since i’ve started to demand a bit more respect from billy he still whinnies and comes to me when he sees me outside he does take his time now… no more running to me. i think that is a reaction to me upping my leadership and requiring him to be more respectful.

i’ve been reading and reading and reading. to me there is something to learn in every book i pick up, even Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books… there is actually a lot of good horsemanship in those books!

my ultimate goal with billy is to have the kind of relationship that allows us to go out and demonstrate what is possible when you have a relationship built on trust and communication. it’s not to chase cows (though i’m sure we will) or to jump fences or to show in the dressage ring (though i love dressage and will absolutely implement it in my training).  doing demonstrations, at liberty showing, what is possible with conscious, heart-felt horsemanship is my ultimate goal.

one thing i read recently in “Gallop to Freedom” was something that Frederic Pignon said… “I am not a fence post, I am a human. My horses must not rub or push on me as though I were a fence post. They will respect me as a human.”

hmmmm. how interesting! so i also implemented that in my program tonight. i have always allowed billy to scratch his itches on my back and when i don’t want him to anymore then i ask him to stop. BUT he is coming into my space all too often and is not being respectful. so it’s time for him to learn a little patience and respect, right along with me.  i will scratch his itchy face for him if he will stand politely and not push on me or try to do it himself.

i will work very hard on myself to be sure that i am always respectful of billy’s learning process (as well as my own) and i will really work on just being with myself and my horse. no noise, or doing, or busy-ness, just being, patient and quiet and thoughtful. waiting for expression to change and the calmness to settle over us both.

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the book, “Gallop to Freedom” is wonderful.  i am thoroughly enjoying it.

something i’ve been struggling with is allowing billy to have his own ideas about things, allowing him to offer me things that he thinks are awesome.  many of the trainers say you must now allow this.  but i have been wondering about it.

then along came Frederic Pignon and his method of training.  he and his wife were trainers, performers and helped create Cavalia.   they brought along their beautiful horses and entertained people for years.  in fact they still do put on shows, but no longer work with Cavalia.  his wife, Magali Delgado even shows one of her Lusitano stallions in dressage and wins!!

an excerpt from the book:

fredericquotei do want my horse to think for himself.  i am not interested in riding a robot.  but i also want him to feel safe and confident with me at all times so that if and when we run into scary things out in the real world, he will turn to me and seek safety.  after all that is the ultimate partnership.

billy making up a new game with his cone…

i’m sure, as in all things, there is a balancing point.  supporting him when he comes up with clever ideas, then supporting him to find the answer to the clever things I come up with.  like a teeter totter.  the magic happens when we come together and balance right in the middle.  the sweet spot.