Slowly, Smoothly, Methodically 

Meanwhile back at the ranch…

I’ve been working with a young quarter horse, starting him under saddle. He comes from the bloodlines of famous cutting horses, and his life’s goal is to become a ranch using horse. In case you aren’t familiar with cutting horses, I’m going to try to introduce you to the character and nature of that famous subtype of quarter horse. You see before you the mature cutter working the cow, with the reins loose leaping and cavorting to block the cows movements, much like watching a cat work a mouse. Every eye movement, every year twitch has the potential to signal an explosive escape dive by the cow, and the cutting horse must react with lightning swiftness. You can well imagine that this type of horse notices everything! He also reacts to everything! And when he reacts, he moves!

Well, I’ve been working on developing his confidence in me so that he allows me certain movements that he doesn’t feel that he needs to respond to. He is largely “despooked” now, and I can saddle him and get a Hackamore on him and climb aboard without undue reaction. He’s learned not to disagree with the big rawhide noseband of the bozal and we are even beginning to lope circles in the training pin. If I had jumped on him in an attempt to “buck him out,” I would not be here, writing this to you! But slowly, smoothly, methodically, he’s beginning to develop confidence and trust, and to become that good ‘ol ranch horse. 

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