Violet with her Tarpan mare, Giselle

Giselle backing 1

Giselle started her lesson being nervous in unfamiliar surroundings. Here, Violet is asking her to back up in a square.


Every time Giselle yields the hip in order to make a turn, she dips her head ever so slightly. As Violet reinforces every try, Giselle offers to drop her head lower and lower. To take a break and regroup, Violet takes her for a short walk after every mini-session on head lowering. Giselle is much calmer now.


Giselle's nose drops to the ground, and now she is completely relaxed and focused on Violet and her lesson.


Alexandra and Meg demonstrate a lesson on head lowering. Role playing is an excellent teaching tool: you get to experience what it feels like on the other end of the lead rope!


Meg with her Connemara-Welsh cross gelding, Hercules.


Working on head down: Hercules drops his head on request, but lifts his foot at the same time!

Meg repeats her request until his head is down and both front feet are on the ground. Click and treat.


Now, not only his head is down, but he relaxes and lets his energy drop. This is the clickable moment of total relaxation.


Adding a new layer of refinement: clicking for head down plus the correct bend.


Karen demonstrates acupressure points on Arrow Saturday afternoon. There is some minor soreness in his hips and front feet.


Tanya and Arrow: our ride Sunday afternoon. We had spent the morning exploring microriding without our horses. Now Arrow is telling me what he thinks of it. Apparently, what to me means "Think about your shoulder blades" to him translates as "Increase your stride". He is stepping deeper under his body with his hind legs, engaging his pelvis and relaxing his back.

Karen checks his acupressure points right after our ride. To our delight, the soreness in his hips and even in his feet is greatly diminished. Karen's comment: "He eased his own pain!" - by moving in the way his own body told him.

Revisiting a lesson in microshaping that we had Saturday afternoon.



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