What do I mean by "winning"? To begin with - I do not think that we are at war with the horses. I believe it is our job to help develop a language of touch and communication that allows the horse to react to subtle requests in a relaxed and confident manner. Winning is have quicker, more expressive and precise reactions to the most subtle of aids. Over time, the aids become more and more invisible to the untrained eye and the horse becomes more brilliant.
"Zee Weapon" - Could be a whip. It could also be a pair of spurs or a bit that produces the relation of jaw, poll and neck better than a previous choice. The answer may not be bigger, stronger, sharper...and that is something to get professional help with in the 'what if' scenarios! I like to think of the whip as a music conductor's baton - it helps generate better, more consistent rhythm of the hind legs.
"Battle" - each and every stride of every single ride is a training opportunity. I swear. From the moment your horse's toe touches the floor outside the stall, you are training him/her. Be aware of what you allow to happen and how it might affect your relationship.
|Stella in ASB boots|
|Wyatt wears polos and bell boots|
I like polo wraps for the upper level horses - customized fit trumps the heat accumulation. If I have a ULH that interferes when lunging (for an example), that horse wears polos under the boots for lunging and the boots come off for riding. VAC makes a nice polo and they are very reasonably priced.
My personal preference for bell boots are the very soft rubber boots. They sometimes have double velcro, but as long as the coronet band and heels are protected, we're set to go.
So there you have it. Like a fairy tale we've put on some armor, dressed for battle and had the weapons at our disposal to emerge victorious!
|Naked legs for a show!|