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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Leslie Desmond early - NH? date unknown

Notes from some time with Leslie Desmond. I found a pile of small index cards with no reference date to when... If I recall correctly, many of these were comments directed at me. I'm picturing a clinic in New Hampshire (1999? 2000?) when I was working with my young Morgan gelding.)



Set feet to stop whether forward or backward, whether I’m facing horse or not.

When horse is walking off on his own, stop my feet then stop his feet.

Look at feet, not at face. Or look at girth or whatever area where you want to claim space.

Still hands unless I’m asking for some thing specific. Learn to talk without moving hands!

When standing still with horse, stand back by shoulder not by head.

Leave face alone/ don’t pet/touch!

Lean forward with weight on toes and hips forward = move away.
Lean back with weight on heels = come here.

Horses cannot see directly in front of themselves up close.

Two hands on the lead. Hand closest to horse’s head directs, hand on the loose end energizes.

Standing in front facing horse with one hand raised on each side confuses the horse !

Get the horse looking for the float.

Whenever possible, offer slack first – give slack to the horse.

Move hindquarters to right to create float/slack on the left; drive horse to the slack.

At a standstill, then at a walk, then at a trot, then at a canter: help horse understand how to shape up his body and move into the float.

Turning: sitting up tall, look in direction of turn.
1) idea
2) turn body from head to shoulders to torso, to hips, to legs
3) release leg
4) release inside hind foot to step under and toward outside
5) if necessary, bring inside hand with shortened rein to inside knee and give slack once horse has given slack.

When I start walking and horse hesitates, keeping walking and slip some rope to avoid any pulling/to leave slack, maybe slow my tempo, maybe increase my energy/intention.

Give Rusty something to think about, something to do before he gets aroused.

Claim that space (“that’s my space”) instead of pushing horse away or pulling horse away (“you, move from here”)

Need six things:
1) attention
2) energy
3) forward
4) back
5) left
6) right

Have a plan before you start. Have a plan before asking for horse’s attention and energy to liven up.

Keep bridge of nose tipped toward you when driving. Never let head turn away to the point where you couldn’t control hind feet which would be in good position to kick you.

Bring up life then direct it.

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