Compass training creates a total connection of balance within a horse.
The most difficult thing for a human to learn about compass training is trust. This training method gives the horse a job and then turns it over to him. The rider must trust that the horse is intelligent and capable of working without being forced to do so. The job of the rider becomes that of a man who is a great ballroom dancer. He is part of the dance and supports and guides his partner, but allows her to dance freely because she has already learned the steps of the dance and balances herself.
The points of the Compass
First we will think of our horse’s body as a compass. This will give a frame of reference to our communication with the horse and with one another. The horse’s head is always going to be the North on your compass. The right, or off side of the horse will always be referred to as East. The left, or near side of the horse will always be referred to as West.
This gives us a clear frame of reference as we talk about working with horses.
The Tools for our toolbox found in this lesson:
By using the compass as a frame of reference while training horses, it is easier to understand where our hands and the horses feet need to go in order to achieve a desired response.
It is important to have a common vocabulary with those we are working with so that we can communicate clearly and avoid confusion.
Beginning with the End in Mind:
By using the compass as a frame of reference we can monitor our horse's responses and we can better identify when a brace or resistance creeps in, and we can also be more accurate in eliminating that resistance in order to have a deeper connection with the horse.
Clear communication is just so important!