Being rough

I used to feel bad when upping my phases to be effective with a horse. But if the horse is confident and ready to discuss you have to get your point across. You can tell by his reactions where he's at. I was backing a confident, strong gelding lately and he said "actually I won't back up". He tried to crowd me, he would throw his head, tilt his head, lean on the backend but he would not move. He was trying to figure out how to deal and how to get rid of the pressure. No reason to get angry. I got a little bit firmer and there he went. 
We need to find that place where we are effective. Afterwards I sent him on a circle and he lowered his head and was a sweet, obedient horse. To me it felt like he was saying "ok, I got it. You're the boss, I can relax." This reaction showed me that I had been right with the strategy of increasing the pressure. If he had been a scared horse I would have blown him up treating him that harshly. We need to know where our horse is at and adapt our behavior accordingly.

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