My mind has been busting at the seams with ideas lately through working with so many different animals. One of my “Aha!” moments which has been manifesting for quite some time now is working on our quality (comfortable, relaxed, balanced, lack of brace) of transportation (walking a dog on a leash, leading a horse, riding, etc.).
Okay. So if you have tension in the leash when you walk your dog or they are constantly just behind you or right in front of you and never with you, this will create brace and other resistance in every thing else that you pursue with that dog. Before we move on, we have to make our quality of transportation very, very comfortable. I don’t want to have to use the leash to “hold him back” or “slow him down”. It’s there for a connection. Just as when I’m riding I don’t want my reins to be used to control – they are there for further connection and slight, refined adjustments in posture.
This means that before I move on to these slight, refined adjustments in posture or anything beyond basic with my dog or horse, etc. I need to have a wonderful foundation in how we move together – aka transportation. It seems obvious, but it is something we have to keep an eye on. You could be riding along working on a dressage maneuver or a more advanced move of some kind and sit there scratching your head – wondering why it just isn’t coming together. That’s the moment when you step back and say, “Do I need the reins when we move together?” “Does he crowd my space on the ground?” “Can I ask him to do transitions (walk, trot, canter, and mixed up) without brace, resistance, sluggishness, hyper-ness, nervousness, etc?” If not, then you have to go back to your quality of transportation.
When we do things with our animals, we should be able to move with them. So we’re not just pushing our horse along and we’re also not holding them back: we go and stop together and at the same time.
Amen. I think that can fix any problem we have. Just about… 🙂