All this horse activity brought to mind the other day the subject of communication including communication between horse and rider, between instructor and student/ rider, and communication between trainer and horse/trainee. Communication between horse and rider is key. Through the use of the various “aids” the rider tells the horse, “This is what we are going to do next.” That communication must be clear and consistent, the same way each time, just like learning any language. In the English language, turn left means, turn left. Turn right means turn right. It has to be expressed that way to be clear and the words have to retain their meaning. It’s no different in the language of horseback riding. The touch of the rein or leg, the change in seat, the command of the voice must be clear and consistent all the time. The acts retain their meaning that way and convey the message to the horse.
The same is true of the communication between instructor and rider/student. The instruction must be clear and concise. Not just, “do this,” but “this is HOW we do this, and this is the result.” Showing and explaining in understandable terms how we do things and why we do things, because of the horses nature and instincts and these are the positive results of these actions.
Lastly, the communication between trainer and horse/trainee. The trainer must understand horses and their nature so he or she came create a training process that causes positive responses within the horse, so that it begins to understand what is expected, and because of that understanding, cooperates more easily.
Communication is the key to having a great experience whether in the show ring, in the dressage arena or riding the trails. So, let’s go out, develop that relationship with our horses, and have a wonderful, fun summer.
See you soon