So I’m Reading This Book…
So, yesterday I started reading this book. “Stakes Night “. It is a novel about the saddlebred horse industry. I don’t know much about saddlebreds or saddle seat riding. I did it for a few months during my short college career. Mostly because of the 60 horses in the barn, more than half of them were saddlebreds. It was so long ago and so brief that I hardly remember much of it.
Always Lots To Learn
One of the reasons I love reading horse novels is because I can stuff that I have not been exposed to. Saddleseat riding is one of those things.
The main trainer in this book says very often to her students that they need to “start a conversation” with their horse. I have been known to say with frustrated horses and riders that simply they are “not speaking the same language”. They aren’t communicating with each other. Maybe the rider is using the wrong aids or perhaps the horse is distracted or just checked out of the exercise that day.
“Starting A Conversation” is Brilliant
My old saying, “you aren’t speaking the same language”, maybe could sometimes be avoided if we thought about getting our horse and starting a conversation.
Meaning you cue the horse and he either responds correctly or doesn’t do anything or does it wrong. So, you started the conversation, he responded. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s still is a response. The beginning of the conversation.
As you are continuing to ride you continue to ask, and they continue to respond either one way or another.
This Is The Important Part!
When your horse responds in the conversation. How you respond is going to set the tone for the rest of the conversation(the rest of the ride).
If you are overly assertive on your side of the conversation than don’t be surprised if your horse responds overly assertively too.
If you were having a “conversation” with a person, you most likely wouldn’t start it aggressively, unless of course, you were looking for a fight.
You Talk, Let Your Horse Respond, Then You Respond
As you are asking your horse what to do, feel his response whether good, bad, right or wrong. Then it is your turn to respond to him in the conversation.
I know this is pretty much we all do anyway when we ride. The thing is, I think this is a good way to explain it to a new rider, just learning to ride. Or even more, experienced riders when things aren’t going right. Maybe this will help them avoid frustration.
I thought the whole “starting a conversation” thing was a brilliant way of explaining things. You can bet you will hear me telling my riders of all levels to remember to “start a conversation” when they ride. And then if all else fails I can use my trusty old saying “you just aren’t speaking the same language”!
Hopefully, you don’t think I’m crazy writing about a few little words I got off a fictional horse trainer in a book. Fictional or not that is good horsemanship, so I wanted to share!