Yesterday I worked with Patrick and Solo, his Kladruber gelding. It was a lesson about developing the horse’s body awareness and connecting the horse’s feet to the ground and to the weight. Over the years I noticed that many horses don’t have good body awareness. They don’t seem to know exactly how many legs they have, or where they are. It always reminds me of quantum physics. If you know where a particle is, you don’t know where or how fast it is moving, and if you know where and how fast it is moving, you don’t know where it is. Horse’s legs are sometimes a little like that, too.
Where are we and what are we doing today?
We are visiting Noor Tanger and Patrick Molenaar in the Netherlands for a few days.
I worked with Noor Tanger and her PRE Stallion Oclajoma on developing power in the hindquarters, especially pushing power. We explained to him that he can put more energy into the walk, trot, or canter, without getting faster, and that he can slow down the tempo without going to sleep. These are not intuitively logical concepts for most horses, but they have to learn that a driving aid does not mean “go faster”, and a half halt doesn’t mean “take a break”. Tempo, stride length, and energy level are different parameters of the gait that can be adjusted separately.