Horse Training Without The Horse
At each S.M.A.A.R.T. Horses clinic we have a portion of the day where we dont’ work with 4-legged horses, instead we work with 2-legged horses. It’s so important to do this as we can break things down, talk about each step and more. because this is such important work, S.M.A.A.R.T. Horses offer clinics just in the ground work without horses as well.
There are huge advantages to getting a person on a lead rope; you can get verbal feedback as to how your rope handling skills are, you can ask the human horse to behave in a certain way (be slow, fast, bargy, take off, spooky etc) and practice your skills very safely, and you can even ask a human horse to ‘freeze frame’ so that you can see the dance steps to the footwork sequence that your horse will follow.
We also work on finding the balance in the rider/handler. This is done as part of the rope handling and as a stand alone exercise to play with. Taking an altered balance to the horses makes a significant difference in the horses reaction to our handling skills. This work is based on tai chi balance, but with a slant for working with horses.
The other topic we can learn about without horses is micro-riding. This is about finding what we need to release in our own bodies that will allow the horse to release in to the movement we are asking of them. This has a very stunning effect when applied to both in-hand and ridden work.
The advantages to human horses are numerous. As such, S.M.A.A.R.T. Horses offer clinic days where we work entirely without the horses and focus just on the rope handling with handler balance and micro-riding alone.