stepping out in Montana

I am on a little vacation where I can learn more about people and horsemanship. Buck Brannaman is a world renowned horseman and trained and worked with Robert Redford in "The Horse Whisperer" movie. He trained and worked with the main horse that was traumatized after a truck accident on a highway crossing. Buck was the guy who worked with Robert Redford.

I  was at this clinic yesterday watching Buck work with 21 riders. It is what he talks about that makes me take notes. Here are his riding tips:

Don't ride your horse (especially) on a trail ride with "air between your ears"

Riding is all about balance, if you are not balanced with your legs even in your stirrups with the ball of the foot pressing on the stirrup.... you will be in for some problems. It does not matter how long your legs are or how short, you can stay balanced and even when riding. MOST IMPORTANT!

Horses are SUBTLE.. Don't nag your horse! keep one hand higher with the reins for elevation and the other lower for softness while reining.

It's all about the soft feel with your horse. This means ...can you feel and watch for the horses subtle cues with his mouth, ears and tail? Those 3 things are the horses instrumentation. Just like a vehicle.

If your horse doesn't do what you were trying to get him to do, turn it into an opportunity to switch it up and correct without abuse (do not need a stick, whip, or bashing with a spur) just gentle correction

Make sure you know where your horses feet are before you leave the ground or take off.

make sure you train YOURSELF well so you can learn to be a partner with him and correct him subtlely and consistently if he doesn't get your cues the first few times.

good tips to remember.  Now I just have to remember them when I am actually on my horse!

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