Training Tip from Pro Dana Hokana: Read Your Horse’s Energy Level
by Dana Hokana | July 21st, 2013 7:00 AM | No Comments
If your horse is feeling fresh, he’ll be unable to focus, and will most likely resist your cues. If you were to ride him while he’s too fresh, you’d be setting yourself up for a fight. As you get him out of his stall or pen, observe his body language. Is he pulling or pushing on you? Refusing to stand still? Holding his head and/or tail high? If so, he’s too fresh to focus.
Turn him out or lunge him for a while. When you do get on your horse, reevaluate his mood. If he’s looking around, trying to push through the bridle or otherwise ignoring you, he’s still too fresh. Warm him up by long trotting at least 10 minutes, or until his head drops to its natural level and he consistently flicks an ear back to you. The trot’s diagonal two-beat rhythm will relax his mind and body, tuning him into you and laying the groundwork for a more responsive ride. As you long trot, count “one-two” in rhythm with your horse’s stride. Not only will it help you relax, it’ll also help to put you in sync with your horse’s movement. You can also try speeding up and slowing down your counting. You’ll feel him speed up and slow down, accordingly.
Be your best and ride like a champion!