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Leaving the Group
Helping your horse go it alone

It’s fun to ride out with a group of folks, but what happens if you want to peel off and go do something on your own?  The fun goes right out of if your horse doesn’t want to leave his buddies. But rather than seeing it as a problem, Joe says look at it as an opportunity to get better connected with your horse.
“Drift with him the way he wants to go for a minute,” Joe says. “Then suggest the direction you want to go. Just suggest. Use the lightest pressure on your directing rein. He might not want to go your way at first, but that pressure on the rein keeps him from being as comfortable going his way. The instant he thinks about going your way, just relax and go with him.”
The horse will likely fall back in with the other horses fairly quickly, so Joe says you’ll have to keep suggesting.  But you can help the horse stay in a relaxed frame of mind by keeping your own emotions out of it. “Give him a chance to figure out that the pressure disappears when he thinks about going away from the other horses, and then keep building on that concept,” Joe explains.
How do you know what the horse is thinking?
“He’ll give you little signs,” Joe says. “But you have to be looking for them. Say you’re riding alongside another horse and you want to veer away.  Suggest with your rein and when the horse is thinking about where you want to go he’ll turn his head slightly in that direction. You’ll see more of his eye on that side and you’ll feel his rib cage shift a bit on the opposite side.  That’s when you want to take the pressure off and show him you agree with what he’s thinking.” 

But it might not always be as simple as picking up a rein. You may have to help the horse more and blend in your legs and supporting rein.
“You might have to apply these other tools to get the horse to search more. This is where the art part of it comes in. You have to explore what works and what doesn’t work, and experiment with your particular horse and where he’s at that particular time,” Joe says. “You’re not trying to make anything happen, but be aware that things can change real fast when a horse is searching, so be ready.”
Upcoming Clinics
More info at 2014 Schedule

31 - June 2   Zillah, WA
Versatility Ranch Horse 1
6 – 8  John Day, OR
Colt Starting, Horsemanship
19 – 20 Picabo, ID
B Bar B Colt Starting
21 Picabo, ID
B Bar B Production Sale
28 – 30   Wykoff, MN
Colt Starting, Horsemanship
Cow Working/Ranch Roping
14 – 17  Ballantine, MT
Home Ranch Clinic          
19 – 21  Sturgeon Bay, WI
Colt Starting, Horsemanship
Cow Working/Ranch Roping
25 – 27  Freedom, NH
Colt Starting, Horsemanship

8 – 10 Platteville, CO
Colt Starting, Horsemanship, Cow Working
15 – 17  Pittstown, NJ
Colt Starting, Horsemanship, Cow Working
28 & 29  Chetek, WI
Greetings From the Big Sky Country...
We finally made it to our summer place here in Montana and are just amazed at how green this country is right now. There's so many projects to catch up on before we hit the road again, but I sure am enjoying just sitting on the porch, watching the wildlife and taking in all the grass coming up here. Hoping to get to a few brandings in between the fence building and all the other little chores on Jimmie’s to-do list. Looking forward to catching up with our Montana friends and then to seeing so many others coming up on our loop through Washington, Oregon and Idaho.  - JW
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