A “Duh” Question

Hang in there for this one — it’s going to seem plenty obvious to many people but this is just the way my brain does/does not work The obvious is sometimes too large for me to see.  It’s a pretty common phenom in humans.  There are studies to prove it. For example, at one school, test subjects viewing a film/video did not see a person in a gorilla suit in the middle of a crowd of humans.  In another studies, pilots in a test situation  did not see another airplane minding its own business on the tarmac.

So if I can tell my horse is spooking at something while I’m riding and I can tell by observation of ears and by her body language (she’s turning herbody away from a sudden patch of sunlight on the floor of the arena but obviusly paying a lot of attention to it with her senses), then I should go ahead and give her a command of some kind to get her mind off of the scary thing and back on the work. 

In other words, I should be proactive, right? Not just sit and wait or sit and panic, but do something, yes?



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3 responses to “A “Duh” Question

  1. Usually worked for me! By giving her something to do, you’re telling her “Dammit, I’m still in charge here” and reminding her that you’re the herd leader, to whom she should look for guidance.

    Have you read Sally Swift’s book Centred Riding? Fantastic book, absolutely recommended. I was in an indoor lesson once and my horse decided he was going to spook at a pool of light created by one of the overhead lights. About the third or fourth time we headed for it, I remembered what Swift said about “dropping your anchor” and damned if that horse didn’t just trot right through the light that time.

  2. Works for me, too. I like circles, transitions, changing rein–anything to keep the horse guessing what is coming next. And to keep me thinking, as well. I’m just as bad as the horse about anticipating the next spook, so I find if I can keep my mind off the scary object and on what we’re doing, the horse is also more likely to ignore it.

  3. Denise

    yep proactive is a good word for it..otherwise you are sitting there waiting to be a victim…

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