My 4 HorseSavvy criteria basics are what I use for a good session with my horses whether it’s long or short. Finding each of these main 4 things in all that we do is important but the first one, relaxation, is the key to all the others being good.
Relaxation is needed in all things to help the horse learn, a worried horse cannot learn.
Cooperation is what is needed to have a partnership, a bond, a connection and our breathing/energy/body cues get more and more invisible for that connection to be great.
Impulsion is when your whoa equals your go, on a scale of 1-10 impulsion is a good 5, easy abd light to go, easy and light to halt.
Flexibility is where your horse is equal in muscles to his left and right, to have this symmetry is vital for straightness in all you do and allows you to not have to use your reins to keep your horse straight.
When riding or just playing these things are good to keep an eye on.
(Pic shows Solly doing a relaxed levade over a jump, cooperation with my ask to not jump it but to lift his front legs and gently pop them over the jump and halt…this shows his lightness to go and also to halt. His flexibility and straightness is shown by the ease he does this move and how well he sidepassed towards me to get the obstacle from under him)
I love popping over a few jumps to have fun with Solly but I also find it very useful to help with our impulsion.
The jumps require focus and energy, flexibility and straightness and it helps to teach us to be able to shorten and extend strides, to have light, smooth transitions and a great focus.
There are many ways to help with finding true impulsion that you can use such as using circles to quieten a extroverted, impulsive horse and to use long straight lines for under impulsed introverted horses. Having something your horse likes to do will also help keep the training session fun and help give you a wonderful focus together.
Today was our 6th CZT session. We did it in the larger area again where we did our 4th session. Today our ground work went very well and apart from the initial ‘getting away from the mounting block’ thing that he seems to have done the last few session, our ridden session was pretty good too.
Firstly our impulsion was there…light off the cues and happy.
Secondly our willingness was there…connected and focused.
Thirdly our flexibility was there…..together in harmony.
And lastly it was FUN. Fun to be in a different area. Fun to have our harmony, focus, willingness and togetherness back.
Short video of some fun doing leg yields today…..few strides one way, straighten up and few strides the other way. Solly and I have to be connected through focus and mind to be able to do this….he looses concentration right at the end!