Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Neck reining as a 2nd language.

Steering a horse with one hand is like adding another language to your horse’s education. Initially trained to speak “direct rein”, as the horse advances in his education you’ll begin to communicate with a curb bit and introduce pressure from the neck.

As an english rider, entering the western world, I felt awkward riding with one hand. So, like many riders, I’d train at home with two hands and hope that I’d be able to pull it off with one hand in the show ring! Very bad plan…

French immersion students rise above their French-class-only friends by operating in the language every day, in every class.

Similarly, discipline yourself to ride only with one hand every time you choose a curb bit. Before long you and your horse will become fluent.

Horse Stress

Yep, there’s an official tool to identify if that horse is really stressed. Last year, researchers developed The Horse Grimace Scale,  grading 6 facial action units (FAU) to determine horse pain, including ear position, muscle tension around the eyes and nostril shape. Good horse-people read horses well, don’t they?  Just helps to have a scientific tool to confirm we’re not just making this stuff up! Now…is there a comparable Human Grimace Scale to gauge the Christmas shopper stress I saw in last week’s Black Friday cashier line -up??