I go to every training session with a general idea of what we will work on that day. I start most sessions with lunging so I can get a feel for the horse’s emotional, physical, and mental state. My best & most effective tool in my toolbox is my intuition.
Today, two separate whispers of intuition came to the rescue I started up again with a return client who’s been on hiatus with me for about a year. I was doing an evaluation on her little mare to see where we would pick up on her training. The mare is a sassy little horse but I felt confident we could start under saddle today, even though she was a little spicy her normal M.O.
I got on and rode around for a few minutes before dropping my stirrups, the saddle is new and the stirrups aren’t very flexible yet, my ankles were at an odd angle and just didn’t feel right, I rode up and down the length of the arena, between a couple trees, then walked back over to my client and her husband. He suggested because the mare was being quiet and calm, that his wife get on and try her I though a moment then declined, suggesting that I ride her out longer to try to smooth out a few “sticky” areas where the mare was acting out just a bit and then we could revisit her possibly getting on
My client agreed and I rode away, back down the length of the arena
As we turned back from the far end of the arena, toward the people watching at the other end, the mare decided to try her hand at bucking
I felt the familiar peculiar slow-motion sensation of my body responding before my brain. I wrapped my legs around her, sat back and down in the saddle, and pulled her around to a stop … it lasted no more than a few seconds – no harm done, we walked off as if nothing had happened, the only indication, a few sore muscles for me and some disturbed earth behind us. However, had I not listened to my body telling me to pull my feet out of the stirrups, I know in my bones I wouldn’t have been able to sit her buck due to the weird angle and probably would have injured myself
Worse yet, had I not listened to my intuition and the subtle signals coming from the little mare, I might have put my client in a potentially dangerous situation she’s not yet equipped to deal with.
Thankfully, nobody was injured in the training of this horse, and our session all in all was informative, I see the way forward with them and I’m eager to continue learning lessons from the heart of this little mare