Rebecca Gilbert ~UK Grade C Straightness Training Instructor
18th Jan 2017 -'Thinking Inside'
Through the winter months I thought it would be a really cool laboratory to explore an even deeper level of 'thinking inside' with my horses.
What do I mean by 'thinking inside?'. Essentially I mean the opposite of where horses are thinking to the outside, away from you. This causes them to move in a stiff way, be spooky, unconfident, focusing more on the environment than you etc. Whereas 'thinking inside' develops the horses ability to be in a 'figuring out' state with a healthy dollop of dialogue. Where there is a constant 2 way communication between horse and human.
So if we are on the inside of a circle, when a horse is 'thinking inside' they will give you a beautiful bend to the inside organically. And this is the healthiest way for horses to move on a circle, where they can bend equally through the left and right back muscles and support themselves on the inside hind leg. What we call LFS, in Straightness Training. L standing for Lateral bend, F forward down of the head and neck and S stepping under and supporting themselves on the inside hind leg. This can be created in a mechanical way, where you can create the LFS with physical aids. But also being able to develop this tendency where the horse resonates off your inner pictures/inner feelings IP/IF, has a trillion advantages.
Just some of those being:
Reduces spookiness, tension etc.
Increases your horses 'smartness' and the ability to figure things out.
Dramatically improve healthy biomechanics.
Vastly increase the connection and togetherness you have with your horse's.
Protect the horse's body in Liberty work, because even at Liberty it's important they move in a healthy way and this will set thing's up for success.
So far my laboratory work with this has been utterly fascinating, even my more advanced horse Milly has stepped up another level because of this. She can move with elegance and grace through advanced movements such as renvers, shoulder-in, half pass and pirouettes all in balance with a round connected frame all at Liberty, because she is following my intention and IP/IF and the use of physical aids starts to become obsolete. And young 3 year old, Nico has started to really mature mentally because of the amount of mental processing he is doing.
Horses are masters of energy and body language, when we tap into their world and are ready to learn from them, it truly becomes breath taking how delicate and refined communication between two different species becomes.
More to follow, on 'HOW TO' increase your horses 'thinking inside'.
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