Quality

It's a common problem: Some things our horse is perfect with, others he just doesn't seem to get. He might be great in the arena, but life threatening on a trail. He might be gentle with kids but behaves like a steamroller when you try to guide him to the pasture. The reason is quite simple: We too are perfect around our horse in some things and others we don't seem to get neither. 
It's human to not always feel secure around the horse, to not always be self-assured, to not always react quickly and to not always keep up the same level of awareness. But: If we were able to we would be in less trouble. Though it is not realistic to always expect 100 percent quality in everything we do, we can aspire to and try to be as good as possible, starting with the small things and doing them step by step.
Pat Parelli challenged his students to always ask for the same quality from the horse no matter what he does. Let it be leading, mounting or backing up. This gets us down to the core of the problem: We don't ask for the same quality on a consistent basis. Yesterday we focussed on backing up and we would immediately correct our horse if he was shuffling and dragging his feet. Today we haven't slept too well and so we don't pay much attention to our backing up and accept a slouching horse.
But it is not only the quality of the same maneuver we are inconsistent about. We also fail to offer the horse some orientation in general: We tickle the perfect half pass out of our horse, but he is allowed to tun over us when led. Our posture when jumping is flawless, but if the horse threatens when we put the saddle on we ignore him. 
All of that leads to a horse that doesn't believe we are dependable as sometimes we are extremely particular about something and other times we are careless. That does not exactly make us a leader for a horse. If we are not dependable, we cannot expect our horses to be
This article pretty much boils down to a quote of Buck Brannaman: "Everything I do with a horse I do it with quality".

1 comment: