teaching horse sense to horse owners
ABOUT RELEASE EQUINE
Bob started his first colt at the age of 12, and he hasn't stopped since. Fortunately, he's received the guidance of some excellent cowboys, whose true words and challenging horses' encouraged Bob on his horsemanship journey. Bob has intertwined the techniques and teachings of the greats with his own life experience to create and nurture his personal style of horsemanship. He has tried and tested the many tools stockpiled in his box, developing his own understanding and interpretations of equine behavior and teaching.
To get through to the mind is to get down to the feet.
Bob advocates the use of correctly fitted rope halters and clinician length (12 feet or longer) lead ropes for horsemanship and groundwork. A rope halter is preferable over webbed nylon to help prevent your horse leaning on the halter, ignoring your aids. You never want to teach a horse how strong he is, and a rope halter is a lot more uncomfortable to lean against than a webbed halter. This helps keep your horse light as a feather, and responsive to the subtlest instruction. The knots on the noseband of a rope halter should sit under the horses' cheek bone, and they can be used as necessary to let the horse know he's not to lean against you as the handler. Remember, the horses' nose and face area is sensitive - less is more, and this should always be the goal, whatever you're teaching your horse.
Clinician length lead ropes allow you to work your horse at a distance. This is a great confidence boost for your horse, as he learns to work somewhat independently, but you still have a connection to intervene if necessary. It also means you as the handler can get handy with the rope! Rope halters allow your horse to really feel what's happening at the other end of your 12 foot lead rope, enabling and encouraging those subtle aids and instructions. Having your horse work at a distance is also an excellent opportunity to ensure he is moving his body correctly. Bob's horsemanship is about being able to move any foot in any direction as desired. How do you know your horse is moving his feet as desired if he's so close you can't even see his feet? As well, it allows you to notice whether your horse is respecting your boundary and personal space, something that is not possible with a short lead rope that is then grabbed right under the horses' chin. Pay attention, watch the horse doesn't barge in to your space with their shoulder or hip!
Give you and your horse the room you need to dance.