Best Horse-Week 9: Collection at Walk, Trot, and Lope

Cisco LBJ GrasslandsOne thing I’ve learned is that gaining collection does not happen over night and it’s real easy to lose!  One must stay mindful.  That’s the hard part.  I find it frustrating.  I work on it and then forget it!

Hal always said that he could instantly tell when I got mad because I clinch my jaw.  Sometimes after I ride when things haven’t gone all that well, I can hardly open my mouth I have clinched my jaw so long!

My goal this week is follow longtime NFR barrel racer June Holeman’s advice:

If there is one thing I have learned throughut my lifetime, it is to prioritize patience over determination.  You need determination when you go down the alley, but every other moment you spend with your horse – in the practice pen, before your run, after your run, etc. – determination has to take a backseat to patience.  The older I get, the more I realize patience has to come first.

While trail riding, I guess this translates to getting out of camp, meeting other horses on the trail, standing still to take pictures or look at a map, crossing obstacles (like train tracks), walking down and up up instead of jogging and encountering spooky situations.  I vow to be more patient and exhibit less jaw clinching.

On to Collection

Although I can get collection with my horses, holding collection is another thing.  I like the information in the following article and will practice to see what happens!

It’s all in the hands!

I’ve noticed in my clinics that riders often don’t know how to use their hands.  They’re afraid of using them incorrectly, so they wind up not using them at all.  Once they do know how to use their hands effectively, it’s a major boost to their in-saddle confidence.

Horse and Rider, July 2014

Craig Johnson

Click on the link below to read the whole Craig Johnson article:


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