4 Week Study Group – Leading: Calm, Confident and Connected
January 4 - January 31
It is FREE for all CT Club members.
This Study Group will focus on leading exercises using positive reinforcement. This is perfect to teach leading to young or green horses, or to refine leading with horses who barge, pull, rush, plant or cut in front of you.
It will cover:
Beginning with the foundation level exercises, we’ll start with Stand Together quietly to ensure horse is calm and relaxed, then introduce leading by walking a few steps only and then back into the Standing Together position. This is the most effective way to introduce calm, connected movement to your horse. From there, we’ll start to increase the duration of leading as you begin to Walk Together.
During this stage, we’re also gathering information about what the horse finds easier, more difficult and which aspects need most work. So, we’ll check how the horse stands and leads on both sides, assess if horse lags/rushes/blocks/pins ears, if the horse behaves differently liberty vs on a rope, in the arena vs outside the arena etc. This information will help you to set your training plan for the coming weeks.
This week is focussing on clarifying our leading cues for walk on, stop and turn both ways. Making sure your horse knows and understands your cues, and that you’re consistent in how you cue your horse when leading, will really help to bring calmness and consistency to your leading. Begin working on these in the area or situation where your horse leads best (using the information from week 1), so that you set your horse up for success as you confirm and clarify your cues.
This week we’re focussing on ourselves and our internal cues we project to the horse. We’ll look at breathing exercises, tension in our body, any anxiety we have about leading, our focus and body position. As you build your own body awareness and confidence, you will increase your clarity, sensitivity and effectiveness when leading your horse.
Now we have all the leading building blocks in place, we’re going to start building duration and asking for leading in more challenging places such as the spooky side of the arena, outside the arena, back to the field etc. The skills you and your horse have built through this course, will enable you to work through leading issues in any situation and get confident leading your horse easily anywhere.