Alternative Methods in Horsemanship™ - Tina's Tips

Tip #5 – Training is NOT just a Session, It is HOW Daily Life is Done!

Part I: Grooming Matters

The Tellington bodywork gave me new awareness and understanding of how sensitive these large, prey animals are all over their bodies. If I previously groomed them in ways that were only my attention at getting rid of loose hairs and dirt, now I gained the understanding that exactly how I used each of the grooming tools could have outcomes…if just done quickly, roughly and without noticing how the horse felt about it, I often had a horse that took 20 -30 minutes to warm up under saddle and loosen tension from its body. When I took more attention to utilizing the tools in ways of respect for whom I was grooming and paid closer attention to how the horse felt, inside and out, in each area I groomed…Wow! The horse I mounted was softer, more flexible and calmer than the earlier grooming methods had produced…hhhmmm…

How to Gracefully Groom Your Horse! First, the use of the brush…. 1) first observe how you ‘traditionally’ use the brush to groom the horse: – which direction do the ends of the bristles face, relative to the horse’s body? – how much pressure are you really pressing against the horse? – how fast/slow do you move brush on each stroke, from start to finish of stroke – how aware (is each brush stroke) of the direction that the hair is growing/facing? – how do you observe the horse’s response to each region that you are brushing…neck, barrel, back, flank, haunch, legs, etc? – how is your breathing style working while you groom? – what is your brain focusing on while you groom? 2) next, roll up the sleeve on your shirt, and do the same brushing style on the inside of your lower arm, between your wrist and your elbow…how did your arm feel about that? 3) now, try a new style of using the brush on your horse: (try it on your arm learn this) – if standing on the left side of the horse, with brush in your right hand, first point the bristles towards the front of the horse (before you even touch him with the brush!) – lay the side bristles against the horse’s hide, and do a long, smooth stroke, with the direction of the hair, on the side bristles. – at the end of the stroke, flick your right hand from left to right, thus quickly sliding the bristles to the other direction…this will lift the loose hair and dirt right off the horse and away from his body! – inhale calmly and exhale evenly with each stroke of your brush, and both of you will be better prepared physically and mentally to do the ride you wish for!

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