Remy has taught me so many things, but among the most important is the journey that is possible if you have faith in your horse. When you believe your horse is kind-hearted and willing, athletic and able, then when he won’t do something you CAN’T blame him, and instead must think really hard about WHY he won’t do whatever it is you’re asking for. Is it rider error? Saddle fit? Nutrition? Shoeing? Sore muscles? Maybe he just needs more time to get stronger and more coordinated, or maybe he’d really like to do as the rider is requesting, but is being blocked so he can’t perform. By taking a close look at all the pieces that must come together for the horse to perform and gradually work up the levels in harmony with his rider (no room for crank ‘n spank here!!), variables can be tested and eliminated. Sure, it can take longer. And this journey promises to be both more frustrating and more educational. The many hours of research can often provide more questions than answers. But as each piece falls into place, the horse is able to perform a bit more easily, until he’s really able to give the best he has to offer. He is a willing partner, physically able to perform and comfortable in his own body and his tack, and mentally in tune with his rider via subtle aids that make sense. My guess is that it will be a never ending journey towards ever higher levels of performance and, hopefully, ever increasing levels of harmony and synchrony between horse and rider.
All of this begins with, and is only possible with, a deeply held faith that the horse will try, and that what the horse offers is an honest reflection of what he is physically able to give and based on his understanding of what the rider is asking.