Attentive:

1.       Paying close attention to something.

Attention:

1.       Notice taken of someone or something; the regarding of someone or something as interesting or important.

2.       The action of dealing with or taking special care of someone or something.

 

In our daily lives we give our attention to various things. Most of our attention is given to things that peak our interest and the rest is given to things that we think could cause us or others harm and so we are more careful around such things. Horses are both these things. The thought of a thousand pound animal willingly dancing with us is fascinating, however since they are thousand pound animals with minds of their own they are also highly dangerous. Thus they require our full attention not just part of it.

                Horsemen and women tend to fall short when it comes to being attentive around their horses. This puts them, their horse, and those around them in extreme danger. Attentive horsemen and women are always aware of their surroundings and what they are doing.

Everything that we do with or around our horses should have meaning. Catching, leading, grooming, ground work and riding. Leading should never be taken lightly, unfortunately it is one of the things that everyone sees as insignificant. If you can get your horse from point A to point B without a big fuss you are doing it right, right?

Think about the basis of horsemanship. The relationship between handler and equine is to be like that of a herd with a leader and the led. How can we expect our horses to see us as a capable leader if we cannot even lead them from one point to another correctly? Leadership starts on the ground with learning to lead the horse.

Leading a horse requires the handler to focus all of his or her attention on both his or herself and the equine. To lead a horse the handler must be aware of his or her energy and use it to guide the horse while also maintaining the correct body posture to direct his or her energy and further communicate with the horse on the ground.

Our natural instinct as predatory creatures is to drag, push, shove, and control whatever we are around. As horsemen and women we must teach ourselves against such instincts to become our horse’s leader.