Share Your Challenges

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Lately I’ve been pondering the soft feel… again. As I ride (my horse is in the snaffle), I take the reins low and wide and ask for the feel. When he softens, I release. I try to do this often when I ride.

My questions:

Do I release for the try (i.e., the horse lowers his head), or do I wait until he gives (i.e., he releases his brace and relaxes, bending at the poll)?

And what is the long term goal? Should he learn to hold the “bent at the poll” position for the entire ride, without prompting? Should he wait for me to ask, but offer willingly when asked? Will the soft feel serve as an alert, like a half-halt, that a transition or some other cue is coming? Or is it all an exercise in getting the horse to give up his brace and ride relaxed?

Thanks, Kristina

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