Monday, May 9, 2016

Harry Whitney day 2




Betsy Zimmerman on her new horse Poppy. 

Betsy bought poppy after her mare, April died. She is 8 and was not started. They are working on straightness and helping her give to the reins equally. Harry said that the crookedness can eventually turn into a lameness. In helping them improve to rhis end Betsy is to wait on Poppy for however long it takes for her to give to the rein right. Hardy says the fact that he is sitting here is proof it will happen or he'd be on a horse somewhere. He says people get impatient and that a small but persistent request will result in a change eventually. Poppy spent s lot of time backing around the round pen. I think my mistake would have been to stop the backing instead of hanging in through the rein to get a change. 

Harry's main focus is about getting a horse to change their thoughts. We get the horses to think differently and then they are able to behave differently. 

Roger and Elvis. 

Roger is working on getting and keeping his horse's attention at liberty. 

Harry has a unique rein handling technique. He keeps one hand in the middle and pulls the rope though an open hand. Going left his right hand is in the center and the left hand is open with the right hand pulling the  rope through his left hand. This is more balanced for the rider and more gentle for the horse. This is backward for most riders. We are used to pulling with the rein whichever direction we are going. This rein technique helps the horse learn to let go of his thought, come around and be soft with as little pressure as possible. 

Harry riding Elvis. 

Robert and Valor



Depending on the horse you have to gauge how hard to slap you leg or the horse or even just wiggle your leg. Harry is very particular about adjusting for each horse. There is not a one size fits all solution. This horse is fixated on fences and tries to jump out of the round pen and other pens. To distract Valor form the fence Robert  made the Valor uncomfortable near the fence. He is currently getting hung up at different places in the pen and can't trot around the pen without stopping in key spots. Eventually valor will trot around the pen. Harry says we don't know when eventually is but eventually it will happen. 

Cheryl and Woody


When we haul the horses around all the time the horses don't have to stay with us in their thoughts. They just wait for us to haul them around. When we are soft and and give them time to think about what we are doing then they have to take responsibility for their own changes which makes them more with us. 

Cheryl worked learning to rein softly in the way that Harry reins, the way I described above.  It can be very confusing for the rider but once you start to rein this way the horses get very soft. 

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