Get back to friendly

Pat Parelli calls it the friendly game, others speak of desensitization. Whatever you call it, the importance of it stays the same: Our horses need to learn how to deal with a whip. They need to know when it means "you better move" and when it means "stay cool and relax". The key here is our body language. The whip is supposed to be just an extension of our body, should amplify the energy we carry in our body. Unfortunately it happens that our body says one thing and the whip another. So it is vital to get our bodies in tune with the whip (or better vice versa) in order for our horse to be able to read us correctly. Once you got that your horse will feel secure around you as you are predictable. And you will be able to switch quickly from relaxation to moving the horse. 
At the beginning your horse might have trouble. Today, I worked with a gelding and I dialed him up quite a bite as he was not too responsive. Afterwards he would not turn his eyes away from me, all attentive, but he lost some of is confidence. So I took the whip and started to swing it rhythmically over his back and neck, to run it over is body. I continued until he could relax (which happened quite soon). Then I asked him to move again. Then I got back to friendly. He lost is caution and became confident again. So make sure that your horse tolerates the whip on his legs, his body - also when he is moving. He shall respect it, but he shall not fear it. Work on getting body and whip in sync, show him that he can relax even when the whip is moving.  

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