Q: “If I am riding in a circle to the left and my horse bulges his shoulder out to the right, do I correct this with my rein or my leg?”
Bill: “You back down a ways and get that foundation built in there, through feel [Pp. 318, 319, 320]. I think you’d both find this beneficial, since you’ve got this sort of question. When he’s doing this, he isn’t feeling of you, he’s leaning against you, and the main thing to understand is that you can get it turned around by going back to feeling of the horse on the ground, so he can feel of you. How you go about this is explained earlier in the book.”
Q: “I was a good student at school. I’ve raised a family and I have a job I enjoy. I don’t have self esteem problems and I’m not the “wimpy” sort, but I still can’t get my mare to respect me. I’ve even gotten a few minor injuries from her. I really like her and she likes me. What should I do?”
Bill: “This sort of thing happens when a person who lacks understanding about the horse’s way of communicating, which is through feel. A person who lacks presence, or approaches a horse without a clear idea of what they intend for him to do, sometimes gets pushed right out of the horse’s way. They don’t have any idea that the run-in with the horse was already shaping up way ahead of time. Someone like this - who comes up to a horse who’s young and inexperienced or troubled - is liable to get hurt. If they got stepped on, bitten, kicked, struck at, run into or dragged around on the end of a lead rope, well, this sort of person might not see that it was their approach that caused the horse to do what he did.
This kind of thing is completely avoidable. It is up to each person to decide whether to yield [Pg. 365] to the horse or teach the horse to yield to them, through feel. If they don’t teach teach the horse to yield through feel, this tends to result in a person getting hurt in one way or another, sooner or later. So much of the time these same people think the horse opposed them or harmed them on purpose. But this is no part of the horse’s idea in the first place. If he’d been approached in a way that he could understand what was expected of him, he would have done what the person wanted. So people need to get going on this, because their safety in the future is real important”.
Q: “What should I do when I pony my other horse and he tries to bite the horse I am riding?”
Bill: “Before your horse gets ready to bite that other horse, he probably pulls his ears back and lets you know he wants to go faster. When he does that, firm up your feel so that he understands that isn’t the best way for him to be. When using firmness [Pg. 322], it’s a real delicate thing, how much you use and when you use it. It makes a difference. Your better judgement [Pg. 331]will give you some idea on this, and you’ll experiment [Pg. 317] to see what is best for your horse. When he finds out that you want him to have more respect [Pg. 348] for you, he’ll have it.”
From: "True Horsemanship Through Feel” By Bill Dorrance with Leslie Desmond
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