For my next lesson with Pip I was to Freeschool a horse called Monty.
Now any wally with a big whip can make horses run around! Proper Freeschooling is far more of an art. Using energy, intention and body language to control the speed and direction of the horse. Not only walk, trot and canter but extension and collection within each gait. Not just running around the outside of the menage but coming off the line.
Pip gave me some basic instructions about my posture, where to look and where to keep my shoulders and hips in relation to the horse. She explained that the horse would be deciding whether I was worth following or not. I had to prove my worth as a leader.
‘See what you can get him to do’ she said.
Maintaining focus on Monty’s eye whilst keeping my body in the right position and thinking about my energy, intention and body language was rather a lot to be getting on with and suffice to say it wasn’t an instant success! Slowly but surely Monty and I connected. He kept one ear on me and was listening to what I was asking him to do. It was truly wonderful! We were working together….I was able to get him to collect and extend his trot and change direction. I tried to increase my energy to encourage him to canter but it wasn’t to be.
I finished my lesson delighted with what we had achieved and determined that next time I would succeed!