If it's the horse who almost has it but we're near the end of our time, I tend to ask for something I know they can execute well, then get off. I would rather end on a good note than create frustration especially if I don't have a lot of extra time.
If it's ME who almost has it, I do the same as above because I don't want to sour an otherwise saint of a beast on the off chance I *might* finally get it right. THere's always tomorrow.
Now, some might disagree, and I can understand that. Why stop at less than perfect? It's just that in my experience, I do better after letting things percolate a bit than I do trying to slam through.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
The first lessons I took on horse training (as opposed to just riding) were with an old cowboy who taught that you should always end on a good note. He said if you're asking the horse to do something hard and the horse either won't or can't, but you then ask the horse to do something easy for it/which it will do, you stop after the horse does that easy thing and end on a good note where the horse doesn't feel as if it won.
I still follow that theory 28 years later. My ride on Saturday was miserable. I'm coming back from a major back sprain and am very out of shape after months of inactibity, and my horse has bottled up his energy despite having plenty of space to run on his own. So Saturday he was pretending he's spooky (he's not) and generally being a pain in the rear, never focusing on me and certainly never relaxing. I got one canter circle in which he was moving through his back and stretched into contact 40 minutes into the ride and I halted and jumped off. It took 40 minutes to get anything right; had I waited and tried to get something really good, who knows how long I might have taken? Incidentally, when I got off I put him in his pen and he ran like there was a swarm of hornets after him, throwing in bucks and kicks and squeals as he went. It changed my mind about our ride to thinking it was an awfully good ride given he was under control the whole time and didn't get aerial despite his obvious excess energy.
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed
Nope. I'm all for 'get a little effort towards what you want, then let them do something easy and stop'. Seen too many sour horses and injured riders from the 'keep asking until you get what you want, then do it again to be sure it wasn't an accident' philosophy.