I wanted to share the successes I have been having recently using visualization. One was with the Freisian and his owner in their lesson and the other was with my mare Phoenix in her training.
In the lesson with the Freisian we are working on getting him to reach further underneath himself with more flexibility and power with the hind legs. He is weak in his hind end and tends to want to be short strided. To “visualize” this yourself, If you imagine as your horse is walking, trotting or cantering (easiest while walking at first)the back feet are coming all the way up to you cinch or girth. If you watch horses move at liberty, some do this naturally and some do not. Or another way to look at it is to watch a horse lunging and watch to see if the back hoof print is in, over, or not up to the front hoof print(you have to watch for a bit to see this). Anyway I had his owner visualize the hind feet coming forward further under his body and he did it. Just like that! I then got on him and showed her how it looked when I did it. Very cool.
The next case is a lot more difficult. I have a Right brain extrovert(in Parelli speak) My mare Phoenix. In lay terms she is more go then whoa and quite ADD or even ADHD at times. Anyway, standing still is like torture to her. She hates it. She will throw tantrums at times if she has to stand still longer than she feels like. So picture cross tying. Total ants in the pants! wiggling side to side, back and forth, pawing. So for the past fews sessions I have been working on sending her pictures of her standing relaxed with a leg cocked and feeling ok about it. In the visualization, I tell her that this is a relaxing place to be and I see her with her head down and calm. So guess what happened. She started standing still! Quietly and calmly. Today she stood for a very long time without getting into the wiggles. I was very proud of her. And she seemed to “get it” and be ok with it. I will tell you that this worked better then weeks of trying to back her up to the same spot and “stand” her there using all the NH techniques I know. Very cool. Try it out.