An extract from Jenny’s book, Ride From the Heart
‘In allowing a horse to be a horse we can become more effective as trainers’
Loose schooling can give a trainer an opportunity to observe and listen to horses; the gifted horseman will understand that he should regard each horse as an individual and assess the path of training accordingly, building a relationship of trust and love. The time spent training from the ground helps to forge a partnership between horse and trainer, which will be invaluable when ridden work is commenced.
Our goal is to promote confidence between horse and handler in order to establish more harmony within the work. The horse will learn to relax and be more capable of working with loose and rhythmic gaits. We can either help him to grow in confidence or, through a lack of understanding, allow the horse to become a fearful and anxious pupil. It is therefore our responsibility to learn to communicate in a language the horse understands
We can help the horse, through the work from the ground to develop confidence and gain assurance and trust in their teacher. Our aim is not only to improve a gait or way of going but also to improve a relationship. Great athletes have to be on top form physically and their mental attitude has to be positive and confident. No athlete, whether human or equine, can give of their best if they are without self-confidence and are not correctly mentally prepared.
Loose work is a good foundation on which to construct the equine athlete’s training. It enables us to communicate using body language, voice tone and breathing. Young horses can demonstrate their natural gaits at liberty but loose work will continue to be of value throughout a horse’s training.