I am riding a new horse, Shady, for trail riding at the small barn where I take lessons while the weather makes outdoor arena work impossible. It is like a hockey rink buried under varying depths of snow. Shady is low man in the herd and my one previous contact with him was just to greet him as I past to catch my lesson horse. The first time I went to get him to ride after I had haltered him he did not want to move. All the lead ropes are short 4 foot ones so not much to twirl for energy and I ended up with the steady tug method. I watched one of Leslie's old videos and thought about how I could get feel with such a small lead rope. Next time I tried bringing up my energy and thinking what I wanted Shady to do and even with the small lead I made sure there was a float in it. When I walked off and he wasn't moving I kept the float but moved from forward to a step off to the side. Much to my surprise it worked and he followed me and once his feet were unstuck he led fine. Good luck along40.
Amy! As sit turns out, you were able to manage this yourself before I had a the live Q & A last month, but I will add that for the 3rd Sunday Leslie Live Q & A on April 18th, it's a very good question.
Meanwhile, the questions below were chosen for the Live talk that is scheduled for this afternoon. Please join me here this afternoon from 3:00 - 5:00 PM EDT (New York Time)...all are welcome.
Many good questions (16, a record) were sent in this month, thanks everyone. These are the top picks. Other good ones will roll over to the April 18th Q & A. Same time!
1. Why do you always talk about the feet, no matter what anyone asks you seem to really focus on the feet more than anyone else. I’m appreciating that you are skilled and experienced but isn’t there a time and place to focus more on the head and the mind and the front of the horse? Just really saying and asking this now because I want to know Leslie, are YOU saying the other trainers are all wrong? asked with respect, not to be rude. I have followed you for years but other people get a lot done another way. Sue from Wyoming.
2. Leslie, loving this work and cannot say enough about your and Bill’s approach. The horses do seem to love it too, and they seem “TO GET IT” easier than other approaches and methods I have learned but to be honest I’m so full of muscle memories learnt before from other teachers, I want to know your thoughts on how to UN-learn those things that don't work so well as feel and release work, because I’m confusing my horse so often with so many things I have learnt and also taught them. What do you suggest I do so I can reset and give them a better chance to know what I NOW mean, by what I do... (as you would say:) !! Amy from central California
3. Can you explain more about the reata or lasso work? You use one right? (What is the right word here...sorry. New to this.) Joan Dawson.
4. What do you mean by locomotion? After watching your live talks and looking at your pictures and drawings which are super helpful, is this (locomotion) something to be so concerned about? Maybe I don't get it..and why you think its important to have the feet a certain way and the idea about diagonals you talk about a lot too. Pretty sure I’m lost and hate that feeling. I wonder if anyone else feels this way. So now, I had to ask. Feeling a little too ignorant here in Ireland.
5. Here lately there is a LOT of discussion in a few groups we are on about the importance of maintaining the top line, and collection and whether to keep the horse long and low or collected and behind or ahead of the vertical and how are we supposed to know when to do what. Horses like me personally and I’m a very experienced rider. We (wife and I) sometimes give lessons as well, and train mostly gaited horses for people but do not advertise. Will you clear this up for us and also explain if jumpers should be collected because we are a family of western riders and really enjoy moving into dressage, some of our students ride English and Western and like to jump stuff in the woods on trialed, and small obstacles in the arena. Thanks for all the free help you offer to us during Covid 19. Bill, Stan, Dan, Josey and Jane from OKLAHOMA.