Had another good day of lessons with Stan. You will remember he is a neighbor who is very interested in learning to ride. He continues to make really good progress. I have moved him into a pair of spurs, and he is learning how to use them effectively, without irratating the horse. And he is doing really, pretty good, given his lack of experence with riding.
Most of us learned to ride watching old westerns, where they pull to whoo and kick to go, all of which could not be further from the proper way to ride. Yet most of us have learned to ride that way and have habits that, can be, very hard to break. And spurs are probably the most misunderstood tool that a horseman uses when riding. Spurs were never designed to make a horse move forward. They were always meant to be used to move a horse from side to side. How do I know that, you ask? If you watch a race horse jockey you will notice that they do not wear spurs at all. Why? Because they want their horses to move forward and don't care much about side to side movement. the way they get their horses to go forward is not with a spur but with a crop or whip. They want their horses to lengthen their stride and they do that by tapping the horse on the hind end, not with spurs. If I poked you in the side with my fingers you would probably jump, or spin to the side that you were poked on. That's what happens with a horse. When you touch your horse with a spur, they tend to move away from the spur or arc their body around the spur. That's what a spur was meant to be used for. They are a great tool, if the user understands what they are for and uses them for that.
Deb, a lady here on the ranch, stopped by to talk about lessons. She has never ridden before but is very interested. The first lesson I give is always free. You don't ride, but you get a chance to see what I am all about and what I think riding is and should look like. She seemed very interested in the process and wants to learn more about horses then just riding. Is nice to meet people that want to understand how the horse feels and thinks, and how to get along with a horse, and help the horse learn to get along with us, humans. Should be fun..
Well it's off to the eye doc. today. Need to get glasses so I can see where the heck I'm going when I'm horseback. Just kidding..
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.