As some of you know, in California I was a working student for David Lichman (a 5* Parelli Instructor and a fantastic horseman).
I remember one day we were sitting on the fence of the coral when we went to look at a young horse for Karen Rohlf. David got to telling me about this time he was starting (wild?) horses with another absolutely fantastic horseman – Honza Blaha. So David is walking after this horse, around and around in circles, putting pressure on him until he turns and faces him (which is when David took the pressure off).
Now Honza was doing the same thing, but with slightly different approach. He pulled up a chair into the middle of the arena, took a seat and, to put pressure on the horse, would simply lift his stick, toss a pebble, or stand up. It was a hot day and David was sweating. Looking over at Honza sitting comfortably, he wasn’t sure what to make of it! But in the end they got the same results, one of them was simply more tired than the other…
It’s a funny story that I think of quite a lot when working with animals. It’s not so much about how much pressure you put on an animal. They are aware of any kind of pressure or suggestion. Besides that, it’s the release that counts. We can learn quite a lot from this story and it becomes more and more interesting to me the more I think about it… thanks for sharing, David!