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Saturday, May 12, 2007

Harry Whitney Fri Feb 16, 2007

I wouldn't leave a couple of riders out on the trail with their worried horses, even though they were saying 'don't wait for me, go on', etc. but I felt their horses weren't ready for that, might be supported by my horse hanging out near by. Then later in the ride I miss it that my horse needs that support! Harry was near me at the back of the trail -- I didn't totally leave my horse hanging but I missed taking care of his worry in a way that was effective right then. I was stuck on what worked the day before with another horse.

Why didn't Harry bring up more options earlier on, or even bring up the conversation, ask the question? How does one teach options? What was going on with Harry that he saw but didn't direct? Yet it worried him a lot? I asked him about this and he said it wasn't the time. Often he finds a rider can take in the new information later on when the heat of the moment has passed. Then the rider can integrate the feedback and new ideas and try them out later on. This became true later in the day when I rode Cajun again and had more options in my toolbox, and things went well.

PV asked about just going out there and riding (like yesterday in the desert) versus working in the ring a lot. Harry responded: you'll probably have a more versatile horse if you get it going out there rather than in the ring.

Me: my memory of how to screw up a horse is greater than my memory of options how to help a horse.

You can't see the problem or fix it if you're in a panic yourself.

The best you can give may not be the best he needs.


Cajun is opening up, has a better look in his eye, is waking up.

It can be too much to keep track of what otherse are doing when adrenaline comes up and focus gets narrow on what the horse is doing.

Leap frog game can be effective. Also have someone trot right through the middle of the herd and out the other side, then turn and go back through again.

But it's harder to get a horse feeling good right here, and Harry focusses more on that than on other stuff.

If you get a 10% change every time you go out for a ride, pretty soon you've got a lot going for you.

People don't work on these things till they need them, but there are so many opportunities to work on them.

Reins: Use your reins enough to get a change, then release them.

It'll look different from horse to horse. Some horses you have to stay close to, but you can be fanning the flames because they think you're trying to put a lid on it instead of embrace it.

You know the squirt forward is going to come but you gotta sit there as if you expect him to walk off. Get a change, release him. Get a change, release him.

More talk about getting it good in a more quiet setting before you expect it to work out on the trail or with a larger group or whatever.

In a group when one horse is bothered, another horse might be on edge and it'll get bigger being affected by the bothered one.

Tempted to let her go but don't just let her take over -- direct her, let her trot here and there, away from the group and back again, for example; pretty soon they'll think why go through all this?

PV firmer and more confident than before.

Do not lean into turns even when horse leans.

Harry gets frustrated because he expects people to process information like he does. He'd get frustrated if he taught weekly lessons. Working with us, you gotta say it over and over and over again. Not seeing us often so enough to begin to think we're not trying. We're a lot like a horse -- if we weren't trying we wouldn't be here. Out on the road at 'normal clinics', some are seeking a fix, not seeking help.

SH's question about how she handled Belle at the end of the ride, reflecting her awareness of how she rides her Tbred nutcases.

Riding closer to the line -- the line between doing too little and not getting a change, and doing too much and horse blowing out.

Discussion of how overly confident horses affect other horses (referring to Cajun's impact on other horses on the trail ride -- he is a very confident horse).

Me: I may not be right but I'm sure.

Ace in round pen: worry in transitions, depends on where it's coming from. If it's lack of willingness to go out of fear versus if it's overreacting and fleeing. Ace understands to come to SH on the fence. When SH noticed his thoughts coming to her there, she said thank you. Without fence or pedastal, it's different. Those things make it very clear to the horse when they are getting close to what we're asking. Out on the desert trail, we're not that clear.

When you pick up the reins to stop, it means "stop", not "maybe stop".

I can't get you there, but I want to give you the feel of what it is you can get.

It's better to quit on a bad note than to quit on a tragic note.

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