Preparation and common practice

One of my favorite topics is preparation. Maybe because I often find myself neglecting it and having to face the consequences. Like lately. 
I wanted my horse to do haunches-in like in the picture below with me guiding his hind end via rope to the inside. It's quite a sophisticated way to do it - I saw Parelli-Instructor Walter Gegenschatz showing it during a demo and was quite impressed. 
My horse knows how to do haunches-in when tipped on his back from above. But as he yields to pressure I thought he would be able to figure it out with the rope around his butt too. I was wrong. Instead of a nice and clean haunches-in I got a horse pushing into pressure with his hind end and struggling to get his head free (as the rope that leads the haunches is attached to the nose too).

KruppehereinWell, I started all over again and checked what I missed in the first place: how good was his yield to my fingertips on his flank - nonexistent. I reminded him that pressure there still meant "yield please" and he was fine with it within a few minutes.
But no wonder he had trouble with the rope when he obviously wasn't able to yield to a feel that he already knew. And there comes the right preparation into play. Even if we have asked a horse a thousand times to do a certain maneuver it doesn't mean he will always execute it in the same quality. So it is a good thing to always start with the easy thing first and build up to the more difficult thing - not the other way round like I did it. It sounds like common sense, but unfortunately there is a difference between common sense and common practice.




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