When I was studying under legendary Australian reining and cow horse trainer, Ian Francis, he used to remind me that there are a lot of heroes in the graveyard. What he meant by that was that too many people get on horses that aren't ready to be ridden and get bucked off. They break their necks and die because they don't use their heads. Preparation is the key. Groundwork exercises are designed so that you can get control of your horse's feet on the ground before getting in the saddle where you have less control. Remember, there's no shame in getting off your horse if you're having problems or if you feel unsafe. The horse only wins if you get off and put him away, not if you get off and move his feet. I'd much rather fix a problem from the ground than be in the saddle wishing I was on the ground. Get your horse to respect you and use the thinking side of his brain on the ground. Then get on his back. You only get one body so take care of it.
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Sounds like common sense, but too many people avoid "embarrassing" themselves to get off the horse, OR could be too stupid to know that getting off the horse will help rather than harm.
Thank you for this reminder. Safety is always key, and to hear it again from a well-respected trainer... just makes it all the more real. :-)
Makes me feel better about my decisions to dismout while I could and move the horse and remount.
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