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trail, I bend them around trees, sidepass them over logs, two-track down the trail, practice bending transitions – anything I can think of to remind them to focus on me and stay soft and supple at the same time. Remember, if you don’t give your horse something positive to think about, he will naturally drift toward something you don’t want him to think about. #3 Redirect Nervous Energy If your horse does spook at some-

thing, put his energy to good use. If it’s an object you can ride around, circle your horse as close as you can to it, and every one and half circles, turn him into the object and head off in the new direction. Horses can only think about one thing at a time. Your horse will either be focused on the scary object or on moving his feet and listening to you. Each time you stop the horse and turn into the object, he’ll get closer to it, until eventually, he’s so focused on you and moving his feet, he’s right next

to the object. When you can feel that he’s got his attention on you and isn’t worried about the spooky object, then you can let him rest next to it on a loose rein. If he wants to investigate it (smell it, paw at it, etc.) let him. If you can’t ride around the object, circle in front of it at the trot or canter using the same concept. When you come up to the object, stop your horse, roll back and ride off in the new direction. Each time you stop and roll your

10 • HORSES MAGAZINE • July 2018 • Download and View FREE on-line at www.horsesmagazine.com

July 2018 Horses Magazine  

July 2018 Horses Magazine

July 2018 Horses Magazine  

July 2018 Horses Magazine