“When I am working with a person and his horse, I can help him get in a position so the horse can find the response we are working for. Trying to put this into words so a reader can get a picture of what is taking place is not easy for me. Some of the terminology may cause a problem, like the rider who didn’t have much idea what was meant by the expression, “the horse’s feet are stuck.” There are a lot of things that way, it seems. The expression “hunting up spot” is sometimes a new expression to a rider, but as we work on things together the rider begins to recognize this stage in the horses learning process. The rider needs to experience this as well as the horse.
In Nevada one fall a fellow was riding a colt. The weather warmed up, and this fellow decided to shed is coat. This caused the colt to want to shed the rider. The fellow wasn’t very bothered so I told him he could use the horse’s little bothered spot to get the horse used to moving with him. He just took the colt in a circle, and when the colt let down you could see the horse soften. The horse got so the curve of his body was fitting the curve the person was traveling. It wasn’t bent one way while the rider was traveling the other way.
The rider could feel the horse soften. The horse felt good to the rider and lightened up on the head. His feet were alive and they were responsive. It almost looked like the rider had the horses feet in his hands.”
– Tom Dorrance