No matter what form it shows up in, when a horse exhibits resistance, there is a separation occurring.
Any kind of resistance (subtle or extreme) creates a delay, and any delay will equal slower times on the clock.
Whether it be a wringing tail, shaking or tossing head, pushing against pressure, or just tension through the body, as long as the resistance is allowed to continue, there will be a disconnect, a disagreement between horse and rider.
When resistance occurs, our idea and the horse’s idea, are NOT the same idea!
If we look beyond the outward symptoms, we’ll find real reasons for our horse’s resistance. Until we commit to understanding the reasons, and providing a solution, this will prove to be a BIG road block in the way of progress on the pattern.
Rather than try to cover up the symptoms, let’s consider just a few reasons WHY a horse might show resistance, in the form of fighting at the first barrel.
They tend to show up in one of three categories – physical, mental or emotional…
1. Physical Problem – May not be obvious, but horse is physically uncomfortable
2. Lack of Education – Horse does not understand his responsibilities/what is expected
3. Lack of Leadership – Horse is not motivated to follow the rider’s suggestions
4. Lack of Communication – Horse is frustrated by rider’s lack of clear instructions
5. Too Much Repetition at Speed – Horse loses desire and/or becomes anxious