Horse-man-ship Mentality - Attitude is connected to the _________?
Thoughts from Dennis:
The relationship between a horse's attitude and how they carry themselves is closely related.
I believe a horse's attitude is the determining factor in how well a horse will be suited for the task you desire him to do.
Attitude is a double-edged sword. When it is "Good" the horse will be good and continue on an upward path of improvement with each encounter he has with his handler.
If the attitude is "Not Good" it can cause irritable consequences to occur during training that might be present for the horse's entire life.
Therefore: attitude can not be taken lightly. The best news is that with understanding a handler can and should improve the horse's attitude with awareness of "Body Posture" and the knowledge to be able to help the horse to find a posture that will allow their attitude to evaluate.
Here is something you can do to develop your awareness- Go out and watch your horse move around and observe how he interacts with other horses and how he interacts with you. If he is exhibiting facial signs of frustration or any negative attitude, pay close attention at that very moment - take a mental note: where is his rib cage, where is he looking, and how is he making contact with the ground as he moves.
Is he alert, attentive, and respectful? Also, pay attention to his posture - how is he carrying himself, especially how is he pushing off the ground with his feet and legs when he's moving, where is his head, and how is he positioning his shoulders and neck?
Of course, there are many things that come into play, but this will give you a starting place to develop your eye to see.
We will speak about what this body posture is and how to achieve it in the next blog.
Dennis Cappel - Master Horseman
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