Rollkur No More: Uberstreichen Exercises: Fourth Exercise
Second Annual Free Course, Winter 2011 Welcome to week 7!
Here is the fourth Uberstreichen Exercise for you all to try.
Welcome! If you are new to my blog, welcome! The blog is a classroom of my Method of preparing a horse for any and all equestrian pursuits. It will create a dependable well-adjusted horse for anything you are planning on doing that is natural to the individual horse. The Method allows the horse to train you in your leadership approach of him at liberty, from the ground, before you use tack, and develops your horsemanship skills in a fun way.
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My Method helps a horse to learn more rapidly with an enthusiastic attitude. The Waterhole Rituals™ prepare a horse for daily training, riding for pleasure work, or performance, and causes an extreme connection with its handler. The Method develops a cross-species bond, and a willing, well-adjusted horse. I have chosen specific Rituals that horses use in a natural herd. These Rituals were selected because they are the ones that create a deep bond, harmony, and a communication system. When we use these Rituals, it trips the horse’s psyche to understand us better, and puts them in the mood to bond rather than react. Practicing these Rituals develops the partnership we need to have when working with horses. The Waterhole Rituals develop a communication ability that is magical between horses and humans. The Carolyn Resnick Method starts with the Waterhole Rituals and advances in stages to other methods I have created to support the beginner and green horse to a Grand Prix performance horse and rider, as well as the backyard loving pet.
Before We Start Uberstreichen Exercise 4
Before you start with this exercise, remember that each time you practice the exercises, start them from the beginning, and do them in order. Warm up your horse before starting the Uberstreichen Exercises by Sharing Territory™. Sharing Territory helps to bring back the willing focus and good mood that being separated from your horse may have created. Taking it slow lets the horse guide you in where your focus needs to be to further the training of your horse.
Character Development and Self- Esteem
Horses need two elements in their training to create a dependable, safe, well-adjusted horse. These two elements are character development and self-esteem. First, we must develop the horse’s character, which means that the horse must learn to choose our leadership over his own, rather than be forced to. Character development for horses and humans is the same. Character development comes from having to fit in with others but we are not forced to do so. It must come from a choice the horse makes to decide to fit in with us.
The other element that a horse needs to develop is self-esteem. Giving the horse a choice helps to build his self-esteem. Having high self-esteem creates a horse that is naturally optimistic. When horses have high self-esteem and want to fit in with us, it creates a great desire to learn and perform. Because of this, it is extremely important to take the time each day to rebuild the relationship. Because we are working with resistance in the horse with the Uberstreichen Exercises, it is most important that the horse is completely relaxed, willing, trusting, and focused on the lesson and on us. You want the horse to feel optimistic about doing the exercises. If you cannot get him into this mindset, you should pass on the Uberstreichen Exercises and work on making the connection, and getting a magnetic connection working for you. First you need to have the right mindset before you begin with the Uberstreichen Exercises, so you can work with your horse’s resistance.
How to Reestablish the Magnetic Connection
Each day I like to spend at least 15 minutes Sharing Territory with my horse in whatever place he is kept. By doing this, it will help to reestablish the magnetic connection.
Lets Begin: Uberstreichen Exercise 4
So, the fourth Uberstreichen Exercise is done like the third exercise, with the addition of a halt when you are asking the horse to carry his head down.
Start by putting a marker down anywhere on the circle pattern that you have been walking him on. At this point, you will have done the third exercise, and for the fourth exercise, you are going to try and stop your horse at the marker. When you get a few steps away from the marker, ask your horse to slow down with his head held low like in the third exercise, and then ask him to stop right over the marker. Bring his head all the way down to the ground, hold him there over the marked spot for a count of 7, then release to a non-influencing loose line, and repeat the whole exercise. Once he can do this, ask him to stop every 20 feet or so in this manner. You can also use a carrot as your marker once or twice if you like. When his head comes to the ground from your pull he gets to eat the carrot. What fun!!
A Note on Treats
Use the carrot treat only once or twice, not more. Treats can take away the horse’s work ethic, and take his focus off the goal and onto the carrot. We need to keep building the rhythm in connection between you and your horse.
It will take time for you to develop your skill, so again, think of it as practice and discipline. You and your horse are developing team-working skills with one another. When your skills grow from the practice of the Uberstreichen Exercises, your riding aids will improve as well.
Transferring to the Saddle
How this exercise will help you is for example, when you are riding in dressage- it will help the horse to stay supple while coming into a halt. Horses often confuse the halt request and the supplying aid. When this happens, the rider begins to ride more aggressively by putting on more leg aids with stronger rein aids in an attempt to get the horse to respond properly. The horse then responds by bracing and becoming locked in the neck when he halts. Some horses will over-collect and run through the bridle. The horse has no idea that the rider is asking for halt. When riders can fix these problems with stronger aids, the rider then learns to be more aggressive and the philosophy of dressage flies out the window. I developed this exercise for the horse to be able to distinguish the halt request from the supplying request and to be able to respond to both coming into a halt.
Rein Aid Tip
A tip for you in using rein aids when you ride: When giving a request with the reins, they must be released after the request for the horse to be able to respond properly so the horse can be in self-carriage. If you are coming to a halt, slow the horse first and then ask for halt. Think of it in two stages of request. Do not ask for halt until you have successfully slowed down the horse, and the horse will stay slow in self-carriage.
A well-trained horse can perform only as well as the rider can ride. A good thing to give your horse is “no-fault insurance.” When things do not work out, it is usually from not asking the horse in a way he understands.
If you are doing well with the third Uberstreichen Exercise and your horse is responding, then the fourth Uberstreichen Exercise should flow on naturally from that.
Please sign in as usual, and let me know how it is going. As always, feel free to ask any questions. I look forward to your comments!
May the horse be with you!