Q: Which is the most important of feel, timing and balance?
Bill: For over thirty years I’ve been wondering about this myself. I’ve had many opportunities to think it over, and I still haven’t been able to find out which of the three you can do without, or which is the most important. I did finally come up with balance [Pg. 300] as maybe the one you couldn’t leave out because without that, maybe you wouldn’t even be able to get up on the horse. And if somehow you did get up there, why without much balance you’d just fall right off when he started moving. I know that happens.
I can’t help but think though, that if you are learning how to feel of a horse, your balance will improve. Then your timing [Pg. 361] could come in there, and it’s a lot easier to get the timing if you can feel of the horse. And the timing, well, even when a rider’s timing isn’t the best a horse can understand it after a while. And he can do all right.
So I’ve been thinking that the way a person presents a feel [Pp. 318-322] to the horse is pretty important, because that way a horse learns to feel of the rider and then the two can go together. When the rider and the horse are together, it’s got a better feeling to it for them. And it’s real attractive. You really can’t get too far up the line without this good feel working for you, not in a way that’s pleasing to the horse anyway.
From: "True Horsemanship Through Feel” By Bill Dorrance and Leslie Desmond
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