Now that Bonnie has started to assign me leadership, I started to work on her mouth. The mouth can have a number of problems. Maybe she has been rode or drove with too loose a rein or too tight a rein. Maybe she has had too many half halts. Half halts do not work very well on horses that are not ready for them. By the time you get a horse ready for the half halt you no longer need a half halt. Cold blooded horses may need a half halt, but not many hot blooded horses. The bit can be too high or too low in the mouth, depending on the horse. If you get your horses mouth right, you will not need two wrinkles. Cathy's early training had been with a hunter/jumper trainer who got her in the habit of being busy with her hands. When your horse is right, you let it alone. That is how your horse knows that it is right. If you are always pulling and bumping, your horse will think it is doing something wrong. Many horses don't know if they are being directed, corrected, or instructed. All a horse wants in life is to be left alone. So I have learned to let my horses alone when I am riding or driving and my horses are very happy. There is a difference in holding a horse or pulling on a horse.
So with this mare I put a surcingle on and checked her head to the left. I check her only about 5 degrees and turn her a loose. She walks, trots and sometimes runs. I let this be a time of discovery for her. Sometimes she turns to the right while her head is checked to the left. I let her figure it out. She will learn that left is left and right is right.....every time. She has to learn to follow her head. The surcingle is unrelenting, it does not argue. It just says left and never changes. It does not get angry and pull harder, it just stays the same. The horse will soon learn that when it goes left the rein will let her alone. I then do the same thing to the right. Soon I will have a horse that will go left when its head is left and right when its head is to the right. I want to get this automatic. When I get this automatic, I will start on her legs. The dumb jockey is no longer a dumb jockey to me- it has become a smart jockey because it will let a horse alone. Because it does not move, the horse can learn to get along with it.