to our horses offers.  

Saying “NO” to our horses in words or in body language has a place in our horsemanship when human life is in danger.  However, perceived danger and actual danger may be different things!  This is where observation, uncollapsed with interpretation, is so valuable.  While NO creates clarity, NO also creates blocks in many areas in our relationships with our horses. Perhaps we need to rethink the use of this way of communicating and redirect instead of blocking.

When we have an attitude of YES, combined with the clarity of observation and a basic understanding of the geometry of moving with horses, we can begin to shape space, together with our horses, keeping everyone safe and creating an environment of harmony, that creates want to in our horses such that they say Yes, and what else are we going to do?  There will be an absence of hesitation, an absence of any thought of leaving,