In-Hand Harmony

The Try

Cath & Tobias Long Beach, WA 1996

Cath & Tobias
Long Beach, WA 1996

This is one of my favorite photos. I am asking Tobias to walk into the moving waves of water. I’ve chosen a spot where he can walk in and out, rather than directly into the solid mass.

It shows my “ask” being appropriate for the task and for our relationship at the time: my body is overtly pointing to where I want him to go, the swing of the rope gives moderate encouragement.

It also shows that Tobias is very interested and focused on the task at hand: his body is completely facing the “obstacle” from his nose and ears to the straightness of his body. This indicates he is “trying”. And it’s a Big Try based on the look of his musculature which is set to move in any direction, at any speed, if Tobias feels too much pressure or if he feels threatened in any way.

It takes time to learn how to read your horse, be in the right position, with the right amount of pressure.

What you don’t see here is “timing”. If I continued to “ask” or to up my “levels” of asking, Tobias would have blown up. What you don’t see here is that, instead, I waited…and he walked through.

4 thoughts on “The Try

  1. Sid

    I just love this post. It is so important to be able to see and understand “the try”, which I am learning on how to read, thanks to Cath’s patient instruction when I took a lesson from her last Spring.

    1. Cath Post author

      Hey, Sid! Thanks for stopping by. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to take a look at “Resources” and “(Other) Trainers”. There’s a picture of you and Dusty 😉

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