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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2011
    Posts
    540

    Default soften without forward

    I have been watching some training dvd's which are really wonderful however I do have some questions.

    The clinician stresses softening (after giving an aid/half halt) but says not to put your hand/arm forward.

    If I soften/relax my hand that is how I let the horse chew the reins out.

    I am sure the advice is correct I am just missing something, could someone help me understand pls?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Qc
    Posts
    3,154

    Default

    Which training video? What part?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2013
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    292

    Default

    Any time you give an aid, there is an end to that aid in order to give the horse a chance to respond. The clinician is likely emphasizing that "end", when you should relax whatever aid you just used. For example, a half-halt, you hold in your abs and seat for half a second or however long is needed, and then relax. You don't have to make it more complicated. The clinician is probably stressing it because some folks, myself included, sometimes forget to relax after asking for something, but if you keep asking, the horse never has a chance to respond.

    If you put your hand/arm forward to finish an aid, you are throwing away whatever you just asked for.


    4 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2009
    Posts
    3,418

    Default

    OP - that clinician called it softening; my trainer calls it breathing. I think of it as a relaxing of the fingers on the reins, resulting in just the slightest easing of tension w/ out losing the contact.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2009
    Posts
    1,944

    Default

    Think of it as going from a neutral position, asking "half halt" please, then back to the neutral position when the horse answers. As Nestor said, if you give the contact away you lose "revving" of the half halt. The horse is asking "What now, I guess I should maybe stop, transition up, stretch down or lengthen my neck, please tell me what you want".
    "I've spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I've just wasted". - Anonymous


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6

    Default

    exactly what everyone said, a relaxation of the muscles, while keeping the fingers closed, so that the horse can have a moment of self carriage while waiting for the next instruction.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 16, 2008
    Location
    Central Oklahoma
    Posts
    3,270

    Default

    You don't soften your hand. You soften with your armpit, often one armpit (the inside one) more than the other. I also breath out at the same moment.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,964

    Default

    Sometimes when you halfhalt you close your fingers for a fraction of a second, as you hold in your core for a heart beat. You must relax those fingers, and go back to quiet conversation. Sometimes just stopping your body for the instant is sufficient and you needn't even use your fingers. That depends on you and how attentive your horse is.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


    1 members found this post helpful.

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