Lose the Dogma and Allow the Horse to Teach You

DOGMA:  an idea, belief, system, method, or principle that is accepted as a complete, unquestionable truth simply because it was stated and taught by an authoritative person. 

Too many people, myself included, allow themselves to be close-minded about what we do and how we do it with our horses simply because an "authority" in the field taught it to us. If we accept this without testing how fitting it is to the horse, then this is dogma. Not nearly enough people allow the horse to be the teaching authority. 

If we are trying to replicate something we learned from the "authority" and it's not working, don't keep doing it! Be confident enough to change things up a little. Try something new. You may just find a way that is more fitting for you and your horse. If your attempt turns out to be rather unfitting, then don't continue doing it. Allow the horse to be the judge of your methodology. 

Let's say you're having trouble picking up a right lead so you work harder and harder at getting the horse to bring his haunches in. If it works, great! If it doesn't maybe haunches in isn't quite what the horse is needing. Perhaps he needs to step his haunches to the OUTSIDE just a little and have the rider ask him to go a bit more as he pushes off with his left hind. Time it just right and what once was an unquestionable truth (dogma) may become just one of many possible ways of helping a horse pick a right lead. 

-Robbie