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Step 18 – Leading With Energy

Step 18 - Leading with energy

Now that your horse has established a foundation of standing still and being present, remember that this is an ongoing practice, not a one-time event. You’ll consistently return to this exercise every time you handle your horse, especially in new environments. This will build both you and your horse’s confidence, as it becomes a familiar routine, and you know that you’ve already achieved success together.

In the previous exercises, the emphasis was on responding to your horse’s behavior without asking anything of them. With a solid foundation in place, it’s now time to begin asking your horse to do things (things that have a purpose and are building a foundation for the future).

If your horse exhibits more drive than draw, your initial focus will be on “Leading With Energy.” Step 18

On the other hand, if your horse leans more towards draw than drive, you’ll begin your journey by working on “Focus & Bend.” Step 21

For the purposes of our guidance, let’s assume you are starting with “Leading with Energy.” However, remember that if your horse leans more towards draw, you should start with “Focus & Bend” instead. This tailored approach will ensure the most effective development of your horse’s skills and abilities. You will do both, but by choosing which exercise according to your horse, we are working on balancing them up.  

Before embarking on these exercises, it’s crucial to acknowledge that you cannot proceed unless you have already established the starting point of your horse “Standing Still & Being Present.” You should only initiate these exercises when both you and your horse are in a state of mental and physical presence, with your nervous systems regulated, and you are both feeling good. This ensures that you’re setting the stage for a productive and successful training session, where both you and your horse are ready to fully engage in the process. You will take the tool of the Standing Still & Present Flowchart with you and address anything that comes up with your tools. 

Remember how to navigate this course?  Just click on the topics below under Lesson Content.  Then at the bottom of each topic, there will be a button to move you to the next topic.   If you click on Next Lesson at the bottom of this page without going through all the topics, you will feel lost!  LESSONS = STEPS and the TOPICS = What we want you to learn about during that step.

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If when doing leading with energy your horse doesn’t stop with you what fo you do. My horse walks passed me and faces me. Then I’m out of position to scratch on him or start again. Do I just place myself back behind his eye and start again?

Warwick Schiller avatar Warwick Schiller (Administrator) December 6, 2023 at 9:56 am

You pivot on the spot so that you stay at the sma eplace on their nack when you were moving, and just keep pivotng until they stop. This is the groundwork version of bending to a stop under saddle.

Shara Teo avatar sharateo@gmail.com May 21, 2024 at 6:31 am

What do you do if your horse is moving when you are leading but lags behind and isn’t keeping up to your pace?

Warwick Schiller avatar Warwick Schiller (Administrator) May 21, 2024 at 10:18 am

In the process of teaching this, you never get that far ahead of them
The steps are;
Energy up
Lean slightly forward
Pivot 1/8 of a turn
Look back at their flank
Use the flag to get them to catch up to you (you wont have moved yet)
When they catch up, give them a good scratching and start again.
The whole point of this exercise is to get them to read you change in energy and posture, and for them to start moving before you do.

Shara Teo avatar sharateo@gmail.com June 23, 2024 at 7:48 am

I’ve been working on this exercise and no longer have this issue. But my horse is now rushy and tries to walk slightly ahead and when bending to a stop, stops slightly ahead of me. What should I do in this situation?

Warwick Schiller avatar Warwick Schiller (Administrator) June 23, 2024 at 6:06 pm

Just keep pivoting on the spot until your horse ends up in the right location

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