|A little green|
So much of my ride on Courage right now is forward-constant focus on driving from behind while being responsive to my leg. It takes a high degree of concentration from him. Given his drive to always be the best and my desire to have a pleasant horse to ride, I have to be conscious of how often I'm pushing buttons.
Courage wants to do well and gets anxious when he's in trouble. That makes him tense and hot. I want riding to be productive and fun for both of us, so I find ways to diffuse the tension. It's really fun to have a buddy to ride with. We take long on-the-buckle walk breaks to chat and trade off standing still in the arena to photograph.
|He is the best at relaxing|
And that helps our balance. Courage gets to take mental breaks while I enjoy myself and neither of us gets overwhelmed. Plus redheadlins happens to be our riding buddy and she helps me work through things, which is totally cheating.
Because Courage is learning a whole new job, the mental balance is just as important as the physical balance. In order to help him become the horse I know he can be, I have to address the horse he is right now.
Driving from behind, yes, but I have to also let him be the best at rhythm and relaxation.