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Steady Pressure Part 1

My Fundamentals are things I think every horse needs to know! One important Fundamental is Steady Pressure which is just that, a steady, consistent pressure of which we would like the horse to give to.

Steady pressure is innately one of the most scary things for a horse, yet it is important. It is part of their every day routine, like standing tied, holding their foot for a farrier, wearing a saddle, vet procedures…the list goes on and on. Every time you offer a horse a feel of steady pressure, we need to be as solid as a post. If a horse is tied to a post and decides to pull back, the post just stays there, and the release is instantaneous as soon as the horse stops pulling.

In other words, the post was HOLDING, not PULLING. As humans, we tend to want to pull, rather than hold. As you’re teaching your horse to give to pressure, be the post!

How to be a post:

  1. Put a feel

  2. Hold

  3. Wait for the horse to choose to come off of the pressure and release themselves!

We want the horse to CHOOSE to come off of the pressure rather than being maneuvered and positioned and managed into it. This builds communication with the horse, rather than just creating a slave who does what you make them do. It can be a fine line, but keep this nuance in your mind as you’re working your horse through this fundamentals series! We want them to be a partner, who makes choices along the way, otherwise we are simply imposing our will upon the horse.

If we want a horse to be good at something, then we should try to find as many ways to ask them to do it as possible. Imagine a city with only one road leading in; it’s not very accessible! If there are eight roads that lead into your city, then more people can get in there to find what they need. The city in this analogy is the horse’s ability to give to steady pressure. The more ways you can ask for it, the better your horse will understand the concept, and the easier it will be to teach them all of the yields that they need to know.

For more information on this subject stay tuned for my next blog: 9 Ways to Ask for Steady Pressure from the Ground!

Or join my Virtual Learning Community!

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