Soft Feet, Soft Mouth, Soft Mind
- December 2, 2016
- Wendy Greenough
Have you ever rode a horse who was extremely soft and supple in the face and enjoyable to ride, but had heavy, rude feet on the ground and a dull mind? If so, that is VERY UNCOMMON!!!!
Usually, light and thoughtful feet, an alert mind, and a soft supple face all go hand in hand and are the ultimate goal to a well trained horse. It’s fairly common for a horse who is sluggish on the ground to also be reluctant to move their feet and have a dull mind. Getting respect and softness on the ground does flow through to the softness a horse possesses when in the saddle.
Tom Wagoner, founder of Feet First Horsemanship, works his horses on the ground to look for clues of possible braces that will effect the horse’s performance while riding. Here are a few things to look for.
First, move your horse in a circle on the end of your lead rope.
1.Does your horse move unequal in the front end and hind end, and have an unequal stride with all four feet?
2.Does your horse pull to the outside of the circle or lean in to the inside of the circle.
3. Does your horse look to the outside of the circle?
Often you will answer “YES” to one of the these three questions. Do this both directions, at a walk and a trot. Your answers may vary from side to side. These mannerisms can greatly effect your horse’s performance while riding.
The next time you go to ride, try this ground exercise. Once you are able to answer “NO” to all three questions, there should be a positive result in your horse’s ground manners and riding performance. I will discuss some techniques in my following articles to help you and your horse stay soft and thoughtful.
Until next time, enjoy your ride!!!
About Wendy Greenough
Horses are the cornerstone of my family, occupation, and lifestyle! I am fortunate to be the daughter of renowned horseman, Tom Wagoner, who is also the founder of Feet First Horsemanship. Tom has always been my main influence while training horses, and I'm...